Last fall I began experimenting with jellies infused with herbs, so this spring I decided to do the same with early blooming flowers. My first effort took advantage of the abundance of violets we have all over the property. While it takes longer than one might think to pick two cups of violet flowers on hands and knees, the rest of this recipe couldn’t be more simple. Of course, other edible flowers or herbs can be substituted. I think Peony Jelly may be on the horizon.
2 cups violet flowers, rinsed
2 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup strained lemon juice (or bottled)
1 pouch liquid pectin (3 0z)
Infuse the violets in the boiling water overnight.
Sterilize your canning jars.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer.
Put the violet liquid, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy 3 qt saucepan and bring to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down. Add the pectin and continue to boil for 2 more minutes.
Ladle the hot liquid into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Wipe the rims and apply lids and rings.
Process in boiling water bath for 1o minutes or use the oven method and heat for 15 minutes at 250 degrees F.
Cool. Check that jars have sealed.
Makes approximately 4 half pints.
While on the topic of violet, our violet-hued wisteria has put on it’s best show ever this year. When we bought this property, this wisteria was an overgrown heap; covered with weed vines and twisted and tangled all over itself. Reading up on how to prune and retsore wisteria, I learned it is occasionally trained to grow as a tree, as opposed to the climbing vine I was accustomed to seeing on trellises and walls. Careful pruning brought it back to a beautiful shape and now it blooms beautifully every year. The spicy vanilla scent is intoxicating and fills the air on a warm day.