I go weak in the knees for recipes made with edible flowers…

violet jelly recipe

…so when violets started popping up across my yard recently, I immediately set about gathering as many as possible.

edible violet

I’ve had my eye on a violet syrup recipe in Healing Wise for years, but it calls for 1/2 pound of violets. If you’ve ever picked violets, you know that they are pretty much devoid of mass, and that unless you’ve got a carpet of them underfoot (or an army of helpers), it takes a good while to collect even 1 cup. So I wanted to make something that did not require quite so many.

Last summer, I was obsessed with this rose petal and lemon balm jelly, so I did some googling to see if violet jelly was something I should be considering. The moment I laid my eyes on the color of this loveliness, I was sold: I knew that my violets would meet a similar fate.

The violet jelly recipe that seems to be “the internet standard” has 4 cups of sugar, but I reduced it by half. The result is a jam with a perfectly sweet, subtly floral flavor that all but glows with an irresistible magenta hue; I could not help but bake up some fresh Greek yogurt biscuits in order to celebrate its beauty.

biscuit with violet jelly

According to herbalist Susun Weed, all violets (cultivated and wild) are edible: this even includes pansies (just make sure to only use violets that have not been sprayed with chemicals, and which are away from where your dogs do their business). In her book Healing Wise, Ms. Weed writes that violet leaves are very high in minerals and vitamin C, and can be used as food and as medicine (they are reputed to benefit many organs in the body and early herbal literature describes them as possessing anti-cancer properties). The flowers, which are featured in this recipe, also contain vitamin C and are believed to be beneficial to the sensory organs.

Recipe for Violet Jelly

Yield: About 2 cups (four 1/2 cup jars)

Once you've picked enough violet flowers, making this jelly could not be simpler. I got four 1/2 cup jars which I canned (plus a little extra that went straight into the refrigerator) out of this recipe.

Ingredients:

*2 cups fresh violet flower petals (no stems)- make sure you gather them from an area which has not been sprayed with chemicals (and where your dogs don't do their business)
*2 cups water
*1/4 cup bottled lemon juice (I used organic)
*one (1.75 oz) package pectin (I used Mrs. Wages fruit pectin)
*2 cups sugar (though I rarely use white sugar, I did in this case because I wanted to make sure the jelly would have the vibrant pink color

Directions:

1. Rinse and drain flower petals, and place in heat-proof glass bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour over petals. Cover and allow to steep overnight, or for up to 24 hours.

2. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve: use a wooden spoon to press all the liquid from the plant material (compost or discard the flowers when you're through). The liquid will have a greenish tint at this point. If not using it right away, you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.

3. Combine strained liquid with lemon juice in the saucepan (notice how it turns purple!), then whisk in the pectin and the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, whisking to ensure the sugar and pectin dissolve thoroughly, then turn heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (or until the jelly has reduced a bit and thickened).

4. Skim off any foam and then ladle into your clean, hot and sterile jars, leaving 1/8″ head space. Wipe lids and screw on the the rings, then process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.

5. Remove jars and allow to cool for 24 hours on the counter.

Adapted from Rhythm of the Home.

violet jelly recipe

More fun with violets:
Spinach and Violet Salad with Blue Cheese
Spinach and Blood Orange Salad with Violets

 

80 Comments

  1. 1

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — April 19, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    This is gorgeous Winnie; I have a patch of pansies I’ve never thought to cultivate. I have a couple of lavender bushes I only used for looks for several years and hated to cut them back for using in dishes. So I planted four more; I can’t wait to have them bloom; I want to try some lavender jelly.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

      Thanks Barb! I love lavender and believe you can never have enough :) I have a lavender honey ice cream somewhere on this site (via David Lebovitz)…it’s awesome.

  2. 2

    Christine — April 19, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

    Oh my! I too, am obsessed with edible flowers and this looks wonderful. The color is to die for!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

      Thanks Christine! I know- I could stare at it all day :)

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

      Thanks Christine!

  3. 3

    Bethany — April 19, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    Anytime we go get indian I get the Rose Lassi and my husband gets grossed out every single time! He hates the thought of eating flowers! But you’re right. It’s absolutely wonderful.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

      Rose lassi sounds amazing!

  4. 4

    Kathryn — April 19, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    What an absolutely stunning colour!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

      It’s even prettier in person :)

  5. 5

    Michelle Jaffee — April 19, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Just gorgeous!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

      Thanks so much Michelle! Wonderful to finally meet you recently, too!

  6. 6

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — April 19, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    What a stunning jelly; I only wish I had a source for violets!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

      Thanks Laura…wish I could share mine!

  7. 7

    gluttonforlife — April 19, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    That looks divine, Winnie! So Victorian! I have been wanting to find some black locust blossoms as I understand the have a wonderful flavor. Have you ever tried those?

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

      No! I don’t know about black locust blossoms…now I am intrigued!

  8. 8

    Paula — April 19, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    I’ve yet to eat anything made from flowers but I will say that this violet jelly is so pretty and I’m sure it tastes just as wonderful as it looks. I’m glad that you shared your recipe, now I’ll be on the look-out for some wild violets :)

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      Thanks so much Paula…I hope you find some ;)

  9. 9

    Nutmeg Nanny — April 19, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    This is so beautiful! I wish I had some violets! I would kill for some of this jelly :)

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      I will save you a jar :)

  10. 10

    Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions — April 19, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    Soo… What does violet jelly taste like?

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

      It’s got a very subtle flavor. You can taste the lemon juice a bit, and it’s just a bit floral and sweet.

  11. 11

    Hannah — April 20, 2012 @ 1:23 am

    What a gorgeous jelly! I’ll be on the lookout for edible flowers. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

      Thanks Hannah!

  12. 12

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — April 20, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    This sounds heavenly! I used to love those candied violet petals when I was younger.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

      I love candied violets, too!

  13. 13

    Crystal @ A Lovin' Forkful — April 20, 2012 @ 3:19 am

    This is stunning! Such a lovely color.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      Thank you so much Crystal!

  14. 14

    Annette — April 20, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    Wonderful! I made violet jelly for the first time last year, and it is delightful! Dandelion jelly is also delicious, and dandies are a bit more plentiful this year.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      Is dandelion jelly bitter? I will have to try that sometime ;)

  15. 15

    Jessica @ How Sweet — April 20, 2012 @ 7:06 am

    I am blown away. This is stunning.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

      Thanks so much Jessica. Always love seeing your face in my comments :)

  16. 16

    Patti — April 20, 2012 @ 7:15 am

    I was so excited to see this recipe in my inbox. I had written myself a note just yesterday, to google violet recipes! Now I need to get moving and start collecting some pretty, little flowers. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      You are welcome Patti. Have fun with your violets!

  17. 17

    Marly — April 20, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    The color is so delicate…I bet it’s delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      Thank you Marly!

  18. 18

    Garden Update & Hot Links « Glutton for Life — April 20, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    [...] Got violets of your own? Consider this lovely jelly. [...]

  19. 19

    Melanie — April 20, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! I am inspired to make some – I just finished making sugared violets!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

      Love sugared violets!

  20. 20

    Maria — April 20, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Couple of questions…firstly LOVE this idea and I’m planning to make this weekend…I saw, that the compared to the original recipe, you substituted regular pectin for the liquid, and in reducing the sugar level, did you not have any issues with the jelly setting? I didn’t think you could easily reduce the sugar as you have done, or interchange pectin types…? thanks for your help (I’m relatively new to canning).

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

      Hi Maria,
      I did not have any issue with the jelly setting. I left the acid (lemon juice) the same because it’s the acid that determines the safety, not the sugar (though reducing the sugar may mean the shelf life isn’t as long). I was using the rose petal jelly I made last year as my reference since that worked very well and had a similar amount of sugar; also, I have no experience with liquid pectin so just felt more comfortable using the powdered one, as I’ve used it many times. Note that the jelly may be a little runny when you pour it into the jars, but it will set up just fine after (at least mine did).

  21. 21

    Elle Ross — April 20, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    That is a really beautiful jelly!

    • Winnie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

      Thank you!

  22. 22

    Annette — April 20, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Winnie, dandelion jelly is not bitter at all if you make sure the green is removed (for the most part). I squeeze and roll the green base of the flower in my left hand while pulling the yellow “petals” with my right. It works pretty well. Keep the lemon juice proportions the same for the acid %, and I’d cut the sugar back a bit. I used 2 1/2 cups of sugar (organic) to 4 cups of dandelion “tea” for the last batch I made, but I would probably use 3 cups of sugar next time. It tastes very similar to honey! I love to serve it alongside violet jelly with homemade sourdough.

  23. 23

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — April 20, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    I love this, Winnie. I haven’t worked much with edible flowers, and clearly I need to make up for that oversight!

  24. 24

    One Simple Change: Try Foraging (Plus Dandelion Salad) | Healthy Green Kitchen — April 21, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    [...] Earth Day right around the corner, and with this violet jelly still fresh on my mind and in my belly, I want to talk about [...]

  25. 25

    a weekend mix | Eating From the Ground Up — April 21, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    [...] walls of the empty kitchen, and then threw the rest in the fridge for the moment when I can make this. And maybe that will happen. We’ll [...]

  26. 26

    Elaine Nessman — April 21, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    Thank you! I am so inspired to try this . . . and I’m lucky enough to know where I can find some wild violets. Thanks for sharing.

  27. 27

    Jason P — April 22, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    Hi
    Do you sell your jellies ?

    Thanks

  28. 28

    Elise — April 23, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    Oh my, that is so beautiful! We have a oodles of violets, but it never occured to me to use them for anything other than salad garnish. I shall have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  29. 29

    Maria — April 23, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Thanks Winnie for your reply. Just a note about pectins…Ball typically say they are not interchangeable (technically) – and also they typically require cooking differently. Liquid pectin is always added at the end of the jelly making, regular pectin typically added earlier in the process. Ball is pretty insistent (at least when I called them last week) about the fact they won’t endorse adjustment and tweaking of recipes (not that helpful!) – but I guess they’re being super careful about the correctness and safety of the PH levels… Fact is yours worked, and it did for me too. I might try reducing the sugar even more next time too…thanks for the suggestion!

  30. 30

    Maria — April 23, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    P.S I’m going to try freezing the infusion, so I can make some later in the season. We have so many violets at the moment – but I don’t want to make it all at once!

  31. 31

    Deb — April 24, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    This is such a lovely post! I’m charmed by the sparkling violet jelly. A delightful ode to spring!

  32. 32

    Lorraine — May 9, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    I love the color of that jelly, and you photograph and style your recipes so beautifully. I am curious about doing something with all the borage blossoms I have in the garden, sadly I don’t have anywhere near enough violets to make something like this!

  33. 33

    Day of the Locust « Glutton for Life — May 11, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    [...] heat really masks their delicate aroma and flavor (though Winnie seems to have had good luck making violet jelly). If you’ve never eaten flowers, I suggest this be the year you nibble on some rose petals, [...]

  34. 34

    Long Weekend Trip to Mountain Creek Cabins (Part 2) | Garland's Mountain Farm — May 13, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    [...] the way we saw lots of violets and I had just read this post on Healthy Green Kitchen about making Violet Jelly!  I wanted to go back out and pick a [...]

  35. 35

    Kettle Confections — May 15, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    This looks amazing! We can think of so many things this will go well with already.. milk tea, toast, icecream, we know of a store here in nyc that sells flower petals so we’ll be giving this a try soon.

  36. 36

    {weekend project} Violet Jelly | FROM SCRATCH CLUB — May 17, 2012 @ 5:02 am

    [...] The original recipe is by the fabulous Winnie Abramson of Healthy Green Kitchen. She used two cups of sugar, which in jelly making could decrease its consistency and firmness as [...]

  37. 37

    Toni @ Boulder Locavore — May 20, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    This is beautiful Winnie and genius! I too have violets in the spring and love putting them in salads but would not have thought to make a jelly of them. I think I may have missed the opportunity this season but will certainly bookmark this for next spring.

  38. 38

    zoe — July 12, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Hello :) Do you sell your jellies?

  39. 39

    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — March 20, 2013 @ 6:31 am

    Just so very lovely, Winnie! Pinned at Pinterest! xo

    • Winnie replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

      Thank you Stacy!

  40. 40

    Melissa — April 15, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    Hi! Last year we made some violet jelly but I lost the recipe. While searching for one I came across your site. I’m looking forward to exploring around more! I had a quick question that I didn’t see in the other comments. Did you use regular powdered pectin or low/no sugar pectin? The way your recipe is written I’m assuming regular, but I’ve always thought you needed tons of sugar for regular pectin to be effective. Thanks!

  41. 41

    Sandy Johnson — April 17, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    I just used your recipe and it worked perfectly. It worked better than the last one. Thank you so much! =)
    -Sandy

  42. 42

    Suzanne — April 17, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    I just followed your recipe but I had picked up Certo liquid pectin at the store. I thought it was starting to gel after the 5 min cook time and I poured it in jars(4) and did the hot water canning to seal the jars. But they have not gelled yet. I saw on another site that you’re suppose to add the liquid pectin after boiling the sugar,lemon juice and infusion. Is that where I went wrong or is it the reduced sugar?

    • Winnie replied: — April 17th, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

      Hi Suzanne,
      I have zero experience with Certo liquid pectin…I’m sorry! I can’t say for sure but yes, this recipe may have too little sugar for that type of pectin.

  43. 43

    sharon lindsley — April 20, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

    Wish I got this a month ago – my violets are almost done – warm weather here!

  44. 44

    Sunny Nestler — April 20, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    I’m going to make this – hopefully tomorrow! Now, all I need is a recipe for dandelion jelly (if there is such a thing!) and the Greek Yogurt Biscuits you mentioned in this recipe!

  45. 45

    Sunny Nestler — April 20, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    Question – maybe a dumb one, but I’m okay with that! I’ve got a lovely bowl full of organic lemons… can I use them instead of the bottled organic lemon juice, or is the bottled stuff concentrated or something?

    • Winnie replied: — April 21st, 2013 @ 11:17 am

      Hi Sunny,
      I know it sounds way better to use fresh lemons, but the reason the bottled lemon juice is recommended is because it has a standardized amount of acid, and it’s the acid level that determines the safety of home canned goods.

  46. 46

    Newbie with a "duh" question - Homesteading Today — April 25, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    [...] Saritamae – I have not canned violet jelly however, there are lots of instructions on the internet for doing this as a water bath – so I would say it should be ok and easy. The watchout I think is the recipe itself and the quantity of sugar. Here is one to look at. Maybe your recipe is similar enough to just use the canning instructions. http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/violet-jelly.html [...]

  47. 47

    Foraging for Violets – Homemade Violet Jelly « Brooklyn Locavore — April 27, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    [...] Jelly (Adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen) Makes 5-6 40z [...]

  48. 48

    Spring Tonic Soup with Wild Greens | Healthy Green Kitchen — May 2, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

    [...] you can eat violets, too: if you’ve got lots of them popping up on your lawn, you can give this recipe for violet jelly a [...]

  49. 49

    Goshen Commons | Where a city meets for conversation | Long Live the Weeds — May 11, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    [...] liked my scruffy-looking lawn. But now I look on it with new appreciation. Maybe I can make some violet jelly or a casserole made with dock. And I wonder what other wonders are growing in my [...]

  50. 50

    » 10 Edible Flowers – Part 2 Hearthsteading — May 17, 2013 @ 4:25 am

    [...] Violet Jelly: http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/violet-jelly.html [...]

  51. 51

    Foraging Outdoors with Children and a Recipe: Garlic Mustard Pesto Pasta Topped with Fiddleheads and Morel Mushrooms - My Humble Kitchen — May 17, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    [...] had my heart set at finding enough violets to make my own preserves of violet jelly. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough violets to forage for that but my children and I still [...]

  52. 52

    Violets are for Spring (and Violet Jelly) | Art of Natural Living — May 27, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    [...] based on one from Healthy Green Kitchen,  Yield: About 2 cups (four 1/2 cup [...]

  53. 53

    I WIlkerson — May 27, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    I made this–thanks so much for sharing. You are completely right about the amount of sugar. Mine is here if you’d like to see:
    http://artofnaturalliving.com/2013/05/27/violets-are-for-spring-and-violet-jelly/

  54. 54

    E. Gream — March 27, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

    I just had a couple of questions. This is my first attempt at canning & have been very excited about making this since I first saw it last year. I collected my violets & followed all directions. When I finished “cooking” the jelly, it was beautiful. After the canning process, it has now turned a shade of amber. Is this normal – will it turn back to the gorgeous pink/purple color? Also, it seems pretty runny still in the jars. Are you supposed to allow it to set up before canning? Thanks so much for any advice you can give.

    • Winnie replied: — March 28th, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

      Hi there,
      I do not know why it changed color…I have not had that experience. The setting up should happen during the cooking process, though it may thicken further in the jars…let me know how it turns out ;)

  55. 55

    Dandelion Jelly | Meals We Like — March 29, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

    […] I want to try to make violet jelly from my Johnny Jump Ups (http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/violet-jelly.html or http://bloomingglenfarm.com/blog/recipes/johnny-jump-up-jam)  I already have some flowers […]

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