The River Cottage gang inspired me to try this jam recipe. I am surrounded by those yellow beauties but most of them grow along the A3 and I don’t fancy petrol infused jam so I went for a stroll in Wimbledon Common. I needed 100 heads, it started very well with 50 heads in one spot but then as I progressed into the woods they became more and more scarce. I decided I only needed 70, the rest would be easily picked in my own garden. I was about to finish my loop when I came across a lot of the flowers and my jam making looked more promising.
Last Christmas my mother-in-law got me a jam making set and a recipe book, I was very eager to try it all out.
Dandelion doesn’t have enough pectin to set on its own so the first step is to make a stock. This included an over ripe pear, a couple of oranges, a lemon, an apple, some grapes and half of the dandelion petals. It simmered for about an hour and then got strained. What you end up with is yellowy cloudy liquid.
Then you add 750g of sugar and cook it till it starts to set. Add rest of the petals and cook bit more. It was bit too sweet for my liking but don’t judge the taste when the jam is hot. I think next time I would reduce the amount of sugar by 100-150g.
The jam is definitely an interesting one and it looks beautiful. What I am really looking forward to later this year is all the brambles the Common has got to offer!