Monday, June 15, 2015

violet extract

So it's catch up time for blogging about last month's projects. My teaching job is done for the summer and Thing 1 is home now, too. (#goodbyefreedom) First up is the violet extract. This is likely the easiest thing you will ever make. 

Aren't they great? I love violets. Which is super lucky because they are all over my yard. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them. I wish they smelled good, but they really don't. These are pretty much just for looks.


Yep, that's it. 2 ingredients. Here's what you really need: a strainer, two glass jars, and time. But the time involved is leave it on a shelf and forget about it for 6 weeks or longer, so it's not like it really takes that long in terms of expending time. You are not stirring a pot for 6 weeks.

how to
Find a bottle. I used a mason jar. I did boil this jar and lid first, just to be sure it was sterile. Nothing should grow in the vodka, but I didn't want to chance anything.

Pick violets.Pick more violets. Pick more violets. You will need to fill whatever jar you have chosen. They pack and will wilt so you will need more than you think. If you find a good patch, you can just comb your fingers through the blooms and they will come off in your hand without the stems. Seriously pick more.

Rinse and drain the violets.

Pack them into the sterile jar. Fill the jar with vodka.

Put it out of the way, preferably in a dark cabinet and leave it there for six weeks.Or more.

oh yeah, violets. oops.

I actually started this batch last year. I put it out of the way in the downstairs pantry. And I'd pull out a jar of applesauce before dinner and think Oh! The violets! I should finish that! And you know, then not do anything about it. So leave it for 6 weeks, or a year, or some time in between that you remember it.

Strain the vodka. Toss the blossoms. I used a coffee filter inside the strainer inside the canning funnel. Totally optional, but helpful.

I did sterilize these jars, too.

I used two jars because I was giving away a bottle. I swapped a jar of extract for a bottle of walnut ink. My original jar was a pint jar. In retrospect, this is really way more extract than I needed to make. A half cup jelly jar would have been plenty, probably. Violets don't have a floral-type smell, so this extract doesn't smell flowery. It does smell very green and Spring-y. Use it anywhere you would use another type of extract, in cookies and cakes. I will be trying it in sugar cookies first. I'm looking at altering this recipe from Baking Away. Have you used violet extract before? Do you have a recipe I should try? Let me know!

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