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Dandelion Jelly Recipe

This dandelion jelly recipe is tasty and easy to make. It has a delicate flavor and the main ingredient can be found in your own backyard. 

dandelion jelly
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Dandelions: A Useful Plant

A lot of folks don’t know that dandelions aren’t native to the Americas. Immigrants brought dandelions across the oceans because it is such a useful plant. It gets a bad rap as a weed because some people want a perfectly green lawn with no surprises. Personally, I enjoy the bright yellow blossoms popping up first thing in the spring. 

Dandelions are so useful that their latin name is “Taraxacum Officinale,” meaning “Official Remedy.”

In this traditional recipe we will just be using the petals, but throughout history there have been many uses for all parts of the dandelion!

  • Roots of dandelions can be dried and used to make tonics and teas.
  • Dandelion greens are great in salads or as a pesto.
  • In WWII, dandelions were used to make rubber for tires.
  • Blossoms can be used to make teas or eaten whole. I worked as a shepherd one spring and while out tending sheep I picked thousands of dandelions. We made fritters and wine that were the color of sunshine.
  • The flower petals of dandelions can be used to make dandelion wine
  • There are many different dandelion recipes out there to explore!

On top of all the culinary and medicinal uses, dandelions are some of the first flowers to bloom in spring, which is much needed for bees. They smell lovely, and make a beautiful crown.

dandelion in a field

Supplies and Ingredients for Dandelion Jelly

Supplies

  • Water bath canner
  • Sterilized pint or half-pint jars
  • Large Pot or large Saucepan
  • Canning lids
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Canning Funnel
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Scissors

Ingredients

  • 1 Quart dandelion petals
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 package or box of powdered fruit pectin
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar

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How to Make Dandelion Jelly

Gather the Flowers

It’s best to gather dandelions (or any herb really) after the dew is gone but before the heat of the day. Around 10:00 a.m. is generally a good time. Truly though, whenenver you have time is fine. 

First you are going to gather your dandelion flowers. You can pick the whole plant and pull off the petals later or just harvest the dandelion blossoms. I recommend going with the second option as you will end up with less mess in your kitchen later. 

As a rule for foragers, always be sure to harvest where you have permission. Make sure the area is free from any chemical sprays, pesticides, herbicides, etc. You also want to follow the rule of 1/3. You should never harvest more than a third of foraged plants. For example, if there are three dandelions, only take one. During the spring season you are sure to find plenty of dandelions for harvesting.

This recipe calls for about a quart or four cups of dandelion petals. If you are gathering the dandelion heads, be sure to gather a cup or two extra. This will help to make up for the loss of volume as you remove the green parts from the yellow petals. You also will likely have some duds in the batch that you won’t use. If the petals are browning, look damaged, have bugs in them, or are starting to turn into dandelion fluff, that is one you should toss in the compost.

Prepping the Dandelions

Begin by washing the whole dandelion heads using a colander. After rinsing, spread them out on a towel and let them dry for a little while. They don’t need to be totally dry but you don’t want them really wet. Alternatively if you have a salad spinner you can whip them around in there a few times to get rid of the excess water.  

Once dry enough to easily handle, I like to use kitchen scissors to cut the yellow petals away from the green bits. I cut them straight into the pot I will use in the next step. The petals tend to be a little sticky, so while you can remove them with your fingers it ends up being a big mess and frankly frustrating. 

Make an Infusion

Take your pot of dandelions and place it on the stove. Pour over two quarts/eight cups of water and give them a good stir. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for about six minutes.

Alternatively, you can pour boiling water over the petals and allow them to sit for 6-12 hours and infuse that way. I’ve done both options and they seem to work equally well in terms of flavor and color. 

Once you have infused the water with the dandelions, it is time to strain them. You can do this by placing a fine sieve over a bowl and draining the petals on it. You can also scoop out the petals with a slotted spoon. Be sure to press liquid out of the petals, as you don’t want to miss out on any of your dandelion infusion!

Toss the old petals in your compost or scatter them around in your yard. They will break down in no time. 

Making the Jelly

Rinse out your sauce pot, then pour in three cups of the dandelion tea. You will have about a quart of dandelion tea left over. You can use this to make additional jelly or just drink it as a tea!

Add to the pot two tablespoons of lemon juice and one packet of powdered pectin. I haven’t used liquid pectin for this recipe before so I can’t guarantee it will work properly. Unfortunately, powdered pectin and liquid pectin cannot always be used interchangeably so check the box before attempting that. 

Stir the mixture well and bring to a full rolling boil. The next step is to add in 4 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved. 

Bring it back up to a boil,  andlet it boil for 2 1/2 minutes. 

Your jelly will not be super thick but will be a gel-like consistency when it is done. 

Some folks add a few drops of yellow food coloring to their jelly. I find you can still get a soft yellow hue without adding anything to it, but if you really want it to be a bright yellow then you certainly can. 

Water Bath Canning

Take clean, sterilized jars in either half-pint or pint size, and pour your jelly in using a canning funnel. I like to run my jars through the dishwasher on a sterilize cycle and then keep them in there until use. This keeps them sanitized and also usually still pretty hot when it comes time to add the jelly. 

Take a damp cloth and wipe the rims of your jars to be sure there is no sticky jelly on there. If there are any air bubbles inside the jelly be sure to remove them by poking them out with a butter knife. 

​Place lids on the jars and secure the ring.

Process the jars in your hot water bath canner for ten minutes. 

Allow the jars to cool at room temperature in a place that is free from drafts. Don’t fiddle with the jars. Just let them cool for about twenty-four hours before you can remove the canning ring and store them. 

Always label and date your canned goods with the month and the year. Store in place out of direct sun for up to a year. Be sure to store the jelly in the refrigerator after opening. 

More Foraging

Be sure to check out some of my other blog posts for more great options for beginning foragers and easy canning recipes!

dandelion jelly

Dandelion Jelly

Beautiful and delicious, this is a fun recipe to try out for first-time foragers.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 half-pint jars

Equipment

  • Water bath canner
  • Sterilized Pint or Half Pint Jars
  • Large Saucepan
  • Canning Lids
  • Canning Jar Lifter
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Scissors

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Quart Dandelion Petals
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Box Powdered Fruit Pectin

Instructions
 

  • Pick dandelions. You can pick the whole plant and pull off the petals later or just harvest the heads.
  • Cut or pull the petals from the green bits.
  • Put your petals in a large saucepan and add 2 quarts of water
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes
  • Strain the petals from the liquid, saving the liquid.
  • Add three cups of the liquid to the clean saucepan
  • Add 2 tablepsoons of lemon juice
  • Stir in one packet of fruit pectin, continue to stir as you bring it to a boil.
  • While stirring,add in 4 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Bring to a boil and continue stirring for 3 minutes
  • Pour the liquid jelly into canning jars and wipe the rims to be sure no jelly is on the lip of the jars.
  • Add two-piece lids and screw down hand tight.
  • Process 10 minutes in hot water bath.
  • Remove, then allow to cool in a draft-free location.
  • Label and date

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