Daily Archives: May 19, 2009

Savoring Violets {la partie deux

Hath the pearl less whiteness because of its birth;

Hath the violet less brightness for growing near the earth?

                                                                                                       ~Thomas Moore

second thoughts on day two

What was I thinking when I decided to make jelly using a simple spring flower?  Oh, modest violet–what kind of flavor do your azure blue blossoms impart to a jelly?

Blue Violets close

My taste buds and mind can’t quite grasp the flavor, even though I cook with a lot of fresh herbs and culinary flowers. Is violet jelly a novelty or is it something that I would really serve our guests at Rose Cottage? 

glass basket and violets

jelly making

Yesterday, I spent a fair amount of time preparing for jelly making — picking enough dainty, sweet blossoms (all chemical free!) to nearly fill the English trug, and then removing the blossoms from each stem while struggling against wind gusts. So, I resolve to not give up on making violet jelly. (Read more about getting started on making violet jelly on yesterday’s Savoring Violets post.)

Monet in a Jar

After, 24 hours of “steeping” in the refrigerator, I strain the infusion using a fine mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup . The result is crystal clear light turquoise-colored violet water.

Violet Infusion Before Lemon

One Meyer lemon is squeezed–decidedly, to preserve the gorgeous color and fresh delicate flavor.

Meyer lemons and violets

Next, the juice of the lemon is strained using the fine mesh strainer. The 1/4-cup of lemon juice is added to the turquoise-colored violet water. Viola!

Violet Infusion After Lemon

Look at this! Isn’t it remarkable how the violet water turns to the most gorgeous rose color within seconds after adding the lemon juice?

Then, in a large stainless steel pan, I pour in the rosey violet water and add one box of powdered pectin. The mixture is brought to a boil, and 4-cups of granulated sugar is added. This mixture is brought to a boil again, while stirring constantly. It is kept at a full-rolling boil for one minute, then removed from the heat. One-tablespoon of raspberry liquor is added for an extra depth of flavor; although, this could be entirely optional.

The violet jelly is quickly ladled into sterilized jars and sealed with lids and rings. It is then processed for five-minutes in boiling water bath.

This recipe results in nearly five half-pint jars of beautiful rose-colored jelly.

But how does it taste?

refreshing violets

Now, my dear friends, would you want to know what was that most amazing jelly you just savored along side a sliver of triple cream Brie, fresh-picked raspberries and a still-warm baguette? Or that you just had as accompaniment to your tea and scones? Would you try it if you knew what it was in advance?

You will be absolutely befuddled with the simple brightness and amazing delicateness of the jelly– you will never guess it is the low-growing, sweet violet providing such refreshment!

Oh, yes! My dear sweetie is still swooning over his sampling of the spring nectar from the unassuming violet–you will, too! But, I might not tell you what it is until you are done raving about it and begging me for a jar of the amazing jelly to take home!

Violet Jelly

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