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.)
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.