Liquid gold - Dandelion honey

Those dandelions are everywhere and I've had a nagging thought that last year I wanted to make something from them, but was too late to collect the flowers.  And couldn't remember what it was.  That happens to me a lot and it's got nothing to do with age.  It's just the way I am.  Feeling rather frustrated that I hadn't written anything down, I kept scouting for the best places to pick the flowers and pray for some sun so that I could pick them fully open.  The weather this spring has been really dismal, but things are looking up.  We saw double digits yesterday - 13C.  This is what I've been reduced to. By now I'm grateful if the temperature climbs above 10C (that's about 50F) and ecstatic if the sun peeps from behind a cloud.

Then it came to me.  Dandelion honey!  I read about it somewhere (didn't write it down) and I knew that I had to try that.  It just sounded so jummy to me.  The only trouble was that I imagined that it would require so many flowers that it would take forever to collect them.  But when I was collecting the flowers to make a dye from them the other day I knew that it takes no time at all.  And it's pleasurable, too.

I had to look for a recipe again, since I hadn't written anything down.  Always write things down.  I know this.  But I still don't!  Thankfully, I found this really good recipe with step by step photos on a German blog: Heilkraeuter.  The recipe is very easy, but it takes some time to make mostly because it needs to simmer for a long while.

Dandelion honey

3 handfuls of Dandelion flowers
1 liter water / That's just over a quart
1 kilo sugar / 35 oz sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon (the original recipe give 1/2, but I like lemons so I used it all)

Wash the flowers quickly and gently in cold water.  Pour the water over the flowers and let it stand for about 2 hours (or longer, it's no biggie).  Bring to boil and then turn of the heat and let cool slowly overnight.
Sieve the flowers from the water and discard (or even better, put on the compost heap).  In a saucepan, pour the sugar into the flower water and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer until it reaches a syrup stage (110 C / 230 F).  This took me 3 hours, but the time may vary depending on the temperature.  Pour into sterilized jars.
Use the syrup as you would use honey.

I made another batch that I heated a little less, maybe slightly over 100C / 210F, to make a more runny honey.  The first one can be used as a spread on bread, the second is better for my yoghurt.

It tastes remarkably like honey, sweet and flowery with a hint of lemon.  And it's vegan.

This German recipe uses the flowers whole, with the green sepals.  I have seen some recipes that say you should only use the yellow petals and therefore you need to spend a lot of time pulling away all the green stuff, because it is bitter.  This isn't true.  I tasted it and I have also tasted both batches that I made and they are very far from bitter.  The sepals taste nothing like the leaves.  So I wouldn't recommend that anyone wastes time on that.  But have a go at making the honey, it's really good.
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Comments

  1. Wow, I didn't know you could make honey with Dandelions. Sounds delicious though!! =)

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  2. Thank you for the recipe!! Every year I want to gather dandelions to eat in my salad the way my grandmother use to but everything is so dirty around here in the city I'm afraid of what might be on the dandelions :(

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  3. This looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Michelle

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  4. sounds lovely, how would you eat it? what with?

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  5. Nitya - I know! It's just so neat.

    Michelle - Well, I figure that since I breathe the air every day and I grow vegetables that I eat, the dandelions should be fine. Admittedly I live in a fairly small city and I pick them close to my allotment so they are probably fine.

    Twoblooms... /Michelle- You're welcome

    Bobbins and... - Well, I use it to sweeten the yoghurt. Some people use honey on their bread instead of jam and some use honey to sweeten tea. So it's a good substitute for honey and it's good fun to make too.

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