In My Kitchen – April

In my kitchen this month are violets.

Because I love picking flowers from the fields and garden to bring back to the kitchen. Because I adore violets. Because violet cream chocolates, bunches of fresh violet flowers in tiny jugs and violet scented perfume all make me happy.

In my kitchen …

 

violet sugar

… is a jar of sweet scented Violet Sugar to dip into for icing or sprinkle over a tin of freshly baked shortbread. Ideal for making violet jellies. Violet Sugar is easy to make as you just whiz together a cup of violet flowers with two cups of sugar in the food processor and tip into a jar. Over time the sugar loses its colour, but still tastes of violets.

In my kitchen …

violet liqueur recipe

… is a small bottle of Violet Liqueur maturing on the shelf.  I just make enough to drink in the spring time, though I confess that we often come across the half drunk bottle later in the year and finish it off in the heat of summer. My favourite way to drink this is with a good squeeze of lime juice and a splash of tonic water, over ice.

In my kitchen …

 

crystallised violets and polyanthus using the gum arabic method
… are crystallised violets (and polyanthus and primroses) to scatter over a cake for Easter.

You can buy tiny jars of crystallised violets, but it’s easy to make your own. Lots of instructions use egg white but I’ve found gum Arabic produces a better result. Mix a teaspoon of gum Arabic powder with two teaspoons of water in a small bowl. Holding the flower by the stem, dip the petals into the solution using a small brush to make sure the flower is thoroughly coated, give it a shake to remove any excess and then use a teaspoon to sprinkle over caster sugar to completely cover the flower.  Lay the flowers on a piece of bake-o-glide, carefully cut off the stems and put the flowers somewhere warm (like the airing cupboard or above an aga) for 24 hours until they’re be crisp and dry.

Store them in an airtight jar and they’ll last until next year.

In my kitchen …

 

violet jelly

… are violet flowers suspended in Violet Jellies spooned from tiny glasses. It may look like methylated spirits, but it tastes delicious. A perfect spring pudding. For the recipe click here.

It feels a bit of a violet-fest here in my kitchen at the moment, but the season is only fleeting and if I don’t make the most of it, they’ll all be gone. As ever, it’s all or nothing here.

Once again, I’m joining in with Celia’s In My Kitchen series at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial as we tour the world to see what everyone has in their kitchen this month. If you have the time, check out some of the different blogs that are listed on Celia’s page.

 

You may also like to try:

Violet Syrup recipe

Violet Jam recipe

 

56 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April

  1. My Kitchen Witch says:

    Wow! An Easter cake decorated with candied violets would be spectacular. Does the violet sugar have a lot of taste? I tried infusing rosemary flowers, but it wasn’t very strong a flavour – although whizzing up the flowers with sugar might be better. Lavender sugar is also good.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Whizzing them together certainly helps the taste. I have some left from last year and it still tastes of violets – certainly not overpowering now but more a hint of violets, but that’s not bad after 12 months. I’ve tried lavender sugar but wasn’t overkeen – I shall have to try again this summer.

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  2. Joanne T Ferguson says:

    I love violets and they always make me smile as reminds me of a very special lady, now past away Anne!
    How about a violet panna cotta or some warm violet syrup over pancakes! YUM!
    Thanks for this month IMK view too!

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  3. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe says:

    I love purple and am so happy to see all your violet pictures – how wonderful that your flowers add so much colour to your kitchen – I think I particularly love the colour of the sugar and that you use gum not egg white in the crystallised flowers.

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  4. Brian Skeys says:

    I like the idea of Violet Liqueur, I don’t think I could fill two cups with the violets growing in the garden, I shall have to take the dog for a walk to see what I can find!

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  5. EllaDee says:

    Wow, this post is pretty! If the internet was more sophisticated it would smell lovely as well 🙂 In our garden we have native violets which are tiny, mottled white & purple but around the tank are a few precious clumps of traditional fragrant purple violets… I just need to get enough to make the beautiful sugar,

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      I wonder if one day we’ll be able to smell too! Wouldn’t that be great. Some years I only make a half quantity of violet sugar and then make a batch of rose sugar later. It’s easy to vary the quantities.

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  6. lizzygoodthings says:

    Oh Anne, such a beautiful post. Violets are charming, aren’t they! I have grown up with them all my life… and even now have them in my garden. Those violet jellies look amazing! Heading over your way mid year by the way! xo

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  7. Annie says:

    No violets out here yet, and when there are they are few and far between. Spring seems to be really late, even the wild primroses are only just out.

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  8. dianeskitchentable says:

    I love violets too & remember picking them for my mother who would put them in a little jam jar. I had no idea that you could eat them though – maybe if I’d known that, my mother wouldn’t have gotten quite so many.

    Love the idea of the crystalized violets. That would be so pretty on a cake. Of course it will be still a while before we get any violets here. Had a pouring rain all last night that melted a lot of snow but I still have piles in the shade that are at least 4′ tall. Seeing a few daffodil shoots in my gully though where it’s protected – there is hope.

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  9. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey says:

    Anne, thank you for making me smile with your love for violets. I love them too and how sweet they look and smell placed in egg cup on a bedside table. Adorable!

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  10. hotlyspiced says:

    What a beautiful post from start to finish. I do love your violets in all their varieties. I’m particularly taken with the violet sugar and think it would be wonderful sprinkled on freshly baked shortbread xx

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  11. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says:

    Anne, I’ve only done the In My Kitchen thing once so far, but each month I try to visit as many of the kitchens as I can. Thanks for the peek into yours! Love the crystallized violets for decorating cakes. I’ve never done it myself, but I remember my mother doing it. Lovely! I’ll try the gum arabic powder.

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  12. e / dig in hobart says:

    my goodness, the colour of that violet jelly! how decadent! for some reason it makes me think of glamourous ladies like phryne fisher languishing in their silken fineries .. how absolutely splendid.

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  13. Selma's Table says:

    Loving your violet kitchen this month, Anne – it’s not a flavour that I am too familiar with though I have tried them in chocolates. Can’t say that I have ever come across them growing either – you know – city girl, city life!!

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  14. Kavey says:

    I adore violet creams and parma voilet sweets — must see if I can get my hands on flowers to make some liqueur!!
    Kavey (fellow IMKer)

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  15. fergie51 says:

    Ah, those violets took me back to when I was a little tacker and used to hide in our neighbours shady sideway and pick all her violets. Think I remember the trouble I got into more than the taste! I’ve done borage flowers before and they were beautiful. Those colours are stunning. 🙂

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