The grass is a awash with dandelions and has been for a few months now. Dandelions are an important source of nectar for bees early on in the season, so try to avoid picking them until other flowers are available. Now is the perfect time to give this spring time recipe a go.
– One small trug full or 100g of dandelion petals
– 100g caster sugar
– 250g pectin sugar
– One orange, sliced
– One lemon, sliced
The ingredients and method will give you a dandelion honey that is light and golden, with hints of marmalade and flora and the consistency of a runny honey.
When foraging for dandelions, try not to take more than a couple of flower heads from one cluster. Also, avoid foraging in any areas that would have been sprayed with weed killer and have a high areas of traffic.
Firstly, you will want to rinse the dandelion heads and then separate the petals from the green base. The greenery can add a bitter taste to your honey. This isn’t an integral step, so you can skip it if you’re short on time.
Next, place your petals in a pan with one litre of water, the lemon and the orange. Let this simmer away for around half an hour. Next, you will want to add your sugar. It doesn’t matter which sugar you put in first, but make sure that you put it in the pan in small increments to ensure that it will dissolve. Bring this to the boil for around 5 minutes, constantly stirring whilst doing so. Once you have boiled the mixture, cover your pan with a muslin cloth and allow it to steep overnight.
Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and place the liquid back in the pan. You’ll now want to reduce the mixture down to around half, or until it thickens. Start to bring the mixture to the boil, stirring as you do so. You will need to pay constant attention to your mixture whilst you are doing this to avoid burning any of the sugar granules. This may take a little while, so be patient.
Once you are happy with the consistency of your mixture take it off the boil an let it stand for around 10 minutes. Pour into your sterilised jars and let it rest overnight.
You can adjust this recipe to your taste. The orange gives you a slight marmalade twang, if you would prefer not to have this then just omit the orange and replace it with a lemon. You could also double the amount of dandelion petals if you want a more floral flavour to your dandelion honey.