Saturday, 28 May 2011

sugar + spring

What do you get when you blend sugar + spring? Yummy goodness!

foraging along sidewalks
One day after school, we hunted along the sidewalk paths for violets and dandelions. We wanted to make spring flower jam and jelly and we decided on 2 recipes: violet jam and dandelion jelly. 

Violet Jam

I adapted this recipe to suit my low-maintenance purposes. Here's what I did:

3/4 cup to 1 cup loosely packed violet blossoms
1 cup water
3 T lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 package liquid pectin

Blend violets, 1/2 cup water, and lemon juice. Heat 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, honey, and sugar in a saucepan. When warm, add pectin and stir until mixed well. Add violet mixture, then bring to a boil. Stir constantly for about two minutes. Pour into prepared jars to set. Don't have to bother canning - just eat, refrigerate, or freeze. Eat with soft goat cheese or cream cheese on good crackers, like these ones. Makes  3-4 125 ml jars of jam.

Dandelion Jelly

4 cups whole dandelion flowers (not stems)
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar
3 oz / 85 ml liquid pectin
yellow food colouring (optional)

Pick open, yellow flowers, snipping off the stems. Collect about 4 cups whole dandelion flowers. Snip off the yellow parts into a bowl (you'll get a bit of green - that's ok). Pour 2 cups boiling water over the yellow snips and let it steep for 1 hour or overnight. Strain through a fine sieve or coffee filter, reserving the dandelion infusion. Pour the infusion into a large pot, then stir in lemon juice and sugar. Cook on high; bring to a full rolling boil. Add liquid pectin and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Add food colouring to make it look more yellow. I used 15 drops because 15 seemed like a nice number. Ladle quickly into prepared hot jars. Place warm lids and bands on before filling the next jar. Screw band on tightly, then flip jar upside down for 5 to 10 minutes to seal. If any jars don't seal, process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, eat right away, or put in fridge or freezer. Makes 9 small 125 ml jars of goodness. Yummy on bagels.

Happy spring to you!


  1. Oh my goodness - that's a creative breakfast (or lunch :P?) plate!! Yummy jelly recipe. I'd never even HEARD of dandelion jelly until my neighbor introduced the idea a couple of years ago. Growing up on a farm, dandelions were "weeds" and that was it. Nothing more ;). Looks delicious!

  2. Yes - they can be pests! I saw the dandelion jelly in a bakery near us - Old Order Mennonite - and thought it would be fun to try our own this year. One benefit is the cheap ingredients!