Monday, September 20, 2010

Ketchup & Spring Jelly in the Fall

It is officially fall.  If my allergy sufferings weren't proof enough, the leaves are turning and I'm shocked at how early its getting dark.  That means that I have had  Violet infusion (yes, violets, those lovely little purple flowers) in my freezer for almost 6 months!  Why I put off making such a deliciously delicate pantry staple is beyond me. 

JP Overby Wild Violet.preview


2c. Violet infusion
2-3 tbsp. Lemon Juice, or the juice of one lemon
1 Package of Pectin
4 c. Sugar

First you need to pick a TON of violets.  Just the heads (as little green stuff as possible) should be about 2 c. in volume.  Let the violet heads sit in water for about an hour to make sure all bugs have evacuated and drain.  Cover the heads in 2c. boiling water and let sit for 24 hours.  After that time, you should have a jar of dark blue liquid with what looks like white lettuce floating in it.  Use a colander or cheese cloth to drain out the flower pulp.  You can then continue on, or be lazy and freeze it for 6 mos like I did. 

Mix the infusion with the lemon juice (it'll turn a nice purpley pink, its an acid-base science thing) and the pectin.  Bring to a boil and slowly add sugar, one cup at a time.  Once all the sugar is in, bring it to a heavy rolling boil for an entire minute.  Make sure you stir constantly, boil overs are a real mess. 


Scoop into sterilized jars and process in boiling water for 5 minutes. 


I did this mostly cuz i have a ton of tomatoes, so let me preface this by saying that there are a ton of great natural store-bought options, from simply heinz to organics made from heirloom tomatoes.  Buying ketchup, however, doesn't use up my tomatoes. 

9 lb. Roma tomatoes
1/2 c. minced garlic
2 diced onions
2 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1 c. Balsamic Vinegar
3 c. Brown Sugar
3 tsp. Salt

Peel & seed tomatoes.  That took me hours.  Blend or food process Tomatoes, garlic & onions.  Add everything else and cook until it no longer had that raw tomato taste, then simmer down until it is the consistency you like it to be.  That takes a while. 

I got 2 Quarts from it. 


  1. Are you telling me that you can make violet jelly? Does it taste? I have never heard of violet infusion in my life. I am very curious.

  2. It is delicate and floral and wonderful. It's more of a tea & crumpets kind of jelly than a PB & J jelly. I've used the same recipe with rose petals before as well (as opposed to rose hip jelly, which is also a real thing).