Violet Jelly

The elusive sweet fragrance of violets tells us spring is really here to stay. I love the way they naturalize in a garden with clumps spreading here and there. Not only are violets charming they are edible. I recently made a single layer cake, dusted it with powdered sugar and sprinkled it with violets.
Our old website had a number of archived recipes that I will gradually add to this one.
Violets are beginning to appear in our garden. When we first saw our present home, the garden was awash in violet blossoms. Our daughter, who was then barely three, knelt down in the purple carpet to smell their perfume, forever creating a picture in our minds. In spring, we like to make violet jelly. This recipe is adapted from Stalking The Healthful Herbs by Euell Gibbons. If you are interested in additional violet recipes, look for his book which contains six more.
2 cups fresh violets
2 cups boiling water
juice of one lemon (4 tablespoons)
1 package of powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Make an infusion with violets and water by placing your blossoms in a glass jar and covering them with boiling water. Put a lid on the jar, and set aside for 24 hours. The infusion will turn a murky bluish green. Strain and discard the violets. Add the lemon juice to the violet infusion, and it transforms to a clear lavender pink. Stir in powdered pectin, and bring to a boil. Add 4 cups sugar, bring to a boil again, and boil vigorously for one minute. Skim if necessary. Pour into sterile jars and seal. Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups jelly.

4 Responses

  1. Does it matter what kind of violet I use? I have a lot of the smaller, darker purple violets that grow on large plants with heart-shaped leaves. I live in the San Joaquin Valley, which is too hot for blooms in the summer; they bloom only in early spring and late fall.

    • What you describe sounds like Viola odorata which is what I use for jelly. If your violets have that distinct sweet violet smell that sometimes seems to come and go in a moment then it is odorata and the right type.

  2. I am looking for a source to purchase violet seeds. I am interested in the very dark purple ones with foliage that is heart shaped or spade shaped. I grew up with these blooming about this time of year and would enjoy having some in my present garden. Do you know of any sources? Thanks so much!

    • We do offer the purple violet seeds. They germinate best when sowed in fall, washed by the winter rain and then in spring you will have a good stand.

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