3 recipes for lilac blossoms

 

I love how circumstances pop up and give you the opportunity to react. You can take in the good aspect of a scenario, let go of the bad, and create something beautiful. Or you can mope, waste your energy worrying, and miss out on the chance for innovation. It requires a choice and some action. I talk about the weather a lot here on this blog, but it is a very important component to our garden, our kitchen happenings, and the joy we share in our house. The recent snowstorm had me hustling: draping outdoor seedlings with pots, blankets, and plastic sheeting; dragging in the potted plants; setting up an indoor tomato seedling station; and harvesting ready-to-pick herbs, as fast as I could.

I was so excited that our tulips lasted so long this spring, unlike last year. And when our lilacs started to bloom a couple of days ago, I was beyond elated. Until the weather forecast. Temperatures hovering around 30 degrees and snow accumulations of up to ten inches were promised over Mother’s Day weekend. I pouted, put in an exercise DVD, pounded some coffee, and rolled up my sleeves. I was determined to capture the freshness spring, despite Mother Nature’s wintry rebellion.

Along with taking photographs of the spring garden, I clipped a few bunches of lilac blossoms, so that we could savor their aroma over the next few days. While perusing the posts on Punk Domestics, I came across a lovely post on lilac blossom scones. I immediately got up from the computer and clipped about 15 more bunches. My mind was racing with ideas to use and preserve these beautiful spring flowers.


Lilac Simple Syrup


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lilac flowers, stems and green parts removed
  • 5-8 blueberries, for color

I started my lilac obsession this afternoon, by making some lilac simple syrup. I wasn’t quite sure how I would use this, but I definitely knew a cocktail was in order! Like other simple syrups, combine the water and sugar over medium heat on the stove. Heat until dissolved. Add the lilac flowers and simmer for 10 minutes. If you want a brightly hued syrup like mine, add about five blueberries. The color will pop and add a great dimension to your cocktails. Remove from heat, drain through a chinois or sieve, bottle, and store in the refrigerator.


The Lilac Haze


Combine ingredients, along with ice, in a shaker tin. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with either a lemon twist or a few lilac flowers, if you have some. This cocktail is vibrant, acidic, and floral. Similar to the Bee’s Knees cocktail, it is lemony and honeyed in its flavor profile. Perfect for spring sipping.

Mother’s Day at the restaurant was crazy, as expected. The books were stacked with well over 500 reservations, and guests were already lining up to be seated before our 4:00 opening time. I sneaked in phone calls to my mom, my two aunts, and my stepmother, before I suited up and started my evening. I am so grateful for the examples of strong, loving, determined, and creative women in my family. I took a moment to reflect on their roles in my life and mine in theirs, and then I continued my nine-hour, non-stop shift. The night went smoothly, despite the record-setting numbers, and I ended the evening with a delicious glass of Schramsberg Brut Rosé 2009. I am so happy we added this bubbly to our by-the-glass list; I think this may become my favorite, frequently visited sparkling rosé over the next few months.

So, back to the lilac scones. I saw a post on these scones on Kitchen Vignettes. I have cooked with lavender and have used nasturtium in my salads and have sprinkled sugared violas onto my cupcakes. I have never used lilac for culinary purposes, however, until today. Inspired by my cocktail creation, I tweaked this scone recipe, added vanilla and toasted almonds, and paired the scones with my dandelion marmalade, which I affectionately call, “marmalion.” I will write a post on that recipe in a few days. It is an exceptional way to deliciously deal with those pesky dandelion flowers in your yard.


Lilac Blossom Almond Scones


  • 3 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken well
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds
  • 1 cup lilac flowers

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together. Cut the chilled butter into small cubes and toss into the dry mixture. Using your fingers and hands, work the butter into the flour mixture, until pea-sized lumps of butter are present. I really got a finger workout here. My dexterity for my piano-playing has increased, for sure!

Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, almonds, and lilac blossoms. Fold together in the bowl. I kneaded the dough by hand, making sure to not over-work. Gather and roll the dough into a ball. Lightly flour the ball of dough and flatten it out, by hand, into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Cut the dough into triangles and place onto a greased baking sheet. Lightly dust with raw sugar. I greased my sheet with butter. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, until desired level of toastiness.

I served my scones, straight from the oven, alongside some of my recently crafted dandelion marmalade. It was a flower feast! It was a perfect pairing: the nutty, floral scones matched perfectly with the tart, orange and dandelion marmalade. I ate two and thought about having another. If you try making these recipes, let me know how they turn out! I know they are a little off the wall and “out there,” but I was so happy that I was able to capture the essence of our garden and enjoy it in a culinary interpretation.

It is nearing 2:00 in the morning, as I write this post. Somehow, I am not tired. I have less than three days, until I leave for France. I am not as prepared, as I would like to be, but I am seriously excited for the trip! Closing with some photos from the garden over the past five days, I wish you a wonderful week. Hug your mom {if she is here with you – if not, think on the positive memories you have shared together}, be grateful for the strong women in your life, appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Trust me, the beauty is there, even in the midst of clamor, destruction, unrest, or darkness. If you can’t do any of this, make yourself a lilac cocktail. You simply can’t go wrong there!

Cheers!

5 thoughts on “3 recipes for lilac blossoms

  1. Pingback: {GOOD EATS: lilac love to eat up} | The Sweet Escape

  2. Pingback: Poli Miele e fiori di lillà: anteprima d'estate

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