Dandelion flowers are one of the first flowers of spring. Although they are usually considered weeds, dandelions are edible and offer a ton of benefits. The flowers produce both pollen and nectar, perfect for pollinators in the spring and also provide a sweet, honey-like flavor that can be made into dandelion flower jelly.
How to Make Dandelion Flower Jelly
I love the flavor of this dandelion jelly, it tastes like lemon and honey and is great on homemade bread with freshly churned butter. It’s a great option for a homemade gift, and is great for spring.
What Ingredients You Will Need
Harvesting Dandelion Flowers
Dandelion flowers should be harvested at full bloom. If the flowers are not fully blossoming, or are beginning to wilt you won’t get as much flavor.
This is a great job for children! My 4 children love picking the dandelion flowers in the spring so that we can enjoy this delicious honey flavored treat on freshly baked bread.
When foraging for dandelions, it’s important to harvest flowers that have not been treated with any chemicals or pesticides. Stay away from flowers on the side of the road, or dandelions that grow in lawns.
Preparing Your Dandelions
Preparing your dandelion flowers for consumption is simple. Remove the green stem and and leaves from the dandelions. The green portion of the dandelions are edible, but they have a bitter flavor and will give your jelly a bitter taste.
Harvest 2 cups of dandelion flowers for this recipe.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
Making dandelion tea is essential to making dandelion jelly. Once you have removed the green from the flowers and rinsed your flowers off with cold water to remove dirt and any bugs, place your dandelion flowers in a large mason jar.
Pour 4 cups of boiling water over your 2 cups of dandelion flowers. Allow the dandelion tea to steep overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, your tea should be a beautiful light yellow color. If you left too much green on the flowers, it may have a green color to it.
Making Dandelion Jelly
After your dandelion flowers have had time to steep, you will need to strain the dandelion tea from the flowers. Make sure to press the flowers against the strainer and squeeze the liquid from the flowers and that floral honey flavor from the dandelions.
The tea will have a grass-like smell to it, but will not taste like grass once the sugar and lemon juice are added! You will need 3 1/2 cups of dandelion tea for this recipe.
In a large pot, pour the dandelion tea, 1 box of sure-gel pectin and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Then mix until all are combined. Heat the mixture to a boil. At this point you will add in 4 cups of sugar and allow the pot to get to a hard, rolling boil.
The dandelion mixture will need to boil for 2 minutes. The mixture will get frothy and begin to rise, it will look like it may boil over. That’s why it’s so important to use a large pot for making jellies and jams. Stir the mixture often so that the bottom doesn’t scald and the mixture doesn’t overflow. You can use a spoon to remove the foam, if needed.
Once you have allowed the mixture to boil hard for two minutes, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool and stop boiling. Then ladle into prepared mason jars.
Water-Bath Canning Dandelion Jelly
While you are boiling your dandelion jelly, begin to prepare mason jars for canning. This recipe will make about 5 – half pint jars.
Once sterilized, ladle the prepared jelly into your mason jars. Make sure you have 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of your mason jars and screw on the tops.
In your canning pot, process the jelly for 10 minutes. Make sure to adjust for altitude, adding 1 minutes for every 1000 feet above sea level. For instance: I am at 3500 ft., so I will process for about 14 minutes.
After the dandelion jelly has been processed, allow the jelly to cool in the jars to room temperature. The dandelion jelly should take no longer than 24 hrs to fully set and gel.
If any lids do not seal, place them in the refrigerator and enjoy within 14 days. If you need more help with canning, be sure to check out my post on water-bath canning for beginners.
What If Your Jelly Doesn’t Set?
If your jelly has not set within 24 hours of being processed, you may have to process and water bath can your jelly again. Or, feel free to use the dandelion mixture you processed as syrup instead of jelly.
Want More Canning Recipes?
Check out these delicious recipes perfect for preserving your own food and enjoying all year long.
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Dandelion Flower Jelly
Sweet and delicious dandelion jelly recipe is the perfect homemade recipe for spring.
- 2 cups Dandelion Flowers without the stems or any green parts
- 4 cups Boiling Water
- 1 Pkg Sure-Gel Pectin about 4 tbsp powdered pectin - not the low sugar variety
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 4 cups Sugar
With the 2 cups of freshly harvested dandelion flowers, pour boiling water and allow the dandelion tea to steep. This is best done overnight as it allows the dandelion flavor to infuse into the water.
In the morning, strain the flowers from the tea. Be sure to squeeze the flowers to get the dandelion tea out of the flowers.
You should have at least 3 1/2 cups of dandelion tea. If you don't have enough, add a bit of water to make sure there is enough. If you have too much, pour a bit out to have 3 1/2 cups.
In a large stock pot, heat the lemon juice, dandelion tea and pectin to a boil.
Once it gets to a boil, add in all the sugar at once and stir until it all dissolves.
Allow the mixture to get to a hard, rolling boil and stir occasionally enough to keep the bottom from scalding. There will be a lot of foam, you can remove some with a spoon if needed.
Boil at a hard, rolling boil for 1 minute, then turn the burner off and allow the dandelion jelly to stop boiling.
Ladle into prepared half-pint jars and process in your water-bath canner for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude)
Once processed, allow the jelly to sit for 24 hours to give it time to set and the lids to seal. Any jars with lids that don't seal should be refrigerated and eaten within 2 weeks.
Processed jelly can be stored on the shelf for up to 18 months. If jelly does not set, you can re-process or use it a syrup instead.