Saturday, April 27, 2013

Violet Obsession

My Brasilian friend moved and in her new backyard is a sea of violets.  She invited us over today to pick violets for jelly and have a little snack (pao de queijo and other things!).  I brought a large container to get enough flowers to make two batches of violet jelly.  We barely made a dent in the field of purple!  We got another container and picked more so I could candy them.  I thought it was a relatively easy process.

There aren't a lot of ingredients or anything, but it's tedious.  First you make an egg white wash and dip the violets in, then sprinkle them with powdered sugar and put them on a paper towel.  I did about 40 this way and then just about lost my mind.  At that point I was thinking about sugar water in an atomizer or something, but decided instead to just mix the powdered sugar in with the egg wash and bathe the violets in it.  I still had to laboriously separate all the petals before setting each blossom down on the towel, but at least it went a little faster.  Now all the flowers are in the fridge for 1 day and then they dry at room temperature for a day as well.  I have the two different batches separated enough that I can tell the difference so I'll know in a few days if my "alternate method" worked.

I also am steeping 4 cups of violets in 4 cups of boiling water and will strain that tomorrow and make the jelly.  I really packed the violets in there because I'm hoping for a nice strong purple color when it's all done.

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