Apple Lilac Jelly


I’ve been enjoying my lilac here. I’ve never had a lilac before. It’s well-established, so I didn’t have to worry about planting it, keeping it growing, or wondering if it will flower. It’s here and happy and I just get to take pleasure in it, cutting off blooms to take inside.

Then it occurred to me, just before it was too late, to check the edible flowers list here. Aha! Lilac is edible! I had a vision and came up with a jelly idea.

Lilacs are one of those flowers where the petals come apart easily from the stem.

It only took a few minutes to gather two cups of the last remaining blossoms.

I took them inside and washed them carefully, then created my vision for an apple/lilac combination that turned out to be quite wonderful. I created this recipe based on my Basic Flower and Herb Recipe for Jelly, which allows you to calculate on a per-cup basis.

Most flower infusions don’t yield a great deal of color in the end (no matter how vibrant the original blossom). If you want more color, you can add 3 drops of red and 3 drops of blue food coloring to the strained infusion here before adding to the pot. (I did.)

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How to make Apple Lilac Jelly

2 cups lilac petals
2 cups boiling water
1 package powdered pectin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup finely diced, peeled apple
4 cups sugar

Rinse flowers. Steep overnight in two cups boiling water.

The next day, strain the infusion through cheesecloth to get a clear liquid. Reserve petals. (The petals look like much less all mashed from straining.)

If the strained liquid comes up short (from the blossoms soaking up some of the liquid), add water to round up to two cups.

Add food coloring, if desired.

Combine strained infusion, powdered pectin, lemon juice, and finely diced apple in a pot.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved petals. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars. Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes. Makes 5 half-pints.

Lilac has a light lemony flavor, and would make a great combination with many fruits. I loved it with the apple. Often, I don’t include actual petals in a jelly, but in this case, the individual lilac blossoms are small, not off-putting in a jelly at all, and in fact, are quite pretty suspended in the jelly with the bits of apple. I wish I’d thought of this idea when I still had more lilac blossoms left because I would make more of this in a heartbeat. It’s unique and delicious, plus gorgeous in the jar. I did a presentation at the master gardener class on edible flowers and gave out samples of this jelly–it was a big hit. I know what I’m doing next spring. Making more Apple Lilac Jelly. If you have some blooms left on your lilac, get them before it’s too late!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 20, 2012  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-20

    I didnt know lilacs were edible either….
    I’m making violet jelly tomorrow – already made the infusion and picked up the pectin last night. I’ll have to try this one too…. I LOVE the smell of lilacs! Ours havent come out yet, but they will be soon!

  2. 4-20

    A word of caution, when working with flowers in food, make sure that no pesticides are present, particularly systemic pesticides which are absorbed by the plant. Otherwise, I can’t wait to try it! Time to search for scented geraniums!

  3. 4-20

    I bet lilac petals would be pretty in soap, too. Do you think they would retain any scent if you used them in soap?

    You might have to plant more lilac so that you’ll have one for show and one to use!

  4. 4-20

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I have a late-blooming Persian Lilac that is just getting ready to bloom that will be put to good use. I saw a recipe the other day for violet jelly that looked scrumptious but the thought of picking all those violets left me more than tired. BTW, what kind of apples did you use? :snoopy:

  5. 4-20

    I used a big Braeburn apple, and one was enough to make one cup of diced apple. I’d use any kind of apple I had onhand, though.

  6. 4-20

    It looks beautiful! I would just like to add a tip. Although I’m not an expert canner, one thing I read once that I do with my own jams is to begin solidifying the jam with the jar inverted, then when it is still pretty warm, but has cooled a bit, flip the jar right-side up to complete the cooling/solidification process. This makes the larger fruit bits evenly dispersed throughout the entire jar, so you get them all the way to the bottom, and visually makes the jam look pretty.

  7. 4-20

    Lilacs are my favorite! I Pinned this page so I remember to make some Lilac Jelly next year.

  8. 4-20

    I soooo love this idea! We don’t have lilacs here that can take our summer heat, but i love the thought of making flower/fruit jelly! I’m waiting for the next flush of bloom from my roses and trying to figure out where I can plant honeysuckle..LOL! I look forward to your blogs each day. Your homemade bread has now become a staple in our house.. Keep writing!

  9. 4-20

    This is brilliant!!! It has never occured to me that lilacs can be used in jelly. I have a huge lilac bush that has yet to bloom – hmmmmm wonder if I could make lilac/rhubarb jelly???

  10. 4-21

    Very pretty! Is there any floral taste to the blossoms as well?

  11. 4-21

    In the jelly, they just taste like the rest of the jelly. I haven’t tasted them separately, actually!

  12. 4-25

    Well we have a batch infusing right now, had to try it. Well while picking the petals the dog was eating them which made the kids eat the petals and I had to fight for 2 cups to infuse. So considering 3 kids plus our dog are already in love with the petals I think the jelly is going to be a hit as well.

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