Any gardener sees dandelions as a complete pest, they have massive roots, pop up everywhere and it seems no matter what you do you never quite get rid of them! I do pull them up I have to say and my tortoise and chickens love the leaves however I have a lovely recipe that might make you think twice about getting rid of every single dandelion, after tasting this honey it may even sway you to build yourself a raised bed simply for your dandelions. However I wouldn’t advocate this because I doubt there will ever be a shortage on dandelions!
The best thing about this recipe is I got my kids involved. They loved going round the allotment searching for dandelions and competing with each other on who could pick the most. So give your kids a bucket each, set them off on the dandelion hunt and they will enjoy themselves for ages, in fact mine asked when we went for a walk the other day to the park if they could take their buckets to collect dandelions to make honey for their toast in the morning. The only down side the quantities I have stated will only make about one jar but this time of year there are so many dandelions just increase the quantities of everything and make more. I have a massive jam saucepan and I can get a yield of about 6-8 jars in there!
So here goes:
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
- 4 cups of dandelion petals
- 4 cups water
- 3 thick slices lemon
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half
- 2 1/4 cups of jam sugar (you can use granulated sugar however I find jam sugar sets better)
Get a large heavy based saucepan and put in the petals, water, lemon slices and the vanilla bean (if doubling/tripling etc up the recipe then adjust all ingredients where necessary. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, Remove from heat and allow to steep for 6 hours. Again to get my kids involved the little ones put all the ingredients in and my older one stirs the mixture whilst it is simmering.
Strain the dandelion tea through a muslin and compost the dandelions. Put the liquid back in a heavy saucepan and bring to a low boil, add the sugar gradually whilst stirring until all sugar is dissolved, bring back to a rolling boil and then lower heat and simmer until it has a syrupy consistency,
Delicious warm on toast