It's violet season! Last week on my bike rides, I noticed the violets blooming in the woods, and shortly thereafter, they began blossoming in our yard. Fun fact: violets are edible! A number of flowers are actually - lavender, roses, pansies, dandelions. My favorite thing to do with violets is make jelly. I made some last year and must say it's the prettiest jelly you will ever spread on toast. It deserves ALL the heart eyes.
The recipe from Mom's Frugal calls for 2 cups of violet flowers. This doesn't sound like much, but they're quite tedious to pick, so you'll be thankful it's a small amount. :)
Next, you pinch off the violet flowers from their stems, a process I fondly refer to as "beheading." ;) Terribly morbid humor, I know.
Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the flowers and allow to sit, covered, overnight.
The next day, squeeze out the flowers to release any water or pigment that's trapped in the petals. This is an extra step that I figured out last year. The violet water was undesirably lacking in color, so I decided to try squeezing out the flowers. And behold! More pigment! Live and learn.
Then, I very carefully transfer the water to a new pan in order to remove the dirt. This can be done with slow, cautious pouring, no fancy strainers required. (Clean water tends to pour out first, while the sediment sits towards the back of the pan.) Just take it slow and steady, and you'll be golden!
The next step is particularly exciting and involves a fantastic color change. Feel free to say "Abracadabra, presto chango!" Just add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, stir, and prepare to be amazed. The water will turn from a subtle blue-violet shade to an eye-catching magenta!
All that remains is to whisk in a packet of Sure-Jell, boil, add 5 cups of sugar, and boil again. These last steps are pretty intensive, thus the lack of pictures. See the recipe for a thorough description. In regards to storing the finished product, I usually keep them in the fridge. (I'm not quite brave enough to do canning by myself yet, so the fridge works for now.)
Hope you get a chance to try this lovely floral jelly!
'Til next time,