Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Candied violets - 'Twill keep
I held a jewel in my fingers -
And went to sleep -
The day was warm, and the winds were prosy -
I said, "'Twill keep".
I woke - and chid my honest fingers,
The Gem was gone -
And now, an Amethyst remembrance
Is all I own -
In early spring, my daughter and I love to gather the wild violets that grow in our yard to make candied violets. We don't use any pesticides on our lawn or gardens, so no worries there.
If you'd like to make these, you'll need violets, egg white from one egg, and fine white sugar. I put a cup of white sugar in my food processor and pulsed it a few times to make the grains finer, but not enough to make dust.
Using a clean watercolor brush, gently paint the front and back of the petals with the egg white. You'll notice I don't remove the stems of the flowers. They're easier to handle that way.
Putting the sugar in an old salt shaker made it easy to apply. Hint: don't bury your violet in sugar. When it dries, you won't be able to see the flower. Two or three shakes is sufficient.
Put your finished violets on a piece of parchment paper to dry overnight. Some people like to put them in a warm oven. Having tried both ways, I believe that air drying retains the color better. Don't remove the stems until they are completely dry.
Voila! We use these to top fairy cakes, which I'll share in the next post.
I store them in a jar of fine sugar until I am ready to use them. They'll keep for months. But we usually don't wait that long :)