lilac recipe

Lilac Vinegar

Lilac Blossoms, Steeping in Vinegar

Since the lilacs are in bloom, I decided to preserve some of them and make lilac vinegar. As long as they are grown where chemicals haven’t been sprayed, lilacs blossoms are edible. The flavor is floral, with a touch of spice.

I use the lilac vinegar in salad dressings, marinades and in pickling. I like to add a splash to soups or chili, to brighten them up. I also use lilac vinegar as a base for lilac jelly.

To make lilac vinegar, just place clean lilac blossoms in a jar and cover with red wine vinegar.* Put a lid on the jar and store in a cupboard for 10 days or longer. Ideally, you want at least one cup of blossoms for every 2 cups of vinegar- to get enough lilac flavor into the vinegar. A one to one ratio- one cup blossoms, one cup vinegar, will give you an even more flavorful vinegar in the end.

When ready to use, strain out the blossoms and discard them. Pour the vinegar through a coffee filter to get out any remaining plant material. You can transfer the lilac vinegar to a decorative bottle. It can be stored at room temperature but will hold its color longer if kept cool, even refrigerated.

* always use vinegar that is 5% acidity. You can use white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or whatever vinegar you like.

Lilac Salad

4-6 cups mixed salad greens, washed and spun dry

Olive oil

Lilac vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Edible flowers, optional

Place greens in a salad bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss until leaves look glossy. Drizzle with a little lilac vinegar and toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Add flowers, if desired and place in serving bowls.

Lilac Jelly

Lilac Jelly

Lilac Jelly

I always gather lilacs and make lilac vinegar with them. It’s easy to do. You just put lilac blossoms in a jar and cover them with vinegar. I use a cup of vinegar for every cup of flowers. I let the mixture steep for a week or longer and then strain out the blossoms. I decided to use some of this mixture to make jelly this year. The color of the vinegar is a light pink color. The cooking process changed it somewhat and it came out a light honey color. Very pretty. By using vinegar as the base the jelly has a nice combination of tartness with the sweet. I could see using it on toast or as a glaze for meats. May have to pick up some lamb to try it out. Since I had just made violet jelly I pretty much used the same recipe. I assume this will also work for other edible flower vinegars. Hoping to do this with roses later in the year.  Here is the recipe.

Lilac Jelly

3 1/2 cups lilac vinegar

1/2 c. lemon juice

1 package powdered pectin

5 c. sugar

Wash and prep jars and get water bath heating up. Place violet vinegar in pan and add lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar and return to the boil. Stir often. Once mixture gets to a full rolling boil, boil 1 minute. Remove jelly from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot liquid into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes for 4 oz. and 8 oz. jars. Remove jars to cooling rack and check seals once they have cooled down. Yield: about 7 half pint jars or  13-14  (4 oz.) jars.

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