One of the beautiful things about living on an island is the abundance of delectable resources.
I am ever the curious child and decided to make something sweet from the profusion of violets growing in the yard. The recipe below is incredibly easy to make and a very sweet treat (the recipe can easily be doubled if you have access to enough violets) :
Ingredients: one cup of violet flower heads
one cup of white sugar
one cup of boiling water
juice of one lemon
Tools: wooden spoon, plastic or glass bowl, saucepan, plastic funnel, sterilized glass bottle or jar
1) Pick one cup of sweet violet flower heads (discard the stems for compost) and place in a glass or plastic container (I used a plastic mixing bowl)
2) Pour one cup of boiling water over the flowers, covering them. I weighed my flowers down with a small plate as they kept floating to the surface. Let sit for 24 hours.
3) After 24 hours, gently squeeze out the flower heads and discard. (I added my flowers to the compost). Sadly, I forgot to photograph this process. The flowers at this stage are very pale and translucent. The water left behind is a beautiful shade of bluish purple. Strain the water into a non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic) to remove any flower bits that may have excaped your initial scrutiny. Set the violet infused water aside for now.
4) In a saucepan on the stove, pour in your one cup of sugar and the juice of one lemon. (I added a splash of water as I was afraid the sugar was going to stick) Heat gently and stir continuously to prevent the sugar from burning. When the sugar/lemon mix liquifies add the violet infused water and stir until thickened. (about ten minutes)
5) Pour syrup into a sterilized glass bottle or jar. Take your time! the mixture is very hot and you don't want to risk cracking your glass container. Let cool before sealing the container with a lid and pop into the refrigerator. Note: the syrup will be more of a pinkish colour than purple at this stage due to the addition of lemon juice changing the ph of the mixture.
Voila! You now have violet infused syrup! I'll be serving mine with seltzer, over pancakes, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. If you have any ideas about how you would use this sweet delight, please leave your suggestions in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!