1. Food

How to Make Dandelion "Honey"

By

Dandelions are as beloved among Scandinavians as they are among American advocates of foraging. As powerful a token of Spring, of hope, and of rebirth after the long Nordic winters as they are in Suzanne Collins' wonderful Hunger Games series, the flowers provide a delicate base for this floral "honey." Enjoy it with homemade Icelandic "Thunder Bread" or as a topping for breakfast porridge.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of dandelion petals (petals only - remove the stems and bitter green core and sepals)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large lemon or orange (use what you have on hand), sliced
  • 3 cups sugar

Preparation:

Place the dandelion petals, the water, and the citrus slices in a large pot, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a fast simmer, and maintain this simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and allow to steep overnight.

The next day, line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the dandelion infusion through it, pressing with a potato masher to release as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.

Return the dandelion infusion to the pot, stir in the sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer (low to medium-low heat). Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 hours, until the "honey" darkens to an amber tint and has thickened to the consistency of honey.

Remove from the heat, then pour into sanitized jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

How to Harvest and Prepare Dandelion Blossoms...

When harvesting blossoms for use in dandelion honey or dandelion jam, make sure that you are collecting the flowers from a location that you know is pesticide-free and is away from roadsides. To prepare the petals for use, simply grasp the green core and sepals in one hand, and twist the petals firmly ... they should fall away easily from the core (alternatively, you can use a kitchen shears and cut the petals off the sepals; I actually find this to be more tedious - and wasteful - than just separating them by hand).

Did you know that ...

  • The Swedish word for "dandelion" is maskros, "worm-rose." In Norway it is called løvetann, in Iceland, fífillinn, in Finland, voikukka, and in Denmark, mælkebøtte ("milk pot").

Please follow me as I explore the latest trends and developments in the exciting New Nordic Cooking Movement on Twitter ~ Friend me and let's share favorite Scandinavian recipes and cooking tips on Facebook!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.