Lilacs are fragrant and beautiful flowers, usually with a purple hue. These lovely flowers are edible and can be added and infused into many recipes. Offering sweet and floral notes, lilac jelly is prefect with freshly baked bread or equally delicious with cheese and crackers. Learn how to make your own lilac jelly with this easy recipe.
How to Make Lilac Jelly
Lilac jelly is a wonderful way to enjoy these beautiful flowers. Infusing the lilac blooms into water allows you to enjoy their wonderful flavor and floral notes. In a few simple steps, you can make your own jelly and enjoy their unique taste.
Harvesting Lilac Blooms
When choosing flowers to cook with, it is important to pick plants that have not been sprayed with chemicals. Anything that could have been sprayed with a pesticide can make you sick. It’s best to grow your own lilac bushes so you know how they have been grown.
Pick blossoms that are in full bloom. Unopened buds won’t have the strong lilac aroma yet and older blooms will also lack flavor and aroma. Light colored flowers will produce a more yellow jelly and darker flowers will have a rose colored jelly.
Wash your flowers in cool water once picked to remove any possible bugs or dirt. Then pick off the blooms from the stem. The stem and leaves will be bitter and can leave a bitter taste in your jelly.
For this recipe, you will need 2 cups of lilac blossoms. I find it easiest to pick off your blooms and them place into a measuring cup to get right amount.
Making Lilac Tea
Lilac tea is an essential step to making lilac jelly. This is the process of pouring boiling water over the lilac blossoms and allowing the blossoms to steep (or infuse) so that their flavor permeates into the water.
I usually use a large, quart sized mason jar, filled with the blossoms and pour 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over the blossoms. You can also boil the water in a pot and then add the blossoms into the water. The blossoms need to steep in the hot water for a few hours, I usually leave them in the jar overnight.
Making Lilac Jelly
Once your lilac tea has been steeped, you will need to strain the blossoms from the water. Be sure to squeeze the blossoms to strain out all of the liquid and the floral flavors from the blossoms.
You will need to have 2 1/2 cups of lilac tea for this recipe. So if some of the liquid boiled off, be sure to add a bit of water to your tea in order to get 2 1/2 cups.
In a large pot, pour your tea, 1 box of sure-gel pectin and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Then mix until all are combined. Heat the mixture to a boil. At this point you will add in 4 cups of sugar and allow the pot to get to a hard, rolling boil.
Allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes. The liquid will get really frothy and look like it will boil over, which is why it is important to have a large pot when making jelly. Stir often so that it doesn’t scald at the bottom of the pot. You can use a spoon to remove the foam, if needed.
Once you have allowed the mixture to boil hard for one minute, turn off your heat and allow the mixture to stop boiling before ladling into jars.
How to Check If Your Jelly Set
If you’re liquid isn’t boiled for long enough, your jelly may not set. One of the ways to check if your jelly had set is to stick a small plate into the freezer, just to cool down. Remove the plate from the freezer and place some warm jelly on the plate, if it begins to gel you know that your jelly has been boiled long enough to set.
If your jelly has not set within 24 hours of being processed, you may have to process and water bath can your jelly again. Or, feel free to use the lilac mixture you processed as syrup instead of jelly.
Water-Bath Canning Your Jelly
While you are boiling the lilac jelly, begin to prepare your jars for canning. This recipe will make about 4 – half pint jars.
Once sterilized, ladle the the jelly into the jars and be sure that there is 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the tops.
In your canning pot, process the jelly for 10 minutes, adding 1 minutes for every 1000 feet above sea level. For instance: I am at 3500 ft., so I will process for about 14 minutes.
After you have processed your jelly, allow the jelly to cool in the jars to room temperature. If any lids do not seal, place them in the refrigerator and enjoy within 14 days. If you need more help with canning, be sure to check out my post on water-bath canning for beginners.
The lilac jelly should take no longer than 24 hrs to fully set and gel.
Enjoying the Jelly
This jelly is sweet with light floral notes. The lilac is not overwhelming in flavor and it goes well on homemade artisan bread with freshly made butter. It would also be great on crackers with cheese!
WANT MORE FLORAL RECIPES?
PIN THIS FOR LATER
Easy Lilac Jelly
An easy and delicious floral infused lilac jelly, perfect for enjoying with freshly baked bread.
- 2 cups lilac blossoms make sure there are now stems
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 box sure-gel pectin about 4 tbsp of powdered pectin - not the low sugar variety.
With the 2 cups of freshly harvested lilac blooms, pour boiling water and allow the lilac tea to steep. This is best done overnight as it allows the lilac flavor to infuse into the water.
In the morning, strain the flower blossoms from the tea. Be sure to squeeze the flowers to get the lilac tea out of the blossoms.
You should have 2 1/2 cups of lilac tea. If you don't have 2 1/2 cups, add a bit of water to make sure there is enough.
In a large stock pot, heat the lemon juice, lilac tea and pectin to a boil.
Once it gets to a boil, add in all the sugar at once and stir until it all dissolves.
Allow the mixture to get to a hard, rolling boil and stir occasionally enough to keep the bottom from scalding. There will be a lot of foam, you can remove some with a spoon if needed.
Boil at a hard, rolling boil for 1 minute, then turn the burner off and allow the lilac jelly to stop boiling.
Ladle into prepared half-pint jars and process for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude)
Once processed, allow the jelly to sit for 24 hours to give it time to set and the lids to seal. Any jars with lids that don't seal should be refrigerated and eaten within 2 weeks.
Processed jelly can be stored on the shelf for up to 18 months. If jelly does not set, you can re-process or use it a syrup instead.