Okay, so I would say that this dandelion jam is really more of a dandelion jelly, but now I'm just being nitpicky. My lawn inspired me to give it a try (and the nice weather we had all last week cooperated very nicely, as did my dandelion-pickers); this blog gave me a starting point. When I went to purchase the pectin, I decided to attempt a low-sugar one, just for laughs. (Please note: I have NEVER attempted jam because it completely terrifies me. So, this was me out on a very long and brittle limb...)
Here's what I ended up doing:
Low-Sugar Dandelion (Jelly) Jam:
2 Cups loose-packed dandelion petals
2 Cups boiling water
Juice and zest of one large-ish lemon
1 1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 packet of powdered low-sugar pectin (I used Ball brand "No-Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin"
Get your children to behead every bright yellow dandelion in sight. Then comes the hard part: take the flowers inside and carefully pull out the yellow petals until you have two cups worth. (You can include the whitish fluffy stuff, too, but DON'T get ANY green from the leaves or sepals, or you WILL regret it. Or so I'm told. :P ) Put a movie on for the kids during this part, because it will take awhile.
When you finally have two-cups-worth, put them in a medium bowl and pour the two cups of boiling water in. Steep overnight. Next day, strain through muslin (or if you're cheap like me, a simple flour-bag towel will do), into a large sauce pan. Discard petals. Add lemon zest and juice to the pan. (I wanted mine a little "chunky", so I even threw in some of the pulp. If you prefer a smoother jam consistency, you could put the zest in with the dandelion petals the night before.) Add sugar and pectin and boil according to package directions.
There! Done! Here's what I ended up with:
And, because I was already pushing my limits with this attempt (laziness and terror holding equal sway), I did not attempt to actually can it. Just dumped it all into a big jar and have been eating it on my toast nearly every day since.
In case you are wondering, it tastes tart and lemon-y. I honestly wonder how much leaving out the dandelions would affect the taste in the long run... (Lazy.)