There are other recipes for dandelion jelly floating around the interwebs, but I worked this one out because it uses a homemade pectin stock, which is pretty cool. The recipe is based on the Tea Jelly recipe in Canning for a New Generation, by Lianna Krissoff. It uses homemade fruit pectin made from granny smith apples.
For the sake of brevity, I will cut right to the recipe, and save a treatise on preparing the flowers for another post. Just know in advance that you need to separate the flower petals from the small green leaves on the back side of the flower. It's tedious, but not quite as bad as it sounds.
This is a pretty simple recipe. The last time I made jams and jellies was when I was nine or ten and "helping" my mom. Mostly by getting underfoot. So I was delighted that this went as well as it did and came together so easily.
The taste of the finished jelly reminds me of honey. I think the light apple flavor of the stock goes really well in this case. It isn't overpowering and it adds a nice dimension to the jelly.
2 or 3 cups fresh dandelion petals
2 1/4 cups boiling water
3 cups of homemade green apple pectin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (strained)
3 1/4 cups sugar
Makes 3 half pint jars, and can be water bath canned.
Have sterilized jars, lids, and rings ready to go.
To make the jelly:
Put the petals into a heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover the bowl with a plate and steep for ten minutes, or until the petals have lost most of their color.
Pour the dandelion petal brew through a strainer into a six to eight quart pan. Add the green apple pectin, lemon juice and sugar to the petal water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil over and make a mess.
Cook until the temp reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit (use a candy thermometer to check).
Ladle into sterilized jars, lid up, and water bath process for five minutes. Also, enjoy the jelly left in the bottom of the pot that the ladle couldn't get- bread or crackers not required, but a large serving spoon is recommended because the pot will probably still be very hot. :)