This always marks the beginning of canning season for me. The blooms on the bushes and the sweet smell wafting through the air, then brought into the house and canned up to be enjoyed till the next bloom of the Lilacs.
Only use lilacs that come from a tree or bush that are not sprayed or treated with a chemical. This is where you want organic.
4 Cups Lilacs
5 Cups Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
8 Cups Sugar
2 Vanilla Beans (This is a good use for those older vanilla beans sitting in the jar of alcohol that you made)
2 Boxes Sure-Jel Pectin (1.75 ounce packet)
Pick your lilacs and wash them. I submerge them in clean cold water, holding them under water for a bit to loosen the dirt and bugs that are holding on. Gently shake them and lay them on a towel to drip dry.
Put on a great podcast or book on tape and gently remove all the petals one at a time. Or 2 at a time. Just be sure not to allow the base of the flower. You want just the purple petal part. (or white. I mean I do have white lilacs also. They do exist)
Place the petals in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Then let it sit till it cools. Once cooled put a lid on it and put it in the fridge. Walk away and let it sit overnight.
After picking all those petals, you deserve a rest! A drink! A movie hour! A bowl of ice cream!
You will be water-bath canning this, so get out the pot and 8 ounce or 4 ounce jars and lets get started.
- Using a coffee filter inside a mesh strainer, slowly strain the lilacs, reserving the liquid into a heavy bottom pot (this is your favorite canning pot. You know we all have that one favorite pot).
- Slice the vanilla bean down the middle and with the tip of the knife scrape out the cavier inside the bean and set aside.
- Add the lemon juice and pectin to the pot and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add all the sugar at once along with the vanilla paste and return to a boil, stirring constantly for one minute.
- Fill your jars with 1/4 inch headspace.
- Cap and tighten according to your type of lid you are using.
- Water-bath for 10 minutes. Follow the canning process as you normally would for your altitude.
This recipe assumes you have a basic understanding of canning. If you do not, and this is your first attempt at canning I highly recommend you research the basics on how to can. Those simple instructions are needed to know for all types of canning.
When your time is up I like to sit my jars on a towel lines cookie sheet and let them sit untouched for 24 hours. I then test the seals and wash the outside of the jars with soap and water. Label and store for those cold winter months.
Oh, and this jelly is amazing with some homemade plain yogurt!!!!