Lemony Lilac Jelly for Fairies, Picnics and Teas

Long ago in childhood on warm spring days, we sat near the Lilac trees maybe for shade but also for taste testing the Lilac blossoms!

Have you ever pulled off a blossom and sucked on it to taste a wee bit of sweetness? Then you can blow into them like little trumpets and pretend you are tiny Fairies!

Well I still do that and I have an enormous Lilac tree in my yard. The tree is so old there is lichen growing on her limbs. 

This year a nasty virus seems to have awaken the Allergy trickster within me.
So what to do?  You know the saying, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Right?

So I decided to make Lilac Jelly. I was not even sure such a delight existed~ But nowadays you can Google anything~ and that was just the beginning!

Have you ever just sat/stood and plucked Lilac blossoms for a couple hours? It ‘s not for everyone~ I just happen to have some Hunter/Gatherer genes and skills so I quite like it!

After they were plucked and I had a whopping eight cups of Lilac Blossoms and it was time to steep them in a glass bowl with 8 cups of boiling water with a plate on top and overnight on the counter.

My Lilac infusion was brown and cloudy. I remembered seeing that I could filter the infusion with coffee filters. This was interesting as it removed all the yellow and cloudy pollen. (But maybe pollen is not such a bad thing, as I see Bee Pollen for sale at the Farmers Market)

I ended up with 7 cups of Lilac liquid/infusion.

Now came the messy and rather challenging art of making jelly, sterilizing jars and filling and canning.  I was out of practice.

My cat Lila came into the kitchen to look at me with the, ‘What the hell are you doing in here?’ look. Maybe it was because I was licking hot burning jelly off my fingers and maybe my screams sounded like a catfight! 
Okay so she felt ignored and it was her suppertime. She does not do drama.           

My brown infusion lightened in color when boiled.  After all the fiddly work of jarring and canning, my lovely jelly is a beautiful golden yellow color!  Sunshine for my toast! 

 I imagine this would be very good with some Camembert soft cheese and some unsalted crackers or tiny toasts!!  Maybe some Champagne and Orange Juice or a hot cup of tea! Perhaps best served on a spring picnic amongst Flowers and Field Fairies.

Well now I am so proud of my Lemony Lilac Jelly and it tastes a bit tart like Marmalade, but it is sweet and good. I did have crackers and jelly for supper as I worked. 

When I tasted it later in the evening on a piece of toast, it had a rather floral impact! Maybe you think Garlic breath bothers you try going to bed with Lilac breath!!

 If you don't like it, I am sure it will make a lovely chemical free room deodorizer!

Lilac Jelly Recipe  makes 8- 4 oz jars
*I only used this recipe and others as a guideline..because I am a rebel cook!

2 c. packed lilac flowers
2 1/2 c. boiling water

1. Pour the boiling water over the lilac flowers, cover and allow to cool. Allow the infusion to sit 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Strain the flowers from the liquid using a coffee filter, you should have about 2 1/4 c. liquid.

2 c. lilac infusion
4 T lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell powdered pectin
4 c. sugar

3. Place the lilac infusion, lemon juice and pectin in a large pot. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
4. Add all of the sugar at once, and stir to dissolve. Bring the jelly back up to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
5. Remove the jelly from the heat, skim the foam from the top (I got a lot of foam from this recipe) and ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

From the Blog at http://the3foragers.blogspot.com/2011/05/lilac-recipe-lilac-jelly.html

*I fiddled with the Lilac Jelly recipe proportions. I read on the blog that it was too sweet and then I noticed it called for a lot of pectin and a lot of lemon juice.  Oh whatever, I was working with a triple recipe!
*I also reduced the amount of sugar. I used my one package of pectin. I researched that I could use apple peelings to create pectin for thickening.  So I added the large peelings of two Granny Smith apples.  I also reduced the amount of Lemon Juice. My jelly may be more condensed and aromatic, as I boiled it longer than 1 minute.

Perhaps you can dream of where you would like to have a spring picnic~ 

Close your eyes and listen to The Scone Fairies maybe the music will guide you too!

Have you ever heard of Kitchen Fairies?  They often go to clean up or help out in a friend or relatives kitchen when help is needed. It seems the only helpful Fairies I had this day were lazy ones on standby. Oh well….
Lila in the Lilac Tree

I think I have garden fairies under the lilac tree. So maybe they would like to have a Fairy Picnic and taste my yummy jelly. Maybe I will make toast fingers just like my Grandma would make for me. Then leave them out under the tree as an offering to the Garden Fairies!
© Sherry Robinson, Notice Quiet Nature 2011

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  1. This sounds great, Sherry, I want to try this now!! I have never tasted lilac flowers before, does it matter if they are different coloured flowers? And does process mean boil? (Maybe canning is dangerous for me).

  2. PS, I love your photos. The yellow flowers at the top are beautiful.

  3. Thank you Beattie PAC. I saw that different coloured blossoms will produce variations in color. It is like a science experiment! Other Blogs that I just read mention snipping the green parts off the blossom so maybe this allows for a more rosy colored jelly and sweeter too!

  4. OK, hopefully you know that was me. I must have been logged onto the Beattie pac email instead of my own, sorry about that!! Thanks for the info, though.