Liquid gold - Dandelion honey
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.
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.