Foraged Dandelion Marmalade
The dandelion’s cheery bright yellow flowers are some of the first we see to come out in spring and this tells us that warmer weather and longer days are on the way. While it may not be a favourite wildflower of the gardener, and may be one of the first plants to spring to mind when you hear the word ‘weed’, you cannot but admire it’s ability to grow anywhere.
It is a fantastic source of food for our bees and other pollinators when there is little else available for them in spring.
The plant has many edible uses including using the young leaves and petals in salads and even roasting the roots to make a drink similar to coffee.
The Garden team at Airfield have even grown dandelions in the food production garden in order to harvest the leaves and flowers in the same way as other salad crops.
1 cooking apple peeled, cored and cut into chunks (can use 2 eating apples instead)
2 cups of dandelion heads
Juice of 1 lemon
250g granulated sugar
200ml boiling water
Put the apple chunks in a pan with the hot water and all of the dandelion flower heads except for two- with green parts left on.
Simmer on heat for 10 mins.
Strain the mixture through a sieve using the back of a spoon to push as much through as possible.
Add the strained liquid back to the pan and add the lemon juice and sugar.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Remove the petals from the remaining flower heads and discard the green parts.
When the sugar has completely dissolved add the dandelion petals.
Boil vigorously until the setting point (105 degrees Celcius) is reached.
Put into a sterilised jam jar and allow to set.