Spring is so fleeting. Though the season is filled with fragrant blooms popping up everywhere, in so many varieties, it seems each only lasts for a moment before withering and giving way to the dominant green leaves of Summer.
So it is with Lilacs. And I find it a shame that we only have a small sliver of the year to enjoy their lovely aroma. This past mothers day I was about to make my favorite – Strawberry Shortcake. The lilac bushes in the backyard of my in-laws caught my attention. Wouldn’t the delicate floral scent of those lilacs be so nice infused with the strawberries? In short – super yes. So I made a batch and once the syrup was finished I sliced up a few pints of berries and poured the syrup over them. The result was dreamy.
Now, don’t expect a slap in the face sort of flavor with this syrup. It is delicate and subtle. But Magical. You could use it as a syrup for berries, or pancakes, or many desserts. Whatever you like. But for you shortcake fans, stay tuned, whip up a jar of this syrup and wait a few days and I will share a recipe with you for my favorite shortcake to date.
Do find the most fragrant lilac blooms that you can. The more fragrant the blooms, the more fragrant the syrup. You’ll notice the recipe calls for a few black or blue berries. This is to impart a light purple color to the syrup and is not necessary at all. But for those of you who like color that correlates with the product, this is a nice, natural method for achieving it.
- 1 quart Lilac Blossoms, tightly packed
- 2 cups Raw Cane Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- 3-4 Blackberries or Blueberries
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- Before packing your lilac blossoms into a quart sized glass jar, make sure they are free of bugs and that there are no green stems attached. Add the blueberries or blackberries to the jar, as well. This will give your syrup a nice lavender color.
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat, whisking together to dissolve the sugar into the water. Let boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Pour the hot syrup carefully into the jar of lilacs until the syrup reaches the top of the jar.
- Cover the jar with a cloth and let sit on the counter for 4-5 hours, or even overnight for the strongest flavor.
- When you have finished steeping the syrup in the blossoms, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the blossoms to extract all of the syrup. Stir the lemon juice into the syrup. Place syrup in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
- Will keep for several months.