Violet Flowers,once considered common food,
are now being rediscovered as a delicacy. Violets are an edible flower for which old recipes still exist. One such recipe is for violet jelly. Though some care must be taken when harvesting violets due to the use of pesticides and herbicides, these lightly flavored and colorful flowers are easy to use when preparing jelly.
PreparationThe best time to pick violets for use in food is in the morning. Wait until the dew has evaporated and the petals are fully open. Pick the entire flower, being careful to remove the stem. Though the stem is edible, it may provide a slightly bitter flavor to the jelly.
Wash the flowers in cool water. Be gentle so the petals are not bruised; a spray attachment on a kitchen sink or a gentle water spray from a hose or watering works well. The violets do not have to be dried before continuing.
The following steps will create the juice needed for creating the jelly:
- Tightly pack the violets in a one quart jar. A glass canning jar works well
- Fill the jar with boiling water.
- Tightly cover the jar with a lid.
- Allow the flowers to steep in the water overnight.
- After steeping, pour off 2 cups of fluid (it will be a bright shade of purple) and discard the flowers.
- Use a large pot or a water caner for the jars and a smaller pan for the lids.
- Boil the jars, rings and lids for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars using sterilized tongs and place them on a rack to dry.
- The lids and rings can be left in the hot water until ready for use.
- 2 cups violet flower juice (see Preparation)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 package powdered pectin
- 4 cups sugar
- Mix the violet flower juice, lemon juice and pectin in a sauce pan.
- Heat until boiling.
- Add the all of the sugar.
- Stirring continuously, bring the mixture to a boil again and allow to boil hard for one minute.
- Turn off the heat and skim the foam off of the top. The foam can be placed in a small bowl and used once cooled.
- Use a ladle to fill each jar to the fill line. If there is not enough to fill the last jar this one can be left unsealed and the contents refrigerated or used once cooled.
SealingOnce the jars are filled the lids and rings are placed on top and screwed down tightly. Be careful, the jars will be very hot! Set the jars to the side and they will seal themselves as the jelly cools.
To test for a seal, press on the top of the lid. If it makes a popping sound, the jar is not yet sealed. If a jar does not seal after 2 hours, place it in the refrigerator and use within one month.Sealed jars can be stored in a pantry or cool, dry cabinet for up to one year.