Saturday, April 30, 2011

Violet Jelly

Robert Browning once wrote, 'Such a starved bank of moss Till that May-morn, Blue ran the flash across: violets were born!'

I love violets. 

Really, really love them.   

When I was a kid I read a piece in the newspaper about making violet jelly.    So I made some.   I was probably 13 or 14 or so.  It didn't turn out that year, but I never forgot about it and later on when I was older I found Ewell Gibbons' book, Stalking the Healthful Herbs.   He had a recipe in there for violet jelly and so I made some and it worked!  

This is all it takes:

4 cups sugar
1 pkg pectin
  • Pick enough violets to stuff a pint jar.   Take the green parts off.   
  • Put the petals in the jar and cover with boiling water.   
  • Let sit and steep overnight.
  • Strain petals out and add enough water to make 2 cups of  violet juice.
  • Make jelly according to the instructions on your pectin.   
Note:  Pectins from different makers are ....different.   They have different cooking methods and those methods are not transferable.  You can't use the Sure-Jell instructions for Ball and vice versa.    It doesn't matter which pectin you use - just follow the directions for that brand.  

Which one do I like best?    I like Ball low sugar pectin because it doesn't matter how much sugar I choose to use.   I can use that same pectin for lots of sugar [violet jelly] or not so much sugar [blackberry jelly].   

Rumor has it that you can make dandelion jelly this way, too.    The Ks vetoed that.   They have no interest in dandelion jelly.   If I can work up the fortitude to pick that many dandelions on my own, I just might try it anyway.


  1. So how does it taste? I just can't imagine how it would taste..anything comparable to it?

  2. Hi Laura - Actually, it tastes a lot like very very sweet lemonade. The lemon takes over. There's a nice unusual undertone...and that's the violet. Mostly, I just like the color. You can't beat that color.

  3. I was about to ask the same question because I couldn't believe that violets would have much flavor. I don't think my kids would have the patience to pick that many violets for this though. :}

  4. Robin I love your blog. I have violets in the grass in the back yard. Maybe I can bribe my kids to pick those too. I currently trade the kids one M&M for each yellow dandelion, since we also have a lot of those. I may have to try the dandelion jelly with the next trade in. Thanks for all the great ideas.


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