Did you know that lilacs, the all-time symbols of first love and innocence are also great on your plate? Anyone who has ever eaten them can testify that eating these blossoms gives an explosive flavor experience tinged with a mildly bitter and floral taste that is unforgettable. In addition, lilac flowers are good for garnishing.
Here is how to eat lilacs:
Lilac syrup is a delicious and excellent treat. It can be poured over pancakes or added as a liquor and lemonade base.
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
5-8 blueberries, for color
1 cup fresh lilac flowers
Process: Put water and sugar into a large pan and set over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add lilac flowers and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add blueberries depending on how deeply colored you want the syrup to be. Remove from heat and strain. Bottle the mixture and store in the refrigerator.
1 liter of water
5 cups of lilac blossoms
1.25 pounds of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid (optional but it enhances the flavor and acts as a preservative).
Process: Cut off most of the flower stalks but do not pull off the flowers as their nectar is at the bottom where the stalk and the flower connects. Disconnecting the stalks and flowers means you lose most of the nectar which is great for giving the cordial floral notes.
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Put the blossoms in a non-reactive ceramic or glass bowl.
Put water and sugar into a medium-sized pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat. Add the nitric acid (if desired) and stir. Pour the hot mixture over the blossoms and stir gently.
Cover the bowl with a lid and leave the cocktail at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir several times during the 24-hour period to keep blossoms from oxidizing. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 48 hours to allow the blossoms to infuse the syrup with its flavors.
Enjoy the cordial at your pleasure.
Lilac cream tarts
1 cup of organic sugar
A pinch of cardamom
4 cups of lilac flowers
2 cups of cream
24 mini pastry tarts
1 cup of full fat drained Greek yogurt
Process: Lilac cream – Mix 2 cups of lilac flowers and 2 cups of warm whipping cream in a glass bowl. Place in a sunny spot and let the mixture sit in the sun for a whole afternoon. Then place in the refrigerator and allow to steep overnight. Strain out the flowers in the morning.
Lilac sugar: Take 1 cup of the flowers, add in a cup of sugar, place in a food processor. Whiz until flowers are completely dissolved in sugar.
Whip cream as you add in the lilac sugar and toss in a pinch of cardamom. Blend the mixture gently by hand.
Heat oven to 350 F and bake the pastry shells until golden brown. Allow them to cool and spoon a tablespoon of the lilac cream into the shells. Garnish with a dash of lilac flowers and lilac sugar.
For best results, serve the same day.
By now, you know that lilacs are not just good for their fragrance and ornamental value, but can also make your dishes sing. So, go on and try them.