Dandelion Jelly Recipe
It’s dandelion season! Turn those yellow invaders into a spreadable masterpiece, dandelion jelly. Most people think of dandelions as a nuisance, but this recipe will show you how to embrace this hearty and hard-to-kill plant into something truly magical… dandelion jelly!
Dandelion Jam Benefits
Declaring war on dandelions is so much more satisfying when you’re eating them for breakfast. Victory is as sweet as honey (which is what dandelion jelly tastes like)! As a bonus to winning the war, eating dandelions has been shown to have health benefits. These benefits include improvement in digestion, liver, and immune system. You can learn more about the health benefits of dandelions, and how to harness this wild nutrient in this article.
Ingredients for Jelly with Dandelion Flowers
- Fresh dandelion blossoms (because who needs a weed-free lawn?)
- Boiling water (that’s right, hot water is essential!)
- Sugar (it’s jelly, not a salad, so don’t skimp on the sweetness)
- Lemon juice (for that much-needed zing)
- Pectin (because it’s the unsung hero here)
- A pinch of patience (you’ll need it)
Equipment Needed to Make Dandelion Jam
- 10 Half-pint Mason Jars and lids (or 20 Jelly jars) (Amazon affiliate link)
- Water bath canner (Amazon affiliate link)
- Canning tongs, funnel, and de-bubbler (Amazon affiliate link)
- Half-gallon Jar (Amazon affiliate link)
- Candy thermometer (optional) (Amazon affiliate link)
How to Make Dandelion Jelly
Use the different portion sizes to make (located next to the ingredients list):
- 0.5x for 10 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 1x for 10 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 20 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 2x for 10 pint jars (16 ounce), or 20 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 40 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 3x for 10 wide mouth pint and a half jars (24 ounce), or 30 half-pint jars (8 ounce), or 60 jelly jars (4 ounce)
- 4x for 10 quart jars (32 ounce), 13 wide mouth pint and a half jars (24 ounce), or 20 pint jars (16 ounce), or 40 half-pint jars (8 ounce)
- 4 cups Dandelion petals (about 50 blossoms per cup)
- 8 cups Water
- 8 cups Sugar
- ¼ cup Lemon juice
- 2 boxes Pectin
- Prepare dandelion blossoms by cutting off the bottom green portion of the dandelion blossom. Discard the green base of the blossom, and keep the petals in a half gallon mason jar.4 cups Dandelion petals
- Heat the water to a boil, and pour over the dandelion petals in the jar. Allow the jar to cool, and then place the jar in the refrigerator overnight. This will steep the dandelion tea.8 cups Water
- Clean and sterilize the jars, lids, and rings for canning. Use a sink full of extremely hot water, or you can run them through the dishwasher.
- Measure the amount of water needed in the water bath canner by filling the jars with water, and placing them in the water bath canner on the rack. Fill the water bath canner until the jars are completely submerged in water, giving an extra inch of water for evaporation. Pull the full jars of water out, and start heating the canner with the lid on.
- After the dandelion tea as steeped overnight, strain the dandelion tea of the flowers, and pour the dandelion tea into a large pot. Add lemon juice and pectin to the pot of dandelion tea, and bring the mix to a boil.¼ cup Lemon juice, 2 boxes Pectin
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the sugar. Bring the mixture back to a boil for 1 minute. If you have a candy thermometer, try to boil the jelly until it reaches 220°F. This will help the jelly to set nicely (make sure the candy thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot).8 cups Sugar
- Turn off the heat, and remove lemons if applicable. Place the funnel on the jar, and ladel the dandelion jelly into the canning jars, leaving ¼ inch to ½ inch of headspace. Clean the brim of the mason jars, apply the lids, and finger tigthen the rings. (Imagine tightening the lids for a 3 year old to open.)
- Process the dandelion jelly for 10 minutes in ½ pint or pint jars, in a boiling water bath canner, adjusting the time as needed for altitude. (Use the rack, and be sure that the boiling water covers the jars.)
- Remove the jars with canning tongs, and place them on a towel on the counter to let them cool.
- Leave the jars to seal until tomorrow. Don't touch them, just let them do their thing. (You'll hear the seals popping almost immediately, but leave them alone until they cool.)
- The next day, you can remove the rings. Check the seals by lifting the jar by just the lid (with the ring removed). If the seal holds the lid to the jar, it is good for storage. Store at room temperature for up to 18 months without the rings, and do not set anything on top of the lid (this can affect the seal).
Substitute Ingredients for Dandelion Jelly
- Dandelion jelly without pectin: Lemons are naturally high in pectin, so you can substitute 6 lemons for the 1/4 cup of lemon juice and pectin. Squeeze the juice out, and boil the skins and seeds in cheesecloth.
- Dandelion jelly with Sure Jell: Be sure to purchase the appropriate type of Sure Jell pectin. There’s the original Sure Jell, low-sugar Sure Jell, and MCP. Many recipes default to the original Sure Jell pectin. For those who want to reduce the amount of sugar in their recipes, the low-sugar Sure Jell is REQUIRED. MCP is a different type of pectin that usually requires lemon juice in the recipe, in order for the jelly or jam to set. Many people prefer the taste and texture of MCP over the original Sure Jell.
- No sugar dandelion jelly: Replace 4 cups of sugar with 3 cups of honey, increase 1/4 cup of lemon juice to 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and replace 2 boxes of powdered pectin with 3 tablespoons of Pomona’s Pectin (Amazon affiliate link).