Friday, May 8, 2009

How to Make Violet Jelly (Periodic Table)

The violets and dandelions are starting to dwindle down in our yard. This makes me sad, but we will continue to gather them until the very last one blooms! I'm going to share our violet jelly making with you instead of the dandelion because we knew what we were doing with the violet jelly and it turned out so pretty. If you want to make the dandelion jelly just substitute the violets with dandelion florets.

Learn from my Mistakes
Our first round of jelly making was a little troublesome. The dandelion jelly took hours to set because I added the pectin before the plant/sugar solution was boiling. DO NOT put the pectin into the plant/sugar solution until the directions say so. Also, make the jelly in a large 2-quart pan. The solution foams a lot, it will run over a regular sauce pan.

Jelly Making is a Great Science Experiment
Now lets talk a little bit about pectin and the PTOE. First, an important note to the vegans out there, pectin is an all natural product made from apples or citrus. No animal byproducts. I found a great article all about the chemistry of pectin . It's a 24 page article with all the information you would ever want to know about pectin. The girls and I read the whole thing and learned a lot from it. If you are studying the PTOE I encourage you to read and learn from it as well. I also took the opportunity to review what we have learned about polymers when making the jelly.


Now for the Recipe....You need:
2 heaping cups of fresh violet petals or dandelion florets
2 C boiling water
1/4 C well-strained, clear lemon juice
4 C sugar
3 oz liquid pectin (Certo)
A 2 quart nonreactive or stainless steel pan
5 half pint jelly jars

Follow These Steps:
1. Pinch the stems off the violets (if you use dandelions make sure you pinch off the bitter green).


2. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the violets and cover. Let the violets steep for at least 2 hours (or overnight).


The coolest blue-green color is made from this violet infusion.


3. In a two-quart pan add the violet infusion and sugar, simmer for a couple minutes then add the lemon juice. Adding the lemon juice made a very cool color change! Just like the red cabbage ph experiment , the bluish violet color turns a vivid pinkish purple.


4. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil for three minutes, skimming any foam that may rise to the surface. The pectin doesn't really thicken the liquid in this short time, I expected it to thicken like syrup. This is not what happened, I could see it thicken on the wooden spoon, but the jelly doesn't really set until it cools (our dandelion jelly took hours to set, but our violet jelly set within an hour).


5. While the jelly was cooking I sterilized 5 half pint preserve jars in boiling water. I left the jars in the boiling water until I was ready to fill them with the jelly. I took them out of the bath, filled them with the jelly, capped them and placed them upside down for 10 minutes to seal them.

If canned properly the jelly will last for months, otherwise it will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Make some Surprise Corn Muffins or biscuits to put the jelly on. The dandelion jelly has a sweet honey taste, the violet has a delicate floral taste. They are both very tasty and jelly making with wild edibles is a great way to get your children to appreciate nature. We are going to try peppermint, rose petal and lavender jelly too. The jellies would make great gifts or try selling them at your local farmer's market.


Enjoy the jelly making and if you use a different herb, let me know. I would think you could decrease the sugar content with the sweeter herbs or try infusing the stevia herb with your plant choice. Good luck and have fun!

23 comments:

dongdong said...

how interesting... never seen nor taste it before. I do have roses. maybe I can make rose jelly. :) Is it the same way?

kristen said...

it's so pretty! i'd like to try that. :)

jumbleberryjam said...

So, so cool! :-) I'm delighted that little Tulip made you all smile (and joke around a bit ;-). The news made my night!

Artistmama said...

Mmmmmmm, looks good! I'm making plain old strawberry jelly here.

Joy said...

That jelly looks so pretty! We make lots of blackberry jam here in the summer, but I've never done violet or dandelion. I tried to convince the kids to jump the horse fence and pick dandelions for jam, but they were afraid too much horse poop might be on the dandelions over there. :) We'll be doing strawberry jam using the freezer method in the next week or two.

Tammy said...

Oh my gosh...those are so PRETTY.

Tan Family said...

Oh! How fun. I've always been afraid to try making jelly. Your post is giving me some inspiration and confidence to try! I love that you used dandelions and violets.

Louise said...

They look so lovely- I think I will start to collect lovely jars and make some when springtime comes here- although we tend to feed our dandelions to our pet lizards

Erin said...

Pectin is on my sulfite allergy list, so I can't have jam or jelly :( The Violet looks so pretty!

Mom and Kiddo said...

LOVE the color!

Truffula Mama said...

Lovely! I don't think we have enough violet flowers left to make jelly. But, you've been inspiring me to go out to the yard to gather violet greens for salads! They've been tasty!

Dawn said...

Those photos of the finished jelly in the jars with the light shining through are gorgeous! Thanks for the tutorial...I'd like to try this sometime.

skymring said...

mmmm, gorgeous colours!

Holly said...

WOW-I've not heard of this before. How do these jellies taste?? It looks so pretty. We don't have many violets, but have thousands of dandelions. We're going to put some dandelion petals in our salad tonight, which will be the first time for that. I'm excited. Holly

sarah in the woods said...

Prettiest jelly ever!

julie said...

Awesome job, lady! Tell me, though--is it okay to put the violets actually in the jelly? I know they're edible--maybe they get ugly?

Same question with dandelions.

Mary said...

Wonderful ideas!And not as difficult as I would have imagined.

Mona said...

I simply need to try this, thanks for the inspiration!

Leanne said...

Wow again! You sure have made good use of your colourful spring blooms....what beautifully coloured jelly they make!

SewCrazyDogLady said...

Nice post.. however I didn't think the "turning upside down" to seal was an accepted canning method any longer. 10 minutes in a boiling water bath is what I do for my rose petal and lemon balm jelly.

I know that folks have been "doing it that way for years" but I thought I'd share what I'd learned about food safety and what has changed.

Also the Ball Blue book recommends 1/4 inch headspace for soft spreads like jelly.

mrsb said...

What an awesome idea! I think I will try this with my chamomile and lavender flowers!

elizabeth said...

do you think this would work with dried petals of dandelions? Or chamomile even?

Lisa said...

Elizabeth, for sure you could use any herb, fresh or dried!