Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Colors

After letting the violets steep overnight I strained the liquid into a quart jar.  It was so blue it was almost black.  I had high hopes that the final jam color would be deeper as well.  We brought the jar outside and added the lemon juice so that we could enjoy the full beauty of the color change.  I thought it was interesting that the lemon juice made the color change from the bottom up.

Given that I have sworn off liquid pectin, I had to try to convert the recipe I normally use to powdered pectin.  I had 4 cups of violet infusion and 1/2 c. strained lemon juice and to that I added one package of powdered pectin and 5 cups of sugar.  The proportions seem to be correct as the jelly set up nicely, for a grand total of 6.5 cups.  The color, as I had hoped, is an amazing shade of fuchsia which I didn't think was possible.  I tried to get pictures tonight but I'll just have to add them in tomorrow.  If ever a jelly could be described as gorgeous.....

I moved from pink to green as I needed more mint jelly and the mint was just coming up in the garden.  After snipping off the tops of every mint shoot I could find, I had just enough.  I steeped the leaves for 10 minutes, strained them, and mixed 4 cups of the mint infusion with one package of powdered pectin and 5 cups of sugar plus 4 drops of green food coloring and 1 drop of blue.  This also yielded 6.5 cups and is starting to look a little darker now but initially it was the color of mouthwash.  Tasted better, though!
Here's the violet jelly with the mint.  Even this doesn't do the color justice!

Tonight I'll take the candied violets out of the fridge and let them sit out at room temperature for another day.  Then I'll report back as to how they are.  I checked them earlier and they certainly seem like they're doing the right thing.

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