Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fun with Lilacs!!

Lilac Jelly

4 cups lilac blossoms, green parts removed

4 cups boiling water

8 tablespoons lemon juice

2 packages powdered pectin

8 cups sugar

First, pick all the flowers off the stems...don't leave any of the green or the bugs...

Rinse lilacs and place in a large glass or stainless steal container. Cover with boiling water, cover with a lid and let sit for 24 hours. This will make a nice lilac infusion which smells nice but doesn’t look anything like you would expect. It is murky and either greenish or brownish.  Ours looked like iced tea...and when we tasted it with honey...well, it tasted like tea without the bitterness.

Strain the lilacs, squeezing out the excess water, and discard. Add lemon juice to the infusion, stir in pectin and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Add the sugar all at once and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute, skim and pour into jelly jars.  Finish with a 10-Minute Hot Water Bath.

I have read some websites that had their greenish liquid turn vivid pink when they added the lemon...mine didn't :(  I'm not sure if I have defective lemon juice or not...because other websites said nothing about it turning pink.  I actually was hoping it would turn out purple...but it now looks like "tea jelly."  I'll add finished pictures once it cools!  8 half pints and 2 quarter pints done!  We are well on our way of 800 canned.

Lilac Sugar

Make lilac sugar: This is the simplest thing to do, and flavored sugars are always a fancy little treat. Pick some lilac blossoms, clean and not buggy, and sprinkle them in a jar of white sugar, making a few layers, then cap the jar and forget about it for a couple of weeks. For a fancy tea party make little open face sandwiches with a sprinkle of lilac sugar and a few blossoms chopped into cream cheese, and a few petals for garnish, or use the sugar to make shortbread cookies.

Pictures of this once it has sat for 3 weeks and I can take a picture!!

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