Dandelion Syrup and Dandelion Jelly

Dandelions and waffles
Dandelion syrup and waffles

Dandelion Syrup and Dandelion Jelly

If your garden, like mine, is currently over-run with dandelions, stop a minute before uprooting them and consider how they might be used more constructively.

At this time of year, I spend a lot of my gardening time trying to clear the unwanted crop of dandelions.  They seem to pop up overnight and, where the previous evening I have a bed of beautiful and elegant spring flowers, the next morning they have been joined by a number of  shaggy yellow interlopers.  It is as if several cast members from EastEnders have stumbled onto the set of Downton Abbey!

Dandelions are actually both nutritious and delicious and all parts – roots, stems and flowers – have culinary and therapeutic uses.   The roots are traditionally used to make  tea and as a basis for Dandelion and Burdock, a beverage produced since the Middle Ages and still consumed by those who wish to reinforce their hipster credentials.  The stems and leaves can be used raw in salads or cooked, and combined with other spring greens, add a refreshing bitterness to stuffings and pies.    The flowers do not taste bitter and have a lovely, floral, spring-like flavour – matching their cheerful colouring and feisty attitude – which can be captured in syrup or jelly or used as a baking ingredient.

I have provided recipes for Dandelion Syrup and Dandelion Jelly below.  They both start off with the same process of creating a “dandelion tea” by steeping the flower petals overnight in water, and are excellent ways of using all those pesky intruders in your garden.  If you can’t beat them, eat them!

Soaking dandelion flowers
Wash your dandelions
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Dandelion Syrup

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 jam-jars 1x
  • Category: Baking ingredients
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a beautiful, fresh, floral tasting syrup, flavoured with dandelions, which can be used on waffles, ice-cream or as a base for cocktails.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 100 dandelion flowers – make sure that these have been grown somewhere that has not been treated with pesticides or fertilisers
  • 500 ml water
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash your dandelion flowers in a bowl of cold water to remove dirt and small insects.
  2. Cut the petals off the flowers just above the green sepals.  You do not want to include the green bits as these will be bitter.
  3. Put the petals into a heavy pan with 500 ml of water and heat to simmering point and then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Then place the pan containing the water and petals in the fridge overnight.
  4. The next day, strain the liquid through a sieve to remove the petals and return it to your heavy pan.
  5. Add the sugar and lemon juice and simmer gently uncovered for around half an hour until the liquid is thick and syrupy.
  6. Then transfer the syrup to a sterilised jar or bottle.

Notes

You can sterilise your jam-jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Uses for Dandelion Syrup include:  Pour over pancakes or waffles; Use to make soft drinks (one part syrup to four parts water); Use as a basis for alcoholic cocktails.

Keywords: dandelion syrup

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Dandelion honey

Dandelion Syrup and Dandelion Jelly

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 jam-jars 1x
  • Category: Baking ingredients
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is an unusual jelly which is flavoured with the fresh, floral scent of dandelions.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 150 dandelion flowers –  make sure that these have been grown somewhere that has not been treated with pesticides or fertilisers
  • 500 ml water
  • 500 g  jam sugar (this is caster sugar with added pectin)

Instructions

  1. Wash your dandelion flowers in a bowl of cold water to remove dirt and small insects.
  2. Cut the petals off the flowers just above the green sepals.  You do not want to include the green bits as these will be bitter.
  3. Put the petals into a heavy pan with 500 ml of water and heat to simmering point and then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Then place the pan containing the water and petals in the fridge overnight.
  4. The next day, strain the liquid through a sieve to remove the petals and return it to your heavy pan.
  5. Add the jam sugar and bring to the boil.  Then allow to continue boiling for 10 minutes until the setting point is reached.  (You can judge the setting point by putting a saucer in your freezer before making the jelly.  Spoon some of the jelly onto the cold saucer and leave to cool.  If the surface of the jelly crinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready.  If not, continue boiling and try again after a few more minutes).
  6. Remove from the heat and then pour into a sterilised jar.

Notes

Although preparation time is only 30 minutes, you will need to leave the mixture overnight (see step 3) to allow the flavour to infuse.

You can sterilise your jam-jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Uses for  Dandelion Jelly:  Spread on crusty buttered bread; Use as cake filling.

Keywords: dandelion jelly

Yellow, shaggy dandelions
Dandelion flowers

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