While gardeners may hate dandelions I love them for their sunny bright faces and the fact that they make delicious honey-like dandelion jelly too. It’s spring sunshine in a jar!
Why you will love this recipe
- This is a bit of foraging fun making the most of the countryside in springtime
- A super tasty dandelion jelly that tastes (and looks) almost like honey
- There are only 4 ingredients in this jelly and no pectin at all
- This is something you can get the kids involved with
- Dandelion jelly is something you can’t buy in the shops so really rather special!
The French love this jelly, which is France is called Gelee de Pissenlit. The French for dandelion being pissenlit or pee the bed in English.
That’s because the good old dandelion is a natural diruretic. But don’t worry you won’t pee the bed with this super tasting jelly I promise!
Foraging for dandelions
There are a few things you must remember when it comes to picking dandelions to make yoour dandelion jelly recipe;
Don’t pick flowers at the edge of busy roads as they will be poluted with fumes from cars and lorries.
Do not pick dandelions that have been sprayed with chemicals/weed killer – this more applies to those in a garden. Be careful, ask first!
Watch out for dandelions in areas that dogs pee in, another no-no!
While we are only using the yellow petals to make this dandelion preserve you can use the leaves of the dandelions to make a delicious salad. The leaves have a bitter flavour rather like rocket.
Ingredients for dandelion jelly
There are only 4 ingredients in this super jelly and no pectin is required at all!
- Dandelion petals
- An orange
- A lemon
How many petals do you need?
Making dandelion jelly does require quite a few flowers. I used 200g of dandelion heads (that’s the weight before I picked the petals off the flowers). I used a standard sandwich bag and it was filled with dandelion flower heads.
For the orange and the lemon yoou want unwaxed fruit. Don’t bother with buying special fruit for this. Simply scrub the orange and lemon well in hot soapy water and use a nail brush. This will remove the protective wax.
Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Voila, you now have an unwaxed orange and lemon!
Do you need pectin for dandelion jelly?
I don’t use pectin for this jelly recipe. The long boil gets the dandelion jelly to a set for me. But feel free to add pectin if you like or use preserving sugar that has added sugar.
Personally, I didn’t need it for this recipe.
I will be totally honest with you, this is the most time consuming and mind numbingly boring part of this easy recipe.
Removing the yellow petals from all those dandelion flowers will have you losing the will to live within a matter of minutes.
This is a job best farmed out to the younger generation who will think it is fun to pull the petals off flowers – boys especially!
The whole thing here is that you only want the yellow petals and none of the greenery. The green parts of dandelions are bitter while those golden yellow petals are sweet.
How to make dandelion jelly
- Having picked all the petals you want to put them in a pan along with the lemon and orange that have been roughly chopped and just cover with water. I used an 8″/20cm pan and 1 litre of water.
- Bring to the boil then lower the heat just a little so there are stull bubbles for 1 hour.
- Remove from heat and pour this into a jelly bag suspended over a jug to catch the juice. Leave it for 4 hours or overnight if you can.
- Pour the juice into a pan and add the sugar and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Raise temperature to boiling then lower a little to a simmer but still with bubbles and cook for 30-40 minutes till it reaches that magical setting point.
- Pour into a sterilised jar.
Do NOT under any circumstances squeeze the jelly bag to get more juice out. Yes, I know this is tempting but if you do the dandelion jelly will be cloudy.
The jelly will still taste delicious but it does look so much prettier when it is a crystal clear jelly.
How much jelly does this make?
This recipe for dandelion jelly will make 1 x 250ml jar. I know that doesn’t seem much but it is well worth the effort I assure you.
Of course you can make more dandelion jelly than this. Simply multiply the recipe to suit the amount of dandelions you have picked.
New to preserving? Then don’t panic, I can take you from zero to hero in the preserving stakes in no time at all!
Just check out these quick articles to get you started;
What does dandelion jelly taste like?
This tastes rather like honey. It’s a sweet jelly and with the orange and lemon that I have used you get a citrus kick too.
How long does this keep?
Your dandelion jelly will keep for up to a year in a cool dark place. Once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.
How to serve this dandelion preserve
This is a sweet jelly so perfect to have on your toast in the morning.
Serve dandelion jelly on sourdough toast or a warmed croissant with a base of ricotta cheese for a delicious brunch or snack. Check out my recipe for super easy homemade ricotta cheese.
Use this jelly as a glaze when roasting chicken or ham. Just loosen it a little with some water first.
Add a little to Asian inspired dishes when you want extra sweetness.
Looking for more delicious foraging inspired recipes? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Homemade Dandelion Jelly
- 200 g dandelion heads
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 200 g sugar
- Pick the yellow petals off the dandelions avoiding the bitter green parts
- Chop fruit and place in a pan with the petals and cover with water and boil then simmer for 1 hour
- Pour into a jelly bag and let it drip for 4 hours or overnight
- Pour resulting juice into a pan with the sugar and slowly bring to boil then simmer (slightly bubbling here) for 30-40 minutes till it reaches a set.
- pour into a sterilised jar