So- I have Lilac Bushes in the yard, quite possibly my favorite flowers in the world, other than Hydrangeas and Hyacinths. I actually told Brian when I was pregnant with Connor- that if I was having a girl I wanted to name her Hyacinth. He promptly replied we will not name any child a Flower, Root or Herb. I figured I would sneak it in as a middle name if I had to. But - we had Connor- probably a good thing- since I can not spell Hyacinth without googling it or using spellcheck!
Any way- for Mother's day I wanted to make a simple yet pretty jelly - and I had been thinking of Wild Violet Jelly- but we don't have any Wild Violets, we have Lilacs... so Lilacs it is .....
The First thing I did was pick a big bag of the Flowers, I knew I was going to have to separate them once they were picked so I just sloppily grabbed them using scissors and filled a grocery bag full of them hoping that would be at least 4 cups of blossoms.
This amount turned out to be PLENTY! I spent about 30 min picking the flowers and placing them in my batter bowl to measure out 8 cups... since I can not follow directions that well, the recipe called for 2 cups of blossoms to 2 cups of water ... I doubled the recipe- so I would need four cups of blossoms.. I figured 8 cups would be even better!
The idea was to make a tea infusion with the blossoms, using the equal amount cups of blossoms to boiling water and allow to steep 24 hours or at the least over night.
Here are the pretty pretty blossoms in the pot
Here they are with the boiling water poured over them.....
Once they had steeped overnight, I strained the tea infusion thru a cheese cloth and added 4 cups of the liquid to my large stockpot plus 2 packets of pectin and 1/2 cup of lemon juice and brought it all to a boil. Once it is boiling you add the sugar all at once, stirring the pot and bringing it back up to a boil for at least a minute. Obviously you want to be sterilizing your jars by now and have them ready to fill.
When I took the jelly mix off the heat, I added- well Brian added food coloring- cause yes- I wanted the Lilac Jelly to be a purplish color- and it was more of a brownish color- and I am that superficial, I had read thru various sources that the Jelly would be a brownish color. So I was already looking for the formula ratio of how to make purple on the back of the food coloring box.
Fill your jars and process for 10 minutes in a Hot Water Bath (HWB).
Here is the recipe not doubled for those who want less that 9 half pints and 2 whole pints of the jelly....
2 cups of Lilac Blossoms
2 cups of boiling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
Pour boiling water over lilac blossoms and allow to steep 24 hours or over night.
Strain infusion thru cheesecloth.
In a large stockpot add 2 cups infusion, Lemon Juice, Powdered Pectin and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
After it boils add Sugar all at once, bring back to a boil, stirring occasionally... allow to boil for at least one minute.
Pour into clean, sterile jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 min. allow to cool and sit untouched for 12- 14 hours while jars seal and jelly sets.....makes approx. 5 half pint jars...