This post will show you how to take the edible violet flower and mix it with plain granulated sugar for a floral sweetener that will dress a dessert with sophistication and springtime color.
In my post about identifying wildflowers (the real flowers, not you awesome readers) I mentioned a great resource for foraging and finding edible flowers. This is the resource I suggest to help you dive into the world of dressing your dishes with flowers.
I know I usually don’t post on Wednesday, and lately I have only been posting once a week, but I thought I better get with the program and share this violet sugar post because the blossoms required are only around for so long and I didn’t want this post to find you after it was possible for you to pick some.
I’m not one to try new things just because they are trendy. I tried these sugared flowers because I thought they’d be a very simple preserve (they were) that would be inexpensive (check!) and would make a plain dessert or beverage super fancy (absolutely!).
Not only were they all these things, but they were also very easy and the process is applicable to other edible flowers.
Get the book, grab a jar, and head outside.
I picked about a quarter cup of wild yellow violets. Because these beauties attract butterflies and bees, (super important pollinators) I picked one blossom from each plant that had two or more flowers on it. I tried to pick in moderation to leave some blooms to attract the bugs that do the critical work of pollination.
I left as much stem as I could behind to eliminate having to snip them off in the kitchen and in about 10 minutes, I had about a quarter cup of flowers.
Inside, I dumped the violets out onto a white countertop with a bright light above. Because I saw tiny black bugs leaving the flowers, I knew they had to be rinsed. Had I not seen any, I might have skipped the wash because I’m really impatient.
I rinsed in a gentle stream of water in a colander. After they had drained, I blotted them dry with a kitchen towel.
You can choose as large a jar as you would like, but I chose the tiny jam jars because I had such a small quantity of flowers.
I layered a little sugar, then a layer of flowers, then more sugar, over and over until the jar was full of sugar and the flowers were covered. Screw on lid and store in a cool, dry place.
The result is sugared flowers and flowered sugar that can be used to adorn a cake, freeze into ice cubes, sweetened tea, and more. The flowers can be separated with a wire strainer in short order, should you just want the flowers, say, for arranging atop pillows of fresh whipped cream or something lovely. Violets, in particular, are a somewhat delicate flower. Hearty rose petals would have held up better, and I will try that in a few months. The violets are vibrant color and are a little rumpled, but still lovely. By layering them in the very giftable tiny jam jar, you could actually layer them and give them with no steps in between. What a sweet gift!
One way I discovered how to use this pretty sugar is when rimming glasses for cocktails.
I have a big-time sweet tooth, and as much as I love a salty sip from a margarita glass, a fresh tasting cocktail with the festive sugar rim is right up my alley. This floral sugar is perfect; dip the rim of your wide mouth pint jar (or any cocktail glass!) in a little dish of coordinating fruit juice (citrus and apple are my faves), and then dip the now sticky edge into the violet sugar. Let the flowers stick if they will, and no worries if they don’t; you can use them to garnish the drink instead! Let the sweet edge firm up and then pour your cocktail.
I absolutely love helping you think of ways to add more handmade and homemade into your life, and when it is your turn to host guests I want you to feel ready! I created a full-fledged video course that teaches you in 15 quick, professionally edited videos (no time wasting silence or chit chat here!) how to make farmer’s market fresh cocktails like these: