This recipe was written and sent by Morgane Tocco.
“Cramaillotte, the golden “dandelion honey”, comes from the word “cramaillot”, which designates dandelions in the french dialect of the Franche-Comté region. This region borders the french Jura mountains, of which the pastures are covered in spring by these familiar yellow flowers.”
Fortunately, dandelions are plentiful in many parts of the world, and it won’t take you too long before you can gather hundreds of these flowers. If you’re simply curious or have guests to feed, you can consider using the leaves, buds and roots as well. The firsts will make a perfect spinach substitute when cooked, the second are great pickled or sautéed, and the third, when dried, can be turned into a tea which can contribute to a healthy liver. Dandelion is used in traditional medicine from North America to China, and its latex, a white fluid flowing through its stem, can be refined to make a natural rubber.
There are no reason to be shy about foraging dandelions, as all the Taraxacum sub-species are edible; but to be totally sure, check if the smooth leaves have this distinct sharp tooth shape, lobed at the end. As a matter of fact, “dandelion” refers to “dent de lion”, meaning “lion’s tooth” in french.
Just like for the nettle plant, the dandelion is a free food which does not call on the use of farmed land nor the input of artificial pesticides, so help yourself!
400 dandelion flowers
2 untreated oranges
2 untreated lemons
Any sweetener equivalent to 1kg of white sugar
- It’s springtime, gather 400 dandelions flowers when the sun shines bright.
- Wash and cut the flowers just below the yellow petals to get rid of small green leaves.
- Dry the yellow petals under the sun for an hour.
- Cut both oranges and lemons in slices (keep the skin on).
- Cook both flowers and fruits in 1.5L of water for 1 hour in a wide saucepan on a low heat.
- Set the pan aside and leave it to cool at room temperature.
- Filter the liquid through a colander covered with a cheese cloth or linen.
- Add the sugar to the filtered liquid and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it boils, lower the heat to a minimum and simmer for 20-30 minutes (see note).
- Fill a few glass jars with jelly and leave them to cool.
- Keep the jars upside down in the fridge for the night and spread the fresh cramaillotte on your toasts for breakfast.
Note: To know if it’s ready, pour a drop of jelly on a small plate and tilt it over: the drop should stick to the plate instead of running down.
- Organic citrus fruits are supposed to be untreated. If available locally, just ask the reseller/farmer.
- Depending on where you live and what you can afford, there are plenty of sweeteners you will be able to get your hands on: sugar beet sugar, sugarcane sugar, marple sirup, honey, etc.