Friday, April 29, 2011

Violet Jelly

Does your yard look like this? 

You can turn these into a beautiful jelly like this!!

Wild violets are among some of natures edible plants.  Many people can find these in their front yard or growing all over the forest floor.  The blossoms can be used to make a very unique and beautiful jelly.  My mother made this jelly every year when I was a kid.  We used to take a trip back to the woods and collect these flowers.  Then mom made the jelly.  Now my kids and I pick these flowers and make our own jelly.  Here is a step by step  recipe to make violet jelly!!!

When you pick your violets make sure you are picking them from a yard or field that has not been chemically treated.  Pick the blossoms only.  Do not put in any stems or the jelly will be bitter.  Put them in a quart jar.  I use a quart mason jar.
Next pour boiling water over the violets.  Fill the quart jar up with the boiling water.

Let the violets set until all the pectin has been pulled out of the blossoms.  The Violets will look grey and the water will be a dark purple.  This usually takes 1 to 2 hours. 
Strain the juice from the flowers.  This is done by putting the contents of a jar into a jelly bag and letting it sit until the juice is done dripping.  I use an old pillow case.  Notice my pillow case is no longer white.  I have used this for grape juice, crab apple juice, and many other jellies.  The key to a nice clear jelly is not to squeeze the bag.  Let the juice run out on its own and don't push on or squeeze the bag to get excess juice out.  This will lead to a cloudy jelly. 

Now it is time to make the jelly.  You only need a few simple ingredients and you are on your way.  Measure out 2 cups of the violet juice.  To this you will add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and one package of powdered pectin.  Then 4 cups of sugar is added.  That is it!!  Here are your ingredients.  I buy pectin in bulk so 1/4 cup is equal to one purchased package of pectin.
Before you begin cooking your jelly you need to have your jars ready.  This recipe will make 4  8oz jelly jars.  You can use the 4oz jars and then you will have more jars of jelly to give away for Christmas!!  You need to sterilize your jars.  Most people do this by running their jars through the dishwasher.  I don't have one so I put my clean jars into a sink full of very hot water and I let them sit until I am ready to put the jelly in the jar.
Pour your violet juice into a jelly pan or a tall pan. 

Next add your lemon juice.  Notice how the dark purple turns into the light violet color.  It does not matter how many times I make this jelly I just love watching the dark purple magically turn into the light violet color. 

Add your powdered pectin and stir with a whisk until dissolved.  Bring to a boil over high heat constantly stirring.

Once the jelly has come to a full rolling boil add your sugar.  Stir the sugar until it is dissolved.  Continue stirring and start you timer when the jelly comes back to a full rolling boil.  Once it does start your timer and cook for 1 minute.  Then take it off the heat.

This is why you need a tall pan.  During the second boiling the jelly will foam up real high.  This is only 2 inches from the top of the pan.

When you take the pan off the heat the jelly will go back down.  Before you put the jelly into your jars you need to skim off the foam.  This can be done using a slotted spoon or just a serving spoon.  Once you take off the foam you are ready to put the jelly into your prepared jars.

Using a ladle spoon the jelly into your jars.  Fill the jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space. 

Before you add your lids and process you need to wipe off the rims.  Using a clean washcloth wipe off the lips of your jars.  They will not seal properly if there is jelly on the lips of the jars. 

Always use new canning lids when canning.  To activate the gum on the bottom of the lids bring them to boil before putting on your jars.
I use this nifty lid lifter to get the lids out of the boiling water and to put them on my jars.  It has a magnet on the end.

Screw on your rings and tighten by hand.  Now your jelly is ready for a water bath.  I know a lot of people stop right here.  According to canning experts and county extension agents this is not safe.  You need to process your jam and jellies in a water bath for 5 minutes.  This brings the jelly to a temperature to kill bacteria and also to help drive out air from the jars. 

Put enough water in your canner to cover your jars by 1 inch.  Heat the water to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a jar lifter put your jars of hot jelly into the canner.  Bring to a full rolling boil and then start your timer.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from the canner and let sit to cool.
Let your jelly completely cool and make sure all your jars have sealed.  I love hearing the "ping" noise as the jars begin to seal.  I think that is my favorite part of canning.  The "ping"  lets you know that the jars have sealed and all your hard work has payed off.  The jars will be put up in the pantry for future use or gifts for Christmas. 

Here is the recipe for Violet Jelly.  This will make it easier to print!!

Violet Jelly
2 cups violet juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package of powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Put violet juice, lemon juice, and pectin in a tall pan.  Whisk until smooth.  Bring to a full rolling boil stirring constantly.   Add sugar.  Bring back to a boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.  Ladle into jars, adjust lids and process in a water bath for 5 minutes.   Yield: 4  8oz jars


Mary said...

Dina this looks great!! You got it girl. Hopefully this spurs people to try the recipe. If you need more feel free to get some from our yard!!

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

hello! i love this post and have heard of violet jelly but have yet to try some. sounds interesting. the only things i have canned are salsa, green beans and pickles. i look forward in following and sure hope you have some time to stop on by!

Creations by Dina said...

Canning is very easy and rewarding. I have taught many friends and family members to can. In fact during the summer months I practically have to answer my phone "canning hotline" because of all the calls from friends with canning questions!! Hope you try this recipe and many others!! Happy Canning!

Kathy ~ Cackles and Berries said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing this. I love the blog world- where else would you learn to make violet jelly. I'm off to find some violets.

Kathy ~ Cackles and Berries said...

I forgot to ask- what does it taste like?

Anonymous said...

This looks so good. I really want to try it now. Thanks!


Mama Hen said...

My yard is full of them! I am trying this!

Amanda said...

Wow, violets. Now I just need to figure out what they look like and where to find them where I live. Thank you again for a wonderful recipe!! It's amazing that there's so many things on this Earth that people think are just weeds, but in fact, are something that Heavenly Father has given us to eat and maintain our bodies! Thank you for this wonderful post!

Carolivy said...

Oh! I wish I'd found your blog earlier this year! I have LOADS of violets and would have loved to make this...well, maybe next Spring!
Thank you.