This time of year, the ground is bursting with Violets. Our Violet yard is brilliant, a sea of purple with a scattering of yellow from the Dandelions. My oldest daughter’s favorite jelly is Violet jelly, so much so that she will spend the hour or two required to crawl over the yard to carefully harvest the blooms. Many people have asked for our recipe, so I’ve decided to go ahead and share it with my subscribers. This is our version of the recipe that can also be found many places online. This recipe can be doubled, as we often do, to make more at one time. Each batch will yield about 8 – 8 oz jars of jelly.
You will need:
4 cups of Violet blossoms
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package liquid pectin
8 cups sugar – if you want the pretty purple color, you have to use white sugar. Organic cane sugar will still give the jelly a brownish tint.
Place the blossoms in a half gallon jar and pour the boiling water over them. Let them steep for about 12 hours. We generally do this the day before then strain them the next day. They can steep for up to 24 hours.
Strain off the blossoms and pour the liquid into a small stockpot. Add the lemon juice to the infusion and stir. Before we do this, we get our jelly jars set in a large stockpot to sterilize. You can add a few inches of water to the bottom and then place the lid on. Once the water comes to a boil, let it boil for at least 10 minutes to steam sterilize your jars. Lids can be placed in a saucepan of hot water but don’t need to be boiled.
Bring the Violet infusion to a boil. While it is heating, add the pectin and stir to combine. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the sugar. Continue to boil, skimming off the foam as needed. When the mixture begins to thicken and gel (test by lifting your stirring spoon from the pot and watching for the drip to set) you are ready to fill your jars.
Carefully remove the jars from the pot and place a funnel over the first one. Fill to about 1/4″ from the top. Carefully wipe the top of the jar and sides where the ring will sit. Place the lids and rings on and tighten. Set the jar on the counter and continue to fill each jar until they are all full.
Jars should ‘ping’ rather quickly as they seal. Jelly generally sets as it cools. If a jar doesn’t seal, place it in the fridge and use it first. I’ve never had a problem with one of them not setting though…
This recipe originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine. You can purchase it here or get it as one of the free bonuses when you subscribe to a year’s worth of Herbal Roots zine. For more information on all of our amazing free bonuses, look here.