Lilac Preserves

Lilac preserves pair well with summer berries, sturdy crackers and the shore.

Northern summers are close to perfect. Long hours of sunlight, warm afternoons, cool evening breezes and unique seasonal taste treats. The season in the upper northern hemisphere however is all together too short.

Against this backdrop is a revitalization of canning. Canning was, of course,  once a necessity to ensure food sources would last through out the long cold winters.  Modern canning is an opportunity to harness the summertime goodness coveted by Northerners. This stretches beyond summer berries. Our picturesque gardens are good enough to eat.

White lilac preserves are for anyone who has every taken in the heavy scent of lilacs and said, “these smell good enough to eat.”

If you can gather flowers and boil water this recipe for lilac jam is one to try. Pack-able for day tripping, perfect at the cabin or lazy afternoons on a charuterie plate.  The light floral and honey notes in this lilac jam compliment berries, sturdy crackers and salty cheese.

Serve lilac preserves on a charcuterie board.

Lilac jam with raspberries and Norwegian Hardtack on the shore.

The blooms fade quickly so can an extra batch to enjoy your spring lilacs all summer long!

Lilac Preserves
Light semi-sweet preserve with floral notes and a hint of honey.
Cuisine: Minnesotan
Recipe type: Sauces & Dips
Serves: 6 half-pints
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 c. lilac blossoms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups apple or pear juice
  • 3 Tbls. lemon juice
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin
  • 4 c. white sugar
  • 1 tsp butter
  1. Remove blossoms from the stems and the sepal, small leaves under the flower.
  2. Gently rinse.
  3. Place in a large bowl.
  4. Cover blossoms with boiling water and juice.
  5. Let steep for about 1 hour to bring out the delicate lilac flavor. Stir occasionally.
  6. Strain flowers into a stock pot to preserve the liquid.
  7. Add lemon juice.
  8. Sprinkle pectin over juice. Whisk until liquid comes to a boil over medium high heat. Let boil 1 minute.
  9. Add butter, return to boil.
  10. Add sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Continue stirring until liquid returns to a boil. Let boil 1 minute.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Remove foam with a metal spoon.
  13. Ladle into class jars.
  14. Add a few of the discarded blossoms to the jars.
  15. Can or cool and place in refrigerator for immediate use.


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