It is called honey, jam, jelly or dandelion cramaillotte: this specialty, coming straight from Franche-Comté, is prepared with, as the name suggests, dandelion flowers. This perennial is found in most gardens and meadows in France because it adapts to all kinds of climatic conditions. If you have some in your garden, don’t hesitate any longer and start making this sweet treat that is both gourmet and delicious.
Where can you pick your dandelions?
Be careful not to pick your dandelions just everywhere. Beware of plants near roads, paths and fields: you will avoid picking up flowers that have come into contact with urine, exhaust fumes or pesticides. For the rules regarding wild harvesting, it is important to follow certain principles, as the specialized site Le Chemin de la Nature reminds us:
- make sure you have correctly identified the plant in question,
- do not uproot the plant,
- leave more than two thirds of the station,
- leave plants attacked by insects or fungi,
- check if harvesting is legal on the chosen land: the map of public forest plots is available at this link,
- Ask the owner of his own plot whether you can pick on his land and under what conditions.
When Should You Pick Your Dandelion Flowers?
Once you’ve found your dandelions, pick them in the afternoon instead when the flowers are fully open. In the evening, just like with humans, the flowers close and go, say, to bed for the night. Collect the equivalent of a wicker basket.
- some water
- 2 lemons
- 3 oranges
- Golden cane sugar (organic)
- Natural gelling agent (optional)
- 1 colander
- 1 saucepan
- 1 bowl
- 1 container (large salad bowl type)
The cramaillotte recipe
Wash the flowers and then separate the green part from the flowers. You can do this step with a knife or just your fingers. The operation is a bit long and painstaking, so arm yourself with patience and dexterity!
Once you have completed this task, pour your dandelion flowers into a large saucepan and add water. There is about 350 milliliters of water for 50 g of flowers. For a less creamy cramaillotte, add water as desired.
Next, slice your lemons and oranges and add them to your mixture. Boil everything for about an hour, bring to a boil. You can add a lid to prevent the water from evaporating too much. Once cooked, let it macerate overnight.
The next day, filter your mixture into a large bowl with a sieve (or cloth) and press your flowers well to trap as much moisture as possible. Weigh your bowl to find out the weight of your liquid and add as much sugar as possible. Put everything back on the fire for about twenty minutes. If you want a gelatinous consistency, you can add a natural gelling agent such as agar-agar or pectin a few minutes before the end of your second preparation.
Then pour into your jars (well cleaned and dried beforehand) and all you have to do is wait for your cramaillotte to cool.
Tastes good !
Did you like this recipe? Discover now how to make dandelion oil, a soothing and restorative macerate.