The grass not currently being grazed by the sheep was, until Simon mowed it, full of dandelions, and never one to see something go to waste I decided to make dandelion jelly. Now this was not the quickest of jams to prepare but bearing in mind it was extremely cheap, I am down to my last jar of last years home-made jam and it is really delicious, I may well be making it again soon.
|Image from Wikipedia|
So if you are interested how, read on.
Ingredients:Approx 400 dandelion heads
750mls of boiling water
1kg of preserving sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Pick the dandelions when they are in full flower and dry. Carefully pull off the petals. It is best to pick a few at a time, de-petal them and then pick some more as this is rather time consuming and they wilt quite quickly. Better still, get an army of small children to do the picking for you. 400 flowers should give you about 1 litre of petals. Place these in a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring back to boil, then cool and then leave overnight in the fridge to infuse. The next day strain the liquid into a pan and discard the petals. Heat to boiling point, add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the sugar, bring back to boil then hard boil until setting point. Skim off any surface scum and pour into hot, sterilised jam jars. Cover straight away or when totally cold. Makes 5 jars.
Apparently dandelion jam or jelly is made in the French and Swiss Alps where it is sold as "Confiture de petales de pissenlit". Pissenlit is the French for dandelion meaning literally, bed wetter. All parts of the dandelion plant are edible and a quick internet search comes up with a plethora of recipes for the flowers, leaves and roots. I'm now toying with the idea of dandelion flower fritters. However if eaten in excess dandelions can live up to their french name and have diuretic properties.