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I tried this both with the zest and without. I would definitely recommend NOT using the zest. It was inedible, and I ended up throwing that batch out. Happily, the quart of tightly packed leaves and two quarts of water produces almost exactly enough to make two batches, so I was able to make the second batch without the zest. Much more the honey-taste that others have noted. Slight bitter/wild taste from the dandelions, but still an interesting overall product. The 10 minutes prep time obviously does not include the time it takes both to pick the dandelions and to remove the green parts. It took approximately 1,000 blossoms to result in 1 quart of tightly packed petals. Removing the green part from 1,000 blossoms took almost 90 minutes, even after I got the hang of it. In re: boiling until it sheets off the spoon, I tried that on the first batch and gave up after about six minutes. On the second batch, I followed the Sure-Jell directions (boil at full rolling boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat), and that batch gelled nicely. Like one of the other posters, I WBC the jelly for 5 minutes.
This is my first attempt at dandelion jelly. With the abundance of this crop in our farm yard I should have been making this a staple food many years ago. I made the larger batch with pectin, and the only thing I did differently was to add 1/2 tsp butter to cut any foam (which there was none to skim) and use my vegetable peeler to make long strips of the lemon zest to add, which I removed after the cooking process. The candied lemon zest is an added bonus if you like citrus!
My jelly is not a light yellow like the photos, and in fact after filtering the juice, it looked mossy green. After the jelly making process in the half pint jars it is more of a dark golden color - maybe like a dark honey color. I wonder if soil type and other stuff I don't know about would affect the natural color. Anyway, my final thought is I will be making this a regular spring activity. The jelly is unique - the after taste is a bit like green tea - and it is very wonderful. Thank-you Rita for sharing this recipe.
I just made this last night...for Mother's Day my kids and I picked a ton of dandelion flowers and I proceeded to make the jelly!! I used vanilla extract and a little orange zest instead of lemon ( I did use the lemon juice though) The kids had it for breakfast this morning and they LOVED it!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!! I still can't believe how easy it was...
I probably had no business experimenting when I tried this recipe because I've pretty much never made jam before. But I can't get over my "how hard can it be" spirit! So, I tried making this substituting coconut sugar for the regular sugar. It's supposed to be healthier! And it says it can be used as a 1:1 substitute in recipes! So, guess what? my jelly didn't jell! And, the coconut sugar made it turn a rather darkish brown. But, it tastes great! So, maybe it's a good sweetener for tea? Like many have said, it has a flavor like a strong honey. I found the process of pulling out all the petals from the green ends labor intensive.But dandelions are so plentiful I would maybe try this again if there's a way to do it with an alternative to sugar. Any one tried using agave? It's possible the lack of jelling is due to my ineptitude rather than the sugar substitution, so I'd be interested to hear if anyone else out there's had success.
I made this jelly and it is delicious. Since reading other views, I did omit the lemon zest and the vanilla bean. This jelly has a beautiful color and taste a little like honey. I made certain the dandelions I picked were in fields away from chemical sprays. I will make this again and again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
This is an interesting little treat that makes good use of a sunny spring afternoon. It certainly took over an hour to pluck all the petals from the green parts, but wasn't so bad. Even though I used only petals and was very careful not to get any greenery into the "tea", it still ended up more greenish than yellow. I used the tiniest drop of lemon yellow Wilton gel coloring and that was just right to get the color to a lovely yellow. I did reduce my dandelion tea by a little less than half, making up the difference with some water, since I didn't want to have so much left over. I also let it cool and keep steeping overnight in my chilly garage. I did not use the lemon zest, only the fresh juice. I think the lemon is fairly present up front but the jelly does have a lovely, tangy honey and slightly herbal flavor that ends only in sweet, floral honey taste. I really enjoyed making and eating this. Can't wait to figure out what all it goes with, I especially want to try it in oatmeal as another reviewer said. I ended up with 3 half pint jars and 3 4oz jars, with a few tablespoons left over. Making this for sure next year, but with fresh orange juice instead or combined with lemon juice.
This was WAY too sweet for my taste...next time I will use Pomona's Pectin and cut the sugar in half. Had a beautiful afternoon in the pasture picking flowers listening to the frogs sing...I would recommend this recipe just for the joy of gathering the flowers.
2011 this year I replaced the lemon zest with orange zest. And added two packets of True Orange. I also added 1 tsp. of Cinnamon Plus (recipe on this site). SUPER! 2010I changed this a bit to work with what I had. I skipped the lemon zest, reduced the sugar to 4 cups (and used a mixture of organic brown sugar, and white) which gave it a beautiful dark honey color...and put in 1 tsp. vanilla extract . Turned out great. We eat jelly pretty much just as a sweetener for oatmeal, and my two toddlers just LOVED this. They also liked "helping" pick dandelions. Thanks for a fun recipe.
Tastes fantastic, Rita -- thanks so much for gifting it to us elves!
This is a delightful recipe! I had over twice as much liquid after boiling the dandelions so, out of curiosity, I added a bit of honey and got the loveliest, most soothing tea. It is very much like chamomile; herbal and smooth and comforting. I didn't add the lemon zest for the jelly and thought the taste was perfect. This is sure to be a family favorite!