Place the water, lemon slices and dandelion flowers in a saucepan
Simmer with a lid on for 15 minutes
Leave this to cool and infuse overnight
The next day, strain out the flowers and lemon by pouring the liquid through a strainer or muslin cloth. Press down to make sure you get all of that dandelion juice out!
Weigh the liquid, and then weigh out the same amount sugar.
Put the liquid back in the pan and add the sugar. Stir and heat gently at first until the sugar is dissolved. Then bring it up to a gentle boil for approximately 15 minutes. See the notes for tips on knowing when it's ready.
Pour into clean sterilised jars and put the lids on while it's still hot
1:1 Liquid to Sugar Ratio
Ideally you want to weigh the amount of liquid that you have and use the same amount of sugar. We don't always have a scales to hand, so we use the cup measurements as above, and just use our judgement. As the amount of liquid you have left over after infusing the dandelions can vary, the sugar amount can vary, and so can the amount of time you need to boil the liquid. If you have ever made jam, it is a similar process.
How to know when it has reached the right consistency
You will see that the liquid will darken and start to thicken. Test it regularly on a cold plate, or see how it clings onto a metal spoon. It will thicken more as it cools, so aim to turn it off before it reaches your desired texture. I prefer to stick to the more runny consistency. If you cook it for too long you risk that it gets overly thick and caramelises.If you change the batch size, the time needed to boil and thicken will vary. Just like real honey, this can also crystallise. But it's still good to eat.
Always pick your dandelion flowers from a plentiful, clean and pesticide free place. Dandelions are an early nectar source for pollinators, so make sure to leave plenty behind for the bees and their friends!
I haven't weighed the liquid
You can just use the measurements given in the recipe instead! In this case, however, cooking time until you reach the right consistency can vary. It might take a bit longer, or less long until you are done. Make sure to test the consistency as described above!
I've added the sugar from the beginning
No worries! Nothing's lost. Here's what you can do: Instead of boiling for 15 minutes with the flowers at the beginning, just gently heat up until the sugar is dissolved, then leave to infuse overnight. To continue, strain the liquid as normal through a sieve, and the dissolved sugar stays in the liquid. Then heat up in a saucepan and simmer until the right consistency is reached (see tips above).
My honey has crystallised
You have probably boiled off too much of the liquid or added more sugar than required, and the honey crystallised as it cooled down. Crystallisation can also happen when the vegan honey is stored for a longer amount of time.