This recipe has a story! When we visited France at Easter they were selling dandelion leaves (pissenlit in French – wet the bed!) on the markets. The French use them in a salad with other leaves and small pieces of fried bacon with a dressing at this time of year. They have diuretic properties and help ‘spring clean’ the system.
When we came back from France I was searching the internet for recipes with dandelions and found one for this jam. I was talking to a friend who said she probably had the amount needed in flower on her lawn. So, off she went with a pair of scissors and a plastic bag – luckily the neighbours didn’t get her certified for cutting flower heads with nail scissors and counting them into a bag on her hands and knees on the front lawn of her house!!
I have adjusted the original recipe slightly. It tastes wonderful on toast or plain cake.
400 dandelion flower heads
1 litre water
1 orange sliced thinly
1 lemon sliced thinly
1 small cinnamon stick (optional)
800g granulated sugar
- Pick the dandelion flowers being careful not to include any of the stalks as this can give a bitter taste to the jam
- Ensure they do not have any insects in them
- Place them in a pan with the sliced oranges and lemons, water and cinnamon stick
- Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 1 hour. During this time press the flowers down into the water often with a wooden spoon
- Strain the hot fluid carefully through a muslin cloth. Return the fluid to the pan and discard the lower pulp.
- Add the sugar and allow to dissolve before bringing to the boil. Simmer on a medium heat for about 1 hour until the jam has reached a setting point (test by spooning a tiny amount onto a cold saucer and seeing if it becomes jam like after 30 seconds). The finished consistency and colour will be like thick honey.
- When setting point has been reached allow to cool slightly before pouring into sterilised glass jars.
- When cool, label and cover