We have had a week of amazing sunshine. To celebrate, dandelion flowers have put on their best colours and are gleaming under clear sky.
Dandelion jelly or cramaillote originated in France. Each spring, thousands of dandelions are turned into a golden jelly and are sold at farmer’s market around the country. Dandelion jelly has a rich amber colour with a pleasant taste reminiscent of honey. We don’t need to add any additional flavour to complement the cramaillote, dandelion flowers bring enough character and depth on their own.
Dandelion jelly is delicious on a thick slice of rustic potato bread with fresh butter. It also pairs well with goat’s cheeses, soft or hard.
While gathering our sun hats and wicker basket to harvest the dandelion flowers, we shall not forget to bring a bottle of freshly made soda with a handcrafted fruit syrup.
Orange and Mint Soda
Here’s my favourite recipe to a perfect picnic.
Orange and Mint Syrup
3-4 large oranges ~ I used Cara Cara, Blood orange or Mandarin would be delicious
2 cups cane sugar
2 cups water
4 tablespoons lemon juice ~ I used 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon and 1 tablespoon lemon
3 sprigs fresh mint
1. Scrub and zest the oranges.
Juice them to equal 2 cups juice. Remove any seeds.
2. In a non reactive large saucepan, place the orange zest and their juice, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat, add mint and infuse for 2 hours.
4. Pour the mixture through a sieve, jelly bag or double layers of cheesecloth into a mixing bowl. (An old t-shirt also works well)
5. Pour the mixture into a jar or bottle and let cool.Keeps in airtight container in the fridge for 10 days and 6 months in the freezer.
To use: Two tablespoons mixed in a large glass of bubbly water, chilled or over ice.