Jelly is a favorite food in our house. We eat it for breakfast, lunch and, yes, desserts. With three kids in the house, we could go through a lot of store-bought jellies. Instead, sourcing our front lawn for dandelions and violets give us a cheap jelly that I don’t mind giving away for gifts.
Dandelions and violets may not seem like the obvious choice for jelly, but as soon as you make them, you’ll love the beautiful colors. Dandelion jelly is a bright, golden yellow, and violet jelly is a bright, pink color. However, many people turn up their nose at the idea. Won’t it taste like you’re eating a mouthful of flowers?
Surprisingly, the answer is no, although there are floral hints to the jelly. After all, you are using flowers. Violet jelly does have a taste that will remind you of grape jelly, with hints of floral. Dandelion jelly, on the other hand, has a flavor that is similar to honey or chamomile. It’s like a delicious tea on top of your toast.
How to Make Violet Jelly
- 3 cups of loosely packed violet blossoms.
- Juice of large lemon.
- 2 ½ cups of boiling water.
- One package of pectin.
- 3 ½ cups of sugar.
- Jars, lids and rings.
1. The first step is to pick all of the violet blossoms. If you have kids, this activity will take them a long time and keep them occupied. Picking the flowers is the hardest part of making violet jelly, but if you have a nice day, it’s a great way to spend time outside.
2. Next, make a violet infusion. Pour 2 ½ cups of boiling water over the top of your violets. You need to leave this alone and let it infuse. Soon, you will notice the water turning a deep blue, then into a deep purple, depending on the shades of the violets used.
3. After it is infused, strain out the violets, leaving you with the infused water. Add the juice of one lemon.
4. Now, it is time to make the jelly just like you would with anything else. The pectin typically has instructions included. Mix the pectin with the flower and lemon mixture. Then, stir on the stovetop until it reaches a heavy boil. Jelly needs to boil for one minute; then you add the sugar required based on the pectin you used. Keep stirring until it reaches a boil again for one minute. Remove from heat and place it into the prepared jars.
5. For violet jelly, you just need to water bath the jars for five minutes. Let the jars sit for 24 hours to cool and solidify before using!
How to Make Dandelion Jelly
Yes, those yellow flowers dotting your yard are good for more than just honeybees! Dandelions aren’t a well-loved flower, but they make a lovely jelly for your breakfast toast. When you go pick the flowers, try to remove the stems as best as possible. Stems are bitter and will infuse an unpleasant taste.
- 1 quart of dandelion flowers.
- 1 quart of water.
- 1 box of pectin.
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- 4 ½ cups of sugar.
- Jars, lids and rings.
1. Fill up your quart jar with dandelion flowers, not stems. It is better to stay away from chemically sprayed flowers. When you get them inside, rinse off the flowers first.
2. In a pot, add the rinsed flowers with a quart of water. Allow them to boil for three minutes to infuse the water. Then, drain the flowers from the water. Cheesecloth or coffee filters work best.
3. Put the strained liquid into the pot again. On average, you want to have about 4 cups of infused water. Add the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into the mixture.
4. Read your pectin instructions. Add the pectin to the mixture and bring to a rolling boil. Make sure you keep stirring! Allow it to boil for one minute and then add in the sugar. Depending on the type of pectin used, you will add between 3 and 4 ½ cups of sugar. Stir this mixture well and allow to boil for one minute again, as you stir. Remove from heat.
5. Ladle the jelly into the jars. Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes.
6. Jellies are a family favorite. From grape and blueberry to floral jellies, using what you have around you is the epitome of homesteading. In most areas of the country, violets and dandelions grow around you freely. The cost of these jars will be minimal, making them a lovely gift for Christmas, if you can keep some away from the kids!
Have you ever made violet or dandelion jelly? Share your tips in the section below: