I have posted in the past about making lemon, orange and vanilla flavoured sugars for use throughout the year. At this time of year the violets are out and violet sugar is a simple way of preserving some of that lovely aroma for Beltane/May Day…..
…and the rest of the year.
Spring time is flower time. Headbands, May baskets, hats and even the May pole are all decorated with blossoms of enticement. In the plant world, a flower, full of colour and aroma is what attracts the bees. They pollinate while flitting from flower to flower, doing their part so that fruits and vegetables can arrive later in the year.
When picking violets, please, take only a few from each plant. A thank you while picking shows respect and gratitude for what is being taken.
Violets come in a range of shades and tones so although the rule of thumb is 2 Tbsp. petals to 1/4 cup sugar, I would encourage you to not follow a recipe but watch what is happening as you grind the sugar. The darker the flowers the more likely the finished product will look gray, not purple.
Since there was a selection on hand, the decision was to work with a 50/50 mix of petals.
Be sure to pick your flowers from a safe place. One that is pesticide, territorial marking and car fume free.
Detach the petals from the stems and gather two tightly packed tablespoons.
Place in a small grinder with 1/4 cup white sugar and a few sprinkles of lemon zest.
Pulse until finely chopped. This will also cut the sugar granules down from a standard refined sugar cut to superfine, also known as fruit sugar.
For this recipe, I doubled the sugar as it really was an unappealing colour at the original ratio.
Pour the contents out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to dry for a couple of hours. You will probably find clumps in the mixture. Once dry, pop back in the grinder and pulse a few times to break the clumps down before bottling, labeling and storing.
Violet sugar can be used in all kinds of baking, on the rims of summer drink glasses and as flavouring for whipped cream. So as spring gets rolling and flowers offer up their seductive scents put away a jar of violet sugar to play with when you have time and inspiration.
Wild Violet Sugar from My Kitchen Wand