Here in blighty now's the time to take advantage of the humble Dandelion; I have noticed masses of them today all their heads opened to full advantage basking in the sunshine. Time to make some Dandelion wine as per the recipe link below
I intend to make some of this at least a couple of gallon this year,but I have also seen another recipe, a Pam Corbin's recipe, that was featured on one of the River Cottage programmes that I intend to have a go at this Dandelion jelly Marmalade recipe. Never tried it before but it looks lovely and is something out of minimal ingredients i.e peels of fruit that normally get flung away and a wild plant that tends to overrun its residence once its settled. Just the sugar and the heat to pay for.
500g Apple cores and peel or chopped windfall apples
500g citrus fruit peel (unwaxed lemon orange or grapefruit) roughly chopped
100g Dandelion Petals
450g of granulated sugar for every 600ml of juice
1. Put the apple cores, citrus peel and half of the Dandelion petals into a large saucepan. Add sufficient water to cover about 1.5 litres. Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for 45-60 minutes this softens the fruit and releases the valuable pectin. Turn the fruit into a jelly bag or muslin and leave overnight to drip.
2. Measure the strained liquid and weigh 450g of sugar for every 600ml of juice. Return the juice to the pan bring to the boil and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved then boil rapidly without stirring until setting point is achieved (about 10 minutes). Test in the usual fashion. Sir in the remaining Dandelion petals.
3. Remove from the heat and stir, always going in the same direction until any surface bubbles or scum have disappeared and the petals are well distributed. Pour into clean jam jars and seal immediately with lids.
4. If the Dandelion petals rise to the surface wait until the jelly has cooled a little and is beginning to set and then give the jar a quick swivel you will find the petals will redistribute and stay put throughout the jelly.
The easiest way to remove the Dandelion petals is to snip off just the yellow bits with scissors leaving the lower white bits attached to the calyx.