Thursday, April 26, 2012

Violet Gelicacies

Spring is flourishing here in Boston. Tree blossoms everywhere and violets blooming in abundance in my garden.  Violets are pretty, but I've always thought of them as happenstance. Nobody ever plants them,  they just appear and make nice ground cover. A beneficent weed.

Then I learned they were edible, and that has changed everything. 

The common blue violet is native to North America and grows well in shady, moist environments. Which explains why there are in abundance underneath the peach tree. I swear last year there were maybe a dozen and this year at least a hundred clusters.

I picked the about two cups of blossoms and made a simple syrup from them.  

4 cups violet flowers, rinsed and dried on a paper towel and placed in tempered glass bowl
4 cups water, boiled

2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Pour the boiled water over the flowers, cover with plastic wrap and let sit over night.

Next day, strain the water through a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot. Add sugar and heat mixture to "smoking." Do not boil.

Remove from stove and put the pot in an ice bath to cool down.  Add lemon juice. The color goes from grey blue to a more purplish violet. So add lemon juice slowly until you get the color you desire.

The syrup was delicious mixed with soda water and lemonade. A google search of "violet cocktails" led me to the Aviation.  A mix of gin, lemon, cherry liquour, and violets.  I took this vintage drink and made a gel variation.

For aesthetics, I embedded a fresh blossom into each piece. 

Now that I am learning the array of edible flowers, I feel a bit like Katniss in The Hunger Games. I can't wait to make more gelatins with novel floral components. 


vlknh said...

I ate at the Beacon Grille in Woburn for Easter. They were serving a signature martini the "Violet Femme". It would have been a beautiful combination.

Kathy Czepiel said...

Can't wait to try this! I will share on my author FB page. Thanks!