I am crazy about finding uses for wild flowers and plants. I noticed the little purple violets all around our property. That same day I was looking through an old Appalachian collection of mountain recipes and came across an idea for violet jelly. The lady who talked about this recipe called it violet jam instead of jelly. The flowers are left whole to float in the jelly, so I suppose that’s why she called it jam. The recipe wasn’t incredibly detailed, so I’ll try to make it easier for readers to follow. Here’s what I did, based on the description of wild violet jam.
Gather 1 cup of violets. Sort through them and make sure there are no bugs or stems. (I picked mine in our field where no pesticides had been sprayed. I don’t want any contaminated plants. So be careful where you forage.)
I actually refrigerated half my blossoms, then went picking some more, so they wouldn’t wilt at room temperature.
When I had enough, I started my recipe.
*Before starting any canning recipe, be sure to have a clean workspace, and clean jars, lids and bands ready to go. This recipe will be poured into hot, sterilized jars, so I recommend having the jars already in water set to boil as you start the recipe. By the time it’s canning time, the jars will be boiling hot.
Mix together 1 package of Sure-Jell with 2 ½ cups water, and ½ cup lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
Add 3 cups of sugar, and bring to a boil, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and stir if it starts to foam up.
After the 3 minutes, take it off the heat. Add the whole cup of violet blossoms. Give it a stir.
Pour into the hot, sterilized jars.
Screw on the lid, and seal.
The original recipe had no guidelines on water bath processing times. A long time ago, Appalachian women would seal with beeswax, then as it became available, paraffin wax. These days, that method is frowned upon. So even though my jars were hot enough that my lids “sealed”, I won’t consider them shelf stable. (I’m picky about my food safety.) So, I’ll store them in the fridge or freezer. I’ll even give some away. They make a pretty little gift.
I made some of my Grandmother’s refrigerator rolls, and had some wild violet jam on them. It was lemony and slightly floral. The boys especially loved it. Give this jam a try!