I adore wild violet flowers and all things related, like parma violet sweets or violet scented perfume; give me a box of violet and rose cream chocolates and I’ll keep creeping back to the box, lifting the lid when nobody’s looking to sneak another and another.
Violet syrup bottles the delicate scent and flavour of spring violets growing wild in the fields, tucked in at the base of the hedgerows. Mix Violet Syrup with soda water and a squirt of lemon juice to make a cordial to drink outside while the sun’s shining (think parma violets mixed with sherbet and water). Pour it over fruit or dribble it into a glass of white wine.
To make violet jellies, use leaf gelatine and follow the instructions on the packet – some brands need more leaves than others. I only make tiny jellies as the violet syrup is so precious and barely dilute the syrup (no more than 1 part water to 10 parts violet syrup). Top with Violet Syllabub or softly whipped cream.
20g wild violet flowers
75 ml water
squeeze of lemon juice
Pull the flowers from the stems and put them into a bowl with the sugar. Use a wooden spoon or pestle to mix them well, bruising the petals. Leave this for a couple of hours so the sugar starts to turn a violet colour.
Pour over 75 ml of boiling water, stir well to dissolve the sugar and leave to stand overnight.
You’ll now have a bowl of not very pretty dark violet with a hint of green liquid. Squirt in some lemon juice and it will magically turn a brilliant violet colour.