Dandelion Jam (Cramaillotte)
365 dandelion flowers, big and fully blossomed.
1 1/2 liters of water
2 oranges + 2 lemons, untreated.
1 kilogram of white sugar.
- We rushed out to gather lots (1050 to be exact) before they turn into puff balls, leaving enough to blow and make all the necessary wishes. With the sunny weather it was very pleasant.
- Harvest the largest, most open flowers.
- Then pluck out all the yellow stems, discarding the green parts. This is easiest if done immediately after harvesting the flowers because they tend to close up. Girlfriends, children and a cup of tea make it go faster!
- Let the yellow stems dry in the sun or in a warm spot for an hour or two.
- Then slice oranges and lemons including the peels and seeds and put in a cooking pot (preferably copper) with the water and dandelion flower stems. Let simmer for 1 hour, making sure the flower stems are immersed, then filter and press, obtaining just the liquid. Add sugar and simmer again for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking the ‘jellification’ by dripping a little onto a cold plate. Do not over cook or it will turn back to a liquid state.
- Pour into small pots, put on lids and turn upside down until cooled, this makes a seal for better conservation.
- The key to this recipe is getting the jam to firm up and if you fail the first time around, which I did, it makes a delicious syrup to add to champagne, call it Dandelion-Kir Royal to celebrate Spring!
With the first days of sunny weather the dandelion flowers pop out ‘en-masse’, turning the farmhouse lawn into a glorious yellow carpet. Considered a weed, the fresh leaves make a slightly bitter salade that are extremely beneficial for your health and the flowers make a delicious, honey tasting jelly, Cramaillotte. This ancient recipe finds it’s origins from the Franche-Compte region.