Finally, the Wild Violet and Dandelion Jelly pictures I've been promising...
The Wild Violet Jelly turned out beautifully. To read about the actual ingredients and how to process go here to 5 Orange Potatoes blog. The pictures there are much better than mine!! ;-)
Beautiful!! Like a jewel!!
This is 6 cups of de-stemmed flowers. It was enough for 3 batches of jelly.
The violets are extra vivid this year. So pretty!!
The strained liquid after steeping in boiling water overnight.
Beautiful blue-green (mostly green)
After adding the sugar and before the lemon juice.
Very greenish looking.
Wow! A dramatic change after adding the lemon juice.
It turns a purple color from the chemical reaction.
I used concentrated lemon juice from a bottle this time and was not pleased with the strong, lemony taste that it leaves in the jelly. I've only used fresh squeezed before and thought that I could just substitute for the concentrated. I won't be doing that again!! I love the subtle lemon flavor of the fresh squeezed rather than the overwhelming concentrated one.
This was the first time that I made Dandelion Jelly. Sadly, I used the concentrated lemon in that too but it doesn't seem as strong since the dandelions have a stronger taste than the violets. I did make the mistake of squeezing the pulp of the dandelions which made the jelly a bit cloudy. I didn't think anything about it until I noticed how cloudy it was and then the lightbulb went off. I remember reading some time ago about not squeezing the liquid out of the pulp but to let it drain naturally. :-) Live and learn.
Looks and tastes like honey.
The dandelion florets without the bitter greens
The steeping dandelions.
The liquid solution did not have any color changes like
the violets did and remained basically the same color
The dandelion jelly still hasn't jelled up properly--even at over a week later. I've read that others have had this problem too. I'll give it some more time and then rebatch if I have too. It's way too good to let it go to waste.