Homemade Violet Jelly

While researching violets several years ago, I found references to homemade violet jelly. It looked beautiful, but I wondered… would it taste like you were eating a mouthful of flowers? That didn’t sound all that appealing to me.

Regardless, I decided to try it out basing my experiment on a recipe for mint jelly. My first batch tasted delicious! Everyone loved it, only it didn’t set up; it was more like syrup.

I did some more research and compared all sorts of recipes and came to the conclusion that I had too high of a liquid to pectin ratio.

two jars of violet flower jelly above a photo of a stainless steel measuring cup filled with fresh violet flowers

So, the making of batch two ensued.

It turned out perfect!

What does violet jelly taste like?

Though the flavor is difficult to describe, most of the people that taste tested it described it as similar to grape, myself included.

You can also make flavor variations with this recipe – see below for more on redbud jelly.

Just a note: Violets have mild laxative properties when eaten in excess. So please enjoy this jelly in moderation!

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four square collage showing 1 cup of fresh violet flowers, a jar with a violet flower infusion, a jar of blue violet infusion with lemon juice being poured in, a jar of now-purple violet infusion because of lemon color change

Homemade Violet Jelly Recipe

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 to 3 cups loosely packed violet blooms
  • the juice of one large lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar

Directions to Make Violet Flower Jelly

Step 1 – Make a Violet Infusion

Gather two to three cups of violet blossoms and pour 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over them.

The mixture will begin to turn aqua then eventually a deep blue or purple depending upon the shades of violets used.

Step 2 – Strain & Add Lemon Juice

After the violets have infused for several hours, strain the infusion, and add the juice of one lemon.

The blue will quickly turn from blue to purple – as you can see in the photos above. (Your kids might enjoy watching this change too.)

Step 3 – Make the Jelly

Now, mix the pectin with the flower/lemon juice mixture, and stir the mixture in a heavy duty saucepan over high heat until it reaches a heavy boil.

Boil for one minute then add the sugar all at once.

Keep stirring, return to a boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and quickly ladle into prepared jars.

You can either store the jelly in the refrigerator for two weeks or process in a water bath for five minutes, for longer storage. (Ball has good directions on water bath canning.)

two jars of redbud flower jelly beside two jars of violet flower jelly with fresh redbud and violet flowers in front and green grass in the background

Redbud Jelly Variation

You can also use this recipe to make redbud jelly. Please visit my daughter’s site – Unruly Gardening – for more information on how to make the redbud jelly shown above.

Looking for more creative ways to use flowers and herbs? Check out my Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home!

Available from your favorite bookstore or the following book sellers:

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Jan
 

Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Jane says:

    This is so incredible! I love the color of the jelly! It is … so violet! lol! I’m guessing you picked the violets? Any idea if I could get any online anywhere perhaps?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jane! Yes, the kids and I picked tons and tons of violets for my projects plus I enlisted my sister and nephew to help. :) I’m not sure if you can get any online, but my brother makes these types of unusual jellies and sells them at county festivals and such -you might can find some vendors that way! :)

  • Jill says:

    NERDS ARE AWESOME! Holy cow! I didn’t even know violet jelly was a thing! I get tons of violets in my yard. As soon as spring comes to Milwaukee, I am going to try this. Too cool!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jan says:

      Thanks for the comment! I didn’t realize it existed either until a few weeks ago. Today, I had my first taste of dandelion jelly that my brother made. Deeee-licious! I hope spring hurries up and arrives for you soon. :)

  • Johnna says:

    Ooooo! Can you share the dandelion jelly recipe too?

    • Jan says:

      I asked my brother the same thing! :) He told me to make it just like I would my violet jelly, only use dandelion petals in place of violets. I believe (from reading elsewhere) that you use only the yellow part because the green part can be bitter, so it’s a bit time consuming to pick off the petals. I’ll double check with him to make sure I’m giving the right info! :)

  • Sunflower Jelly | The Nerdy Farm Wife says:

    […] based my first batch off of my violet jelly recipe. I would think that if you have a favorite flower petal jelly recipe, you could interchange […]

  • Lana says:

    sounds wonderful and looks beautiful. What type of violets did you use and do you know where they sell the flowers or petals if you don’t grow them?

    • Jan says:

      I just used the smallish wild ones that I gathered from my sister’s house – she has huge masses of them in her back yard each year. They spread really easily – I got just a handful from her several years ago and now they ring almost around my house (in spite of my hubby’s weed-eating them sometimes!)

      I’m not sure where you could buy fresh organic ones, especially this time of year. The leaves are still out on my plants, but the flowers long gone. You might be able to google “dried organic violet flowers”? But, not sure how tasty of a jelly that would make…

      I found a few people selling violet jelly on Etsy… I can’t vouch for any of them, but they all look tasty! :)

      http://www.etsy.com/search?q=wild%20violet%20jelly&view_type=gallery&ship_to=ZZ&min=0&max=0

  • Heather says:

    Could you use honey instead of the sugar? this looks so fun i know my preschoolers will love it!!!

    Thanks for the idea!!!
    Heather

    • Jan says:

      Hi Heather, you sure can! I often made jelly with honey and low sugar pectin when my son was sugar free. I think somewhere in the packet (or perhaps the Ball web site), they give further details on ratios. I hope your preschoolers enjoy! :) (One note, violet does have mild laxative properties, so make sure they sample in moderation!)

  • Diana says:

    Hi! I love this idea! Could you freeze the flowers if you don’t have time to do the whole jelly process? I saw you suggest freezing dandelion flowers for later use once. Or maybe freeze the infusion?

    I was also wondering about use violet flowers in the salve or lip balm. If I wanted to do that should I use fresh or dried? We still have some blooming around her and I dying to try something with them! I also kind of want to save the for use later but wasn’t sure how to do that best. Thank you so much for your beautiful blog posts!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Diana! Yes, violet flowers freeze very nicely. You can also freeze the infusion, just as you would juice for making other jellies such as grape, etc. You could try drying the flowers to use in lip balm and salve. I haven’t experimented with that aspect much, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I like to use dried or at least flowers that have wilted overnight so that most of the water is evaporated out. Some people do fine using fresh flowers/herbs in oil, but in my experience it gets a little sludgy and the risk for mold & spoilage is much higher.

  • Diana says:

    Oh sorry, one more question! What oil would your expend to use if you don’t want a smell from the oil? (Like if you were making lip balm that was going to be close to your nose or a solid perfume.) is there a really light smelling olive oil perhaps? Thank you!

    • Jan says:

      My favorite light oil is sunflower oil. It should have no real smell to speak of. I read a study a while back showing that sunflower was more helpful for damaged skin than olive oil, so have switched over to using it in most salves & lip balms.

  • ginger says:

    this is so great, amazing what we can do with things we have growing all around us.

    • Jan says:

      Yes, I love being able to go out in my yard and find good things to use for food and useful projects! :)

  • Gail Kimes says:

    what kind of violets do you use. I have three different kinds growing in my back yard… all purple with a little white face, white with a purple face, and off white speckled…I am sure they have different properties and uses

    • Jan says:

      Hi Gail, Mine are just common purple ones, as shown, for the most part. There are a few darker ones that grow at the edge of my woods (first time spotting them this year) and mingled in with the common purples are some white with purple faces. I use them all equally. Yours sound fine to use, but to be sure you could do a search to look them up and make sure your flowers are in the viola family.

      • Deb Ridgeway says:

        I realize I will use the flowers and not the leaves but do you leave the bit of green at the bottom of the petals or do you have to remove that, too? Thank you. I have lots of violets in my yard right now and I can’t wait to make this jelly. Thank you!

        • Jan says:

          Hi Deb! I do a mixture of both. I usually start off by pulling off and using just the petals, but then get tired of that fairly soon, so fill the rest of the way with violets with the green part. :)

  • Sarah @ O Mama Hill's Soap Co. says:

    Does your brother have a website or FB page where he shares any of his recipes? I made this violet jelly and everyone that has tried it, loves it. I am going to try the sunflower jelly, and want to do the dandelion as well. I am not sure how to go about getting all the petals off the dandelions without drying them first. As they wilt pretty quickly after picking I feel like I would need lots of helpers to try and pick, get the petals picked or cut off, and into a jar for the hot water in any timely manner. Does he use fresh petals or dried? I would love to see more recipes of his, if he has them available anywhere. Thanks for everything that you do!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sarah, He has moved onto building guitars from scratch (he has many, many, MANY hobbies and interests!) so hasn’t done much jelly making lately. But I will tell him you like his recipe! :) For dandelion jelly, just pick the blossoms, stick them in a bowl in the refrigerator & cover it with a damp towel. This will keep them fresh and open long enough for you to work with a portion at a time. Grab each flower, hold it sideways, do a quick snip off of the green bottom with a pair of scissors, and toss the petals into one bowl and the green part into another. It’s okay if a some green gets in with the petals – a little bit won’t hurt. Just work in a quick manner, sort of assembly line style, and wilting shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think you’d want to make jelly with dried dandelions (though I haven’t tried it – so can’t so for sure it won’t work!)

  • Kathy Campbell says:

    Would like to buy some violet jelly. Please let me know how I go about buying some and the price. Thank you, Kathy campbell

  • Megan says:

    The violets that grow in my yard are very small and most are white…are they okay to use in this recipe?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Megan, That’s a good question! I would think you could, since all members of the viola family are edible as far as I know, but you won’t get the pretty purple-pink color.

  • April@mysacredsojourn says:

    We just moved to Missouri and our yard is FULL of violets! We didn’t have these where we lived in Oklahoma, but I thought I remembered reading they were edible. I’m planning to try this recipe out with my daughters. I think a small jar would be so pretty in the mother’s day baskets we’re making. I’ve NEVER canned anything before, so I hope it turns out! And I’m intrigued by the dandelion jelly. We have lots of those too and I have read they have a lot of medicinal qualities. We’re going to have to start harvesting! :)

    • Jan says:

      How wonderful to have a yard full of violets, and dandelions too! They are two of my favorite medicinal weeds – lots you can do with them. I hope your jelly turns out well!

  • michelle says:

    I picked the petals off when I made mine as the green can give it a bitter sort of taste………

  • rita says:

    I have to pick the violets today but can not make jelly for 1-2 days. Can violets be stored in the freezer for later use? If so, how do I prepare them

    • Jan says:

      Hi Rita! Yes, you can freeze violets. There are a couple of options. First, you can just put them in freezer bags, spreading them out in a flat/single layer as you go and pressing much of the air out of the bag. Let that freeze flat and then it’s easy to take out what you need, when you need it. You could also freeze the flowers on cookie sheets first, then transfer to a freezer bag. That’s a little more time consuming though. I’ve kept frozen violets for 9 months to a year before using – they keep their beautiful color nicely. Use them straight from the freezer, without thawing first or they’ll tend to turn to mush. You can also make up the violet juice (infusion) for jelly and freeze that in plastic containers like you would if saving grape or berry juice to make jelly with later in the year. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and finish making jelly with it the next day. The juice (infusion) should stay good about 9 months to a year as well.

  • Frances Mendenhall says:

    I used half the package of dry pectin and it jelled just fine. I try to use naturally occurring pectin as in apples, oranges, cranberries, etc. But I just had to try this. Delicious!

  • Diana says:

    Just curious – how much sugar did you use? In my Sure Gel instructions I see different recommendations depending on the type of fluid – since it’s not sweet should I go for the higher amount- 5-6 cups?
    It just sounds like so much…

    • Jan says:

      Hi Diana! I used 3 1/2 cups of sugar, because I also reduced the liquid amount. (So in essence it’s kind of like making 1/2 a batch of jelly, but with about as much pectin as you’d put in a full batch.)
      My original recipe was based on the directions in the pectin packet for Mint Jelly, then I just tweaked from there until it turned out a good texture & taste. :)

  • Marge says:

    First time I’ve made jelly. Staying at home because of COVID19, I had time to pick plenty of violets–couldn’t let the season go by. Your steps worked. Tested a bit, tasty.

  • Tina says:

    Can you leave the green bottom on to make Violet Jelly or do you have to pull all the petals off before adding boiling water. Thanks

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tina! I do a mixture of both. I usually start off by pulling off and using just the petals, but then get tired of that fairly soon, so fill the rest of the way with violets with the green part. I haven’t really seen any differences that way. :)

  • Daisy says:

    How many pints does this recipe make? Thanks!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Daisy! This recipe should fill about 4 or 5 eight-ounce (half-pint) jars, so about 2 1/2 pints, give or take a little. :)

  • Barb says:

    This is probably a really silly question. How many 4 oz. jars would this recipe fill? I’ve only ever made jelly/jam 1x in my life and that was back in the early 80s. I have a ton of violets and am trying this recipe.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Barb! I recently made half of this recipe and it filled two 8-ounce jars with a smidge leftover, so I believe a full recipe should fill probably at least 8 or 9 of the four-ounce jars. :) Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Kelly M says:

    Can the violets be steeped overnight, or is that too long?

  • Jackie says:

    The kids and I are making our first batch today!! We are all very excited. I have never canned anything before and I want to the water bath canning so I can give a few as gifts. How much space should I leave between the jelly and the top of the can?

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