2 heaping cups of fresh dandelion petals
(see note below - you'll need to gather about 4 cups whole flowers)
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup well-strained, clear lemon juice
4 cups sugar
3 oz liquid pectin (Certo)
food coloring (optional)
NOTE: Look for fully opened flowers, the bigger the better, for ease of preparation. Of course do NOT use any dandelions that have been sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides!
We'll want just the dandelion petals for this - not the whole flower head. You'll get SOME green and that's fine - but try to minimize the amount of "green" and have mainly yellow petals for your infusion. It works best if you hold the flower by the end near the stem, and trim the petals into a bowl or cup, with sharp kitchen scissors.
Pour boiling water over petals and let steep from 30 minutes to 24 hours. I infused mine for about 2 hours - until the liquid was almost room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the infusion. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Place jars and lids on rack in pan or stockpot deep enough to cover them with about two inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, keeping the jars hot until ready to fill.
To make the jelly, stir lemon juice and sugar into reserved infusion in a two-quart nonreactive or stainless steel pan. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil two minutes, skimming any foam that may rise to the surface.
At this point you can add food colouring if you want.
Ladle quickly into jars to within about 1/8 inch from the top; clean each rim and threads of the jar as it's filled, and place flat lid and ring on each before filling the next. Screw band on tightly and invert jar on tea towel for about five to 10 minutes. Jars should seal and lids should pop shut within 10 minutes as they cool. If they do not seal, you can place them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes or place in the refrigerator.
Sealed jars will last up to one year in a cool, dark place. Put any unsealed jelly in the refrigerator. it should keep about three weeks. Makes four or five half-pint jars.
NOTE: I'm told you can use this recipe to make other herb/flower jellies, such as rose, lavender, lemon balm, cinnamon, basil, violets and mint.
This recipe is also linked to...
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow
Food on Friday: Jams, Jellies and Relishes