Old Fashioned Lilac Jelly Recipe
I absolutely adore the scent of spring lilac. I often wondered if the gorgeous flowers were edible. They are! Make your own Old Fashioned Lilac Jelly today!
Lilac is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalized in other parts of Europe (including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy), as well as much of North America. It is not an aggressive species and is often used as a landscape ornament. I have three lilac bushes in close proximity to my own home, one in my yard and two being in the neighbor’s landscaping. Thank goodness I have a good relationship with my neighbors, thanks to my love of sharing my vegetables and canned goods with them each year. (Maybe it’s bribery, but we are all okay with it.)
Lilac is Edible
I’ve recently become enamored with the idea of edible flowers and edible landscaping. I have lilac, violets, onions, and blackberries all in my landscaping. Soon I hope to add blueberries, grapes and other edibles into my landscaping efforts. Knowing that lilacs are edible just makes me happy.
I’ve often made jellies and other preserved goods from flowers, specifically violets, and dandelions. Knowing that I can also preserve lilacs makes me want to go on a mission for other flowers I can preserve. It’s not only fun to make unique jellies, but it’s a treat to add them to gift baskets and other treats for friends and family. I love being able to take something so common and turn it into something that no one has ever heard of.
First, you must harvest your lilac blooms in order to start the process of making your Old Fashioned Lilac Jelly. Cut off as many fully bloomed flowers as you can. Put them all in a big bowl or basket. Now find a comfortable place to sit and pick them again. In order to make your jelly, you need only the purple blooms. Yes, the itty-bitty ones. Carefully pull each flower from the greenery, discarding any blooms that are not in prime blooming condition. Discard all of your greenery, keeping only the flowers.
Steeping Your Flowers
To infuse your flowers into liquid, simply pour the desired amount of boiling water over the flower buds in a heat-safe bowl and allow to steep 8 hours or overnight. The result will not look like the gorgeous purple buds did at first glance. But just wait until you add the lemon juice to your infusion.
- 2 c. packed lilac blossoms, clean of stems and greenery
- 2 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 4 cups sugar
- One box Sure-jell powdered pectin
- Steep the blossoms in the water. Place the blossoms in a heat resistant container and pour the boiling water over. Allow them to steep 8 hours or overnight.
- Sterilize four 8-ounce jars or eight 4 ounce jars. Keep hot. Heat lids and rings in hot water, keep warm but not boiling. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.
- Strain the flowers out of the water. Squeeze dry. Measure to make sure there is 2 1/4 cup infused water. Add more water if needed.
- Place the flower infusion, lemon juice, butter and pectin in a large heavy bottom pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Add sugar all at once, return to boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Skim foam if needed. Remove from heat.
- Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process for 10 minutes in water bath canner. Remove jars from canner and allow to rest until cool before removing rings, wiping any drips and labeling for storage.
- Yield approx. 4 half pint jars or 8 – 4 ounce jars.