While spending a few days in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I happened upon a little farm stand, on a back road, in the middle of nowhere. Among the usual jars of chow-chow, blueberry jam and apple butter, I spied a small jar of violet jelly. After striking up a conversation with the lovely Amish woman who made the jelly, she was kind enough to give me the recipe. Knowing that violets grow like wild fire in our hay fields, I couldn’t wait to try this recipe.
The jelly starts out as a beautiful violet liquid. After the addition of the lemon juice and pectin, it turns a vibrant pink. The final product is a mildly sweet jelly with a delicate floral taste. Summer in a jar.
Makes approximately 5 half-pint jars.
Wild Violet Jelly
- 4 cups freshly picked violets (no stems) – be sure to pick them from an area that has not been sprayed with chemicals and where there are NO pets.
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
- 3.5 oz (12 Tbsp) pectin (I use Ball Realfruit Classic Pectin)
- 2 cups white sugar
- Rinse and drain the violets and place in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Bring water to a boil and pour over violets. Cover with plastic wrap and set out on counter for 24 hours.
- Strain the liquid through a fine sieve using a spoon to press out all the liquid.
- In a saucepan, combine the liquid, lemon juice, pectin and sugar. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, whisking until sugar is dissolved. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE STOVE AT THIS POINT, or you will have a roiling volcano of sticky pink liquid all over.
- Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your jelly will turn from a cloudy mauve mixture to a clear bright pink during this time. Again, keep an eye on the liquid!
- Skim off any foam and ladle into hot, sterile jars, leaving about 1/4″ head space.
- Wipe jar rims and place lids and rings on jars.
- Process in a hot water bath canner (click for water bath canning instructions) for 10 minutes.
Always remember with canned foods (or any food for that matter), if it looks funny, smells funky or tastes strange – THROW. IT. AWAY.