Every girl should have a jelly recipe. One that is her signature jelly. My mom loved strawberry. I’ve always been drawn to the more exotic. Or maybe I was just a rebel. Growing up, I insisted on grape jelly. Bucking the trend and my mom to pick an interloper. I like jelly on savory applications, like breakfast biscuits with sausage. That sweet and salt combine to make more that the two ingredients alone. Over the years, I’ve tried blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach and combinations of those flavors. I’ve made strawberry lemon marmalade and I’ve tried even more almost jams, like guava curd.
If your an Alaskan girl, you might have at some time tried dandelion jelly. And if you are of Korean heritage, you might’ve already eaten dandelion leave kimchi. So, you’ve grown up knowing dandelions are more than the weeds lawn care companies tout them to be. They can be a source for some interesting tastes and delicious flavors.
When you are harvesting either the flower buds or the leaves, be sure to pick from areas not sprayed with any pesticides or herbicides. Wash everything thoroughly and spin it in a salad spinner to get the water all the way off. For the flower buds make sure to remove all the green. Including any in the jelly recipe may yield a bitter flavor that is not pleasant. As for the leaves make sure not to include any of the stalk or milky liquid the salt exudes.
1 quart dandelion flower buds
5 1/2 cups vanilla sugar- or split one bean into 5 1/2 cups regular sugar
1 lemon- tested and juiced
1 box of pectin
2 quarts water
1 coffee filter
1. Boil flower in the water for 10 minutes. Strains the liquid squeezing the flowers to extract all the juice. Strain again through the coffee filter to remove any sediment. Measure out 3 cups of liquid.
2. Bring dandelion water, pectin, lemon zest and juice to a boil. Add in sugar. Hard boil for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid sheets on the back of a spoon. Skim any crud off the top and pour into jelly jars. Makes about 9 half pints or 5 pints.
*hint: You can add yellow food coloring if the light color isn’t yellow enough for you.
This jelly is lightly floral and sweet. I think it would be perfect as the base for a fruit tart glaze and as the base for a BBQ sauce for fish. It’s also good toast with tea. And because this is Romance on the Rocks… tea for two.