Wild Violet Jelly

When I was young one of the spring activities that went on for about a week in early May was to head to the lawn and brighter spots in the woods to pick wild purple violets with my Grandmother.

We would bring them back to the house and make jelly from them and sometimes syrup.

Tiny Violets

Tiny Violets

I posted her recipe here and over the weekend I set out to pick violets. It seems my lawn right now is mostly clover and the only violets I could find were down on the back side of the woods where there is a good size patch of them. The bad part is that they are the tiniest, micro-sized violets I have ever seen. The acorns laying on the ground dwarfed them. I’m sure they are a good size for the wood fairies though.

I placed one I picked from the lawn next to the one growing on the side of the woods. Needless to say I only managed to find about 1 cup of the violets. This might be better later in the week when the ones in the lawn start to bloom. I will check.

To make violet jelly you will need about 2 cups of fresh, dry wild purple violets. Pick these in mid morning after they have had time to dry out from the dew overnight. I only had slightly over 1 cup of violets so I cut the quantities in the recipe is half.

violets1It’s time to make an infusion, put them in a container you can seal tight and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them, or enough to cover them by about 1/2″. Give them a gentle shake to wet them all and set in the sun for about 4-6 hours. I left mine overnight.

 

violets2You will see that the water will change a beautiful shade of violet.

When ready strain and save the infusion. Put the violets on your compost bin.

 

 

 

Violet infusion

Violet infusion

Place 2 cups of the infusion in a stainless steel pan. You might have to add a bit of fresh water to make 2 cups. Add 1/4 cup of strained, fresh lemon juice.

This is the fun part the infusion will change from this pretty violet to a bright fuchsia color. If you have kids you will want to show them this part.

 

 

Lemon Juice added

Lemon Juice added

Next add 4 cups of sugar to this. Heat and gently stir until it boils and the sugar is dissolved.

 When it reaches a boil that you can’t stir down add your pectin (I used 1 packet of Certo) and follow the packet directions. (Each brand of pectin has different processing directions.)

When done pour into sterile jelly jars and seal.

The FDA will tell you now to water bath process all jelly and jams, and recommend water bath boiling for 5 minutes. I personally do not. To me this is unnecessary. There is enough sugar in this that it isn’t a high risk. Common sense will tell you when you are ready to eat the jelly. If it doesn’t “pop” when you open the jar for the first time, or you see mold…Throw it away, don’t eat it.

Wild Violet JellyBut for goodness sake don’t take my word on it, the new guide lines tell us to water process it. You use your own best judgement.

I am going to assume you already know how to make jelly. If not you can read about it here. In the future I will be posting step by step directions with pictures.

If you decide to make this let me know how you liked it. This is just perfect on fresh toasted bread. It has a delicate flower taste that is hard to describe.

When I was in San Francisco I stopped in a little gourmet shop to have a look around. They were selling 2 oz. yes two ounces for $6.50 a jar. The jars didn’t even have any pretty fabric decoration or stickers on them. WOW, I wonder if they would like a new supplier.

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Posted on May 5, 2009, in Herbs, Home Cooking Recipes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Karyn!

    This sounds absolutely fantastic. I very often sugar violets (simple eggs wash and castor sugar) and use them as cake & dessert decor, but this looks like a great thing to try! Thanks for the idea, and what a great excuse to take a long walk!

  2. Mitchell Webster

    K,
    I bet Wild Violet Jelly is good, I thought that you were going to show how to candy wild violets to decorate cakes with. Mom said when she was a girl this was an every year thing to gather violets and bring them in and somehow take egg whites and granulated sugar and candy the blosoms and then let them dry hard, put them in cake tins and then when you made seafoam icing or 7 minutes frosting, you would decorate your cakes with these.

    M

  3. This is so timely. Thank you for posting this. Gonna pick up some pectin the next time I’m at the store. What fun!

  4. A cup of wild violets is still a lot of violets. I only found enough to dry to make some violet tea. Your jelly sounds like it would please the delicate palates of fairies. It must be wonderful. Maybe next year…

  5. lizzylanefarm

    Flandrumhill,

    I hear you! I bet the tea was wonderful all the same. If you use the Pomona pectin you can make smaller batches of jellies. There are directions inside the box. Might not be worth the extra work. It take just as long and there are just as many dishes to wash :) But at least you could have a taste.

    You might try collecting them from friend’s yards. I have frozen the infusion until I was ready to use it with no problems.

    Keep trying… Some I picked were so small and took for ever to collect but worth the effort to me.
    Have a great day.

    Karyn

  6. Thank you for the suggestions Karyn. Every year I keep getting more in my yard (http://flandrumhill.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/the-manners-of-wild-violets/) so I am hopeful for the future.
    Amy-Lynn

  7. That jelly looks positively lovely.
    Anita

  8. Thanks to all for the comments. I’ve missed violets for so long and these comments was like making a trip back East again. Am currently trying to find a source to buy them so I can try to grow them here

  9. I should have plenty! I will try it this week for sure. How fun! ~ Lynda

  10. Thank you so much. This will be my spring project. Long ago I could find violet square and licorice flavored candies at Truan’s Candy store in Detroit. They had the same consistency as Necco candies but they had the only true violet flavor.

  11. I made violet jelly for the first time tonight. Over the weekend I picked 4 cups of violets (after I removed the green stems I had 2 cups of petals). It was a lot of work, but it turned out beautiful! Can’t wait to make dandelion jelly next!

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