Spring is finally here, that days are getting longer and we’ve had a few days of consistent warmth. It’s time to make some wild violet honey.
I love this time of year when it seems that there is an overabundance of delicious wild edible and medicinal foods available.
Already I’ve been foraging for chickweed, dandelions, forsythia, purple dead nettle, mullein, and wild violets. In fact, this weekend seems to be just for wild sweet violets. As I was out walking my homestead, I noticed that I had many patches of violets all over the place and I knew I had to use them.
The nice thing about wild violet is that they are prolific growers and spreaders, so there’s always enough for some foraging and also enough to leave for our pollinator friends. They’re also a cheery addition to garden edges with their lovely little pops of purple color.
Yesterday I made up a batch of violet syrup to use in spring beverages and cocktails, and today I decided to make another seasonal spring favorite…violet honey. This is said to be a Victorian-era favorite. I like it for its simple yet decadent beauty. It’s what I would imagine the nectar of the Gods would taste like. If you could eat spring, I imagine it would taste something like this!
This is a super yummy and simple recipe that you can make in a few minutes. It’s the perfect pairing on top of biscuits, English muffins, or crumpets and looks amazing at a tea party or special occasion table.
Making the Wild Sweet Violet Honey
- Bowl or container to collect your violets in
- Double boiler or two pans (one settled inside the other)
- A jar big enough to hold a cup of violet honey
- 1/2 cup of fragrant wild violets
- 1 cup of local honey
Head out to your yard or whereever you’re foraging from to collect your violets. Just make sure that you know it’s free of chemicals and sprays.
Its best to collect dry violets when they’ve just opened. This is when they are most tasty and fragrant.
Carefully pluck off just the flower heads, leaving the stems behind. You’ll want to gather about a 1/2 cup worth.
Next, you’ll want to put your violets on the top of a double boiler with one cup of honey. If you don’t have one (I don’t) simply put a couple of inches of water in a pan and then nestle another heat-proof pan or container over the pan of water. The steam from the bottom pan will heat the violets and honey without the danger of burning or overcooking them.
Simmer the honey & violet mixture for 30 minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Let cool for at least 24 hours and allow the violets to fully infuse in the honey.
After 24 hours have passed, pour into a small jar (big enough to hold 1 cup of honey. Some people like to strain their honey of the flowers, but I prefer to leave them. I think they’re tasty and they look beautiful in the honey mixture.
You’ll want to heat your honey mixture in a double boiler again to get it to liquidize in order to pour it into your jar or to strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a jar.