I’ve been researching plants for a new book and I’m also trying to remember some of what I wasn’t particularly interested in growing up relating to the use of wild plants. The theme for the tea at Ft. Toulouse’s French and Indian event this year was edible flowers. The food was garnished with a variety of edible flowers from my garden and the featured item on the table was violet jelly made from the petals of wild violets.
Picking the violets is time consuming and tedius, but the actual making of the jelly is pretty simple. It took Deb, Laura, Annabelle and me picking to get enough violets, but it turned out really pretty and is pretty tasty as well.
To make the jelly you need 2 heaping cups of wild violet petals, 2 cups of boiling water, 4 cups of sugar, a half cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 pkg. of liquid pectin.
Place the petals in a heat-proof container and pour the boiling water over them. Cover, and let steep at least 2 hours or overnight if you wish. If keeping overnight place in refrigerator after a couple of hours. Strain out all the petals which will have given up all their color. Don’t be alarmed at the dark blue color of the infusion. It will lighten up later.
Combine the infusion, lemon juice, and sugar and place over med heat. Bring it to a rolling boil, and stir in the packet of liquid pectin (Certo). Return to a hard boil and boil 2 minutes. While hot place into clean jars. As the jars are filled place, wipe clean at the top, and place a flat canning lid on the jar and screw down the ring. (The flats should be in very hot, but not boiling water prior to placement on the jars). Refer to standard canning instructions.
Now, allow the jars to sit, undisturbed until they seal. As they seal you will hear a pinging sound as the flats become depressed. Wipe the jars clean, and store in a cool dry place. This recipe will make about 5 half pints.
Photos: The violet jelly in the jars; a bit left over put into a saucer, the jelly in the pan while it was coming to a boil, and Miss Annabelle helping pick the violets. Blissful meals, enjoy the fruits of your labor.