Lilacs Useful

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I have this bush out by the pond that is very fragrant and beautiful in the springtime. I was here when we moved, but I really haven’t done much with it. This year in my effort to make the most out of my property, I decided to see what I could do with these beautiful blossoms. 

Turns out these fragrant blossoms are not only good for flower arrangements, but they are also edible! After looking I decided to make 3 simple recipes to start: Lilac infused honey, lilac infused sugar, and lilac jelly. The first two simple, the third, more steps, but fairly simple. 

First for anything you have to pick the blossoms when they are in full bloom. If you are picking with small children, place the blossoms in a bucket so you don’t lose them. After you are done picking, place them in a shallow pan OUTSIDE for an hour. This will let the bugs crawl away without bringing them into your house. I made the mistake of not waiting and spent just as much time smashing bugs as I did separating the blossoms. 

While you’re waiting, you can get your supplies ready. You will need sugar, honey (local is best, especially if you're dealing with seasonal issues), air tight jars, and hot water. Once the bugs have left, you can start the process. I stripped the blossoms off the bush, then had to pick the stems and leaf pieces out. Possibly took more time, but easier and safer with little ones than doing it all by the pond. 

Now the fun part! Boil water for the jelly. While you’re waiting on the water, lightly pack 2 cups of blossoms into a jar for the jelly to infuse overnight in. Fill your sugar jar ¾ of the way with sugar and place blossom petals on top of the sugar. Add sugar on top of the petals, to weight down, then seal and shake the jar to mix. Lightly pack a third jar for honey. 

The water should be boiling by now. Pour 2.5 cups over the blossoms destined for jelly and let sit overnight. Add honey to your jar slowly, it will take a long time to filter down through the blossoms. When you come back the next morning the honey blossoms will have floated to the top, simply stir and use. You can use the honey right away or let it sit and no need to filter out the blossoms!

Lilac Honey

  • Blossoms

  • Honey

Pack the jar with blossoms. Slowly add honey letting the honey settle amongst the blossoms. Fill until all blossoms are covered. Stir before use to distribute the blossoms and enjoy. 

This is great over biscuits, toast, scones, and more!

Lilac Sugar

  • Blossom Petals

  • White Sugar

  • Seal able jar

Fill the air tight jar ¾ with sugar. Place petals on top of the sugar. Add more sugar to weight down to petals. Seal the jar and shake to mix. 

Add to tea or coffee for a slight floral taste. Add to your cupcakes or desserts for a lovely lilac flavor. 

Lilac Jelly - ~ 8 4 oz jars

  • 2 c packed blossoms (no leaves or stems)

  • 2.5 c boiling water

  • ¼ c lemon juice

  • 3 c sugar (lilac sugar is amazing)

  • 1 box Jello pectin (4 T)

Place blossoms in a jar and add boiling water. Allow steep 8 hours or overnight

Strain the water. You should be left with about 2.25 cups of lilac infused water.

You can then start the Jelly making, or let the strained water sit in the refrigerator overnight. 

Sterilize 4 8oz jelly jars. Heat the lids and rings, but do not boil

Place water infusion, lemon juice and pectin in a pot and bring to rolling boil

Add all the sugar and return to boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Skim Foam if needed and remove from heat. 

Ladle jelly into hot sterilized jars leaving ¼” headspace. Wipe the rims and screw on the lids. 

Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes (add 1 minute for ever 1,000 feet above sea level)

Remove and cool overnight. Label and store. 

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