Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making Candied Violets and Violet Syrup

I have scads of violets in bloom right now:

So I decided to try my hand at making candied violets. I've never done it before - but when has that ever stopped me?

I snipped several lovely blooms - here are a few:

And dunked them into a mixture of egg whites slightly whipped with a little bit of water:

Then coated them with sugar:

And plunked them on a parchment-covered cookie sheet:

Until they were all done:

Right now they are drying in a slightly warm oven. I'm curious to see how they turn out. Something like this may take a few tries to get right.

The other day I made some violet syrup. It's supposed to be good for coughs, although I didn't use V. odorata because my violets are V. somethingelseita.

To make the syrup I gathered a quart of violet blossoms, leaves, and stems. I mashed them up with my mortar and pestle and then covered them with a quart of cool water. I let this sit overnight. The next morning I transferred everything to a pot and simmered it on low for fifteen minutes and then strained the violets out. To the liquid I added six cups of sugar and stirred over medium heat until the sugar was dissolved.

It made a lovely blue-green syrup which tastes like syrupy broccoli water :

And along with violets, my two apple trees are in full bloom and they smell heavenly:


* said...

"Scads" is right.
Mine are over and I genuinely mourn them. Their disappearance makes me even more sad than seeing other plants come and go.
I just love them, bless their little lilac corollas.

Offering up a few violets to icing sugar is one thing, but don't start making cowslip wine.

It broke my heart to see some hulky man on TV boil and otherwise torture a huge panful of the dainty little things.
And for what?
After he had made the juice he had to flavour it!!! And added brandy. What's the point? If it is neither alcoholic enough nor tasty enough to stand on its own stem?
Let them use elderberry.
BTW, people started calling me Dot, which I didn't care for, (took me ages to realize why, clever me) so I morphed myself into a Star :-)

BTW2: Looking beyond the lovely blossom, I can see what looks like real grass, and an orchard with atmosphere. Any chance of a long shot?
I love to get a feel for bloggers' gardens, but they don't often serve it up.


ICQB said...

Hi Jo, aka Star ; )

I felt horrible pounding up my violets for the syrup, but the quart I took didn't even make a dent in the garden. But don't worry, no cowslip wine for me : )

And if my garden is ever in the kind of shape that a long shot wouldn't be embarrasing, then you'll see one here (which probably translates to, "Don't hold your breath").

My back yard has quite a few dandelions. We have a well back there and I'm always hesitant to throw chemicals around which may end up in our water. So we go au naturelle so to speak.

Actually I think they call that sustainable gardening nowadays : )

adrienne said...

I love those candied blossoms! I'm sure at some point my mom must have made some...we were always playing with flowers.
Not sure what you do with syrupy broccoli water...

ICQB said...

Hi adrienne!

Yes, I think I'll have the syrupy broccoli water sitting around for quite a while : )

Joy said...

Yours look like they'll be beautiful! Ours just started, and I'm hoping to try candying some for the first time. I thought the violet syrup sounded like a great idea, sort of like rose water. Broccoli syrup, mmm not so much :)

ICQB said...

Hi Joy!

The syrup is a nice color - the taste, however, does leave something to be desired. But as far as cough medicine goes, it's ambrosia : )

nomadshan said...

Re: your candied violets: we've done the same thing with cilantro and powdered/confectioner's sugar. When it's dry, crumble it on fruit salad -- yum!

ICQB said...

Hi nomadshan!

Wow, candied cilantro - who'da thunk?

I took a peak at your blogs - what a treat!