Wednesday, May 9, 2012


One of my favorite harbingers of spring is New Hampshire's state flower, the purple lilac.  Well, any of the three makes me breathe deeply and inhale their enchanting fragrance.  We have a lovely purple lilac and a very large white lilac bush next to the chicken coop...strategically placed to override the chicken perfume for a short time! 

As a child new to New Hampshire, my friend Sharon taught me that lilacs were edible.  You can take the individual blossom, pluck them off the stem and suck the nectar out of the end of the petal.  It is quite sweet and lovely.  So, when I found a recipe on another blog for Lilac Apple Jelly...I KNEW I had to try it!

The recipe makes 5- 1/2 pint jars of lovely golden jelly.  The flavor of this wonderful spread is very delicate and has an undertone of the flowers combined with the apple, honestly incredible flavor.  I've never tasted one like it.  It is definitely better suited to a lightly toasted English muffin or perhaps a crumpet.  This is not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich jelly, the flavor deserves a lighter handling then that!  This suggested pairing would be perfectly suited to a nice cup of tea, English or Irish breakfast would do nicely.  If you love the idea of foraging in your landscaping as much as I do, please, give this a try.  You will be so happy that you did!

Lilac & Apple Jelly

2 c lilac petals, removed from the stem (try to keep the entire blossom intact, the nectar is in the center part)
2 c boiling water
1 pkg powdered pectin
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c finely diced, peeled apple (I used empire, which was a great flavor with the lilac)
4 c. sugar

Rinse flowers well.  Put in heat resistant bowl and pour boiling water over all.  Steep over night.  Next morning, strain petals using either a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth.  Discard flowers.  You will need the liquid to be exactly 2 cups, so if the flowers soaked some up, add enough cold water to make 2 cups. 

In medium saucepan combine flower infusion, pectin, and lemon juice.  Using a whisk, mix until the pectin is fully dissolved.  Add diced apple.  Bring to a boil.  Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved.  Return the pot to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat.

Using sterilized canning jars and lids, ladle hot jelly into the 1/2 pint jars (5 in all).  Put in a water bath canner and process for 10 minutes after the boil is achieved.  Remove from canner and place on counter on dishtowel to cool.  Listen for the wonderful sound of the "POP!!" as your jars seal. 

Enjoy!  and if you try it, please let me know how you like it.

Wishing you flowers & apple tastes, ~Peacemom


aseaman said...

My, oh my how scrumptous this jelly is. Topped my whole grain pancakes with this and oooh, what a delight. When I was a child we had a purple lilac in the back yard and I foraged those blossoms for their nectar - nice memory jogger, thanks!

Peacemom said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Ma! I thought it was really good in fact that I picked enough from our last few lilacs to brew up one more batch for the winter. Hmmm...Christmas perhaps? Love you!