Last week I promised you to post the recipe of the dandelion jam if it was a succes. Well we tried it this morning and it was a big succes! The recipe will be for dandelion syrup though, not for dandelion jam because it turned out more like syrup in the end. Also based on the taste we thought it would be a great companion for goats cheese on a cheese platter. But it also tastes great just by itself on a piece of bread.
I must say that you can find tons of different recipes for converting dandelions into jam or syrup. This is how I made it based on what I still had in the cupboard (the amount of confiture sugar mostly). Depending on how much you want to make or how much flowers you found, you can adjust all the amounts. You can also play a bit with the sugar you use, you might want to use normal sugar for example.
What do you need:
- dandelion flowers (as much as you can find, but somewhere between 300-500)
- 1 lemon (sliced)
- 1 orange (sliced)
- +/- 400 gr confiture sugar (for jam) or 400 gr plain sugar (for syrup)
- 0,7 L water
- clean jar & lid
- optional: fresh thyme or rosemary
What to do:
Remove the stems and all the green including the heart of the flower from the yellow petals till you only have yellow petals left and let the ants crawl out of the petals. ;) It’s might take you a really long time to do this, so I advise you to do this in a group while chatting, or putting your favorite movie on, or tricking your children into helping you. When you have done this, place the petals on a tea towel in the sun to dry for an hour or so. Supposedly it will activate the sugars in the petals. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I just followed this advise. Also people advise not to wash the petals to keep the taste.
In the meantime you can slice the lemon and the orange. When all is done, you can place the water, petals, lemon and orange in a big pan, ideally you will use a copper pan to make the jam/syrup, but if you don’t have one, you can just use a pan (the non teflon kind). Let the mix cook on a low temperature for 20 minutes. Take it of the heat, let it cool down and place a tea towel on top of the pan and let it rest for 24h.
The next day take a fine strainer (finer than the one above) or a piece of cheesecloth and strain the water from the mix. You can throw the mix (petals, lemon, orange) away. Heat the watery syrup that you now have and add the confiture sugar, heat it on a low temperature. It isn’t supposed to cook, you might burn the sugar. Stir ones in a while with a non wooden and non plastic spoon. Now this step is kind of strange, for me it took around 2 hours to go from watery syrup to nice and sticky syrup. Other recipes say that people do this in 15 minutes. I don’t know what’s the difference, but whatever you do don’t just follow the amount of minutes, but follow the process. Take a clean spoon (not a wooden or plastic one) and dip it, take it out, let it cool down for a few minutes and see if you like the consistency. If you like it, you are ready if it’s too watery, keep it on the heat.
In the meantime you can prepare your jar(s). You have to disinfect the jars before you use them. I used the cooking in water method, but you can also use the oven method. Place them when you are done with their “feet” in the water so that they are kept warm when you pour the warm syrup in the jars (if they are cold they might burst).
So now you are all set, when the syrup is ready, take it off the heat, pour it in the jars slowly as full as possible. take the jar out of the water (with some gloves to protect you against the heat). Let it cool down for only a short period, till it stops damping and then close the jar with the disinfected lid. Close it tightly, turn it upside down and let it cool down. A few hours later when it’s cooled down you can place a sticker on the jar with what’s in it and when you made it.
And then it’s ready for consumption, whenever you want it. Depending on how sugary you made it you can keep the jar when it’s unopened for a few months. If you had some leftover while filling the jars (like I had) that you just placed in a small cup to use on short term, you can keep it for a week or two. We are keeping our jar for july to taste with all the people that will be visiting us and used the leftover part during Sundays brunch today. It was really nice, you will want to know how it tasted, as you will read everywhere it tastes a bit like honey yet different and has the consistency of syrup. For the amount of syrup you get it’s a lot of work, but I’m pretty sure I’ll do this again next year. It was definitely worth the experience. Please let me know if it works out for you if you try. I would love to know!
Stay tuned for the capers recipe from the dandelion I promised you. And since I’m on a roll with these wild flowers, I’ll share a garlic mustard wild herb recipe with you after that. We picked them today fresh from the woods.