Dandelion flower are lovely to use in a number of ways. You can add them to honey to make Dandelion honey. You can add them to butter. You can add them to dough and make cakes with them or mini doughnuts. You can use them to make Tea or in meat glaze.
The key to really enjoying this amazing flower in so many ways is the careful prep work that needs to be done to harvest the flowers. Far to often folks will tell me they tried them and found them bitter.. that is because they often dip the whole flower in batter and fry it as that seems to be one of the most popular things you will find on the net as a way to try them.
The problem with this is that green is left on the flower itself and that is where that bitterness comes in. It certainly will not hurt you in any way.. after all we can and do eat the leaves as greens, fresh when young an tender and blanched when older. That is the issue by the time the plants are in full flower, the greens are in full mature stage and therefor if you were going to use them, you would be at the blanch stage.
So in order to enjoy the rich and full bodied taste with its sweetness in regard to the flowers they must be prepared properly, it does take time but its not that bad as long as you are working with nice big flowers, it adds up fast in the bowl.
Step one -Pick Flowers, if possable pick in the morning but after the dew has come off, you want the flowers open but still fairly tight together, if you pick in the heat of the afternoon, they will be more open and just a touch harder to work with, This photo shows what I consider a perfect picking flower. After picking let them sit for ten or twenty min to help get the bugs out.
Now the more green you have, the more undertone of bitters to the dish you will get, so here is me showing how i pull the flower part out and leave the rest behind.
lovely pile of sweet flower petals waiting to be made into syrup, jelly, mock honey or in this case, put into a jar of honey itself for later use.
Leaving you with a mass of lovely flowers bits..
Fill a glass jar, be it either pint or quart, boil your kettle and pour boiling water over the flowers, push the top ones down with a spoon and allow to sit overnight (you can do it for a min of four hours and go but I prefer to do it, cool and then store it in the fridge overnight) I strain the flowers out the next morning..
Measure your liquid, then get out your Powdered Certo box, find your basic Jelly Recipe and follow the amounts given. Please use the powdered Certo -not the liquid kind.
The second way to make it is to make a simple syrup, which is one cup of sugar to each cup of flower water, bring to a boil, simmer at the boil a min of 3 min.
Follow all regular canning rules, clean your jars, heat your jars, fill with just boiling syrup, clean the lip, put the lid and ring on, just to finger tight and then water bath can for 10 min before cooling and storing them.
The syrup works in many way, can be used to make a lovely flower tea, can be used in bases for salad dressings or used for meat glazes. This post is a mix up of three older posts on this very subject. I re-used photos from a number of other years. I am sad to say that its to early here on the farm for flowers yet but I know that many other places will have their lovely first spring flowers to use.
I will be doing second follow up post of how to make Dandelion flower Fritter Balls.. Enjoy exploring this “amazing” weed in your kitchen 🙂
This year I’m getting bees – so will be leaving the dandelions for them. I usually make a gallon of dandelion wine (any online recipe will do) and then when I cook down my chicken carcasses for stock – I toss a quart in while boiling them. I think it helps leach every last bit of good out of the bones. 😊
They do make great wine, I have never thought to add wine to stock, I do add vinager which lets face it, is not that far off 🙂 I do it to help get everyone out of the bones as well. I can only imagine how amazing that flavour would work with chicken! Congrats on getting Bee’s this year!
Thanks – excited for the new homestead venture.
You’re right about the dandelion wine – it’s not something I’d drink – but yes – stellar flavour in the stock.