My girls needed something really special to happen this week. So we had a surprise tea party complete with vintage gloves and fancy hats. I have been reading a lot about lilacs being used in things like jelly. I decided to experiment by making two things.
Lilac scones (gluten free)
Preheat oven to 350
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1/4 cup of sorghum flour
2/3 cup of cane sugar
1/8 cup of tapioca starch
1/8 cup of potato starch
1 tsp of baking power
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of xanthum gum
Add and mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut 8 TBSP of cold hard butter into small pieces. Place into the bowl with the dry ingredients. With your hands mix/rub in until you have something the consistency of corn meal.
Add in 1 cup of cold milk. Mix until just moist.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place dough on sheet and using wet fingers pat the dough into a circle that is about 1 1/2 inches high. Cut the scone into 4 wedges.
Take about 1/2 cup of lilac flowers (all green parts removed) and press them lightly into the top of the scone. You don’t need to use them all and you can set some aside to sprinkle on top when the scone is cooked and cooled. As the scone cooks the lilacs will turn light brown but still leave their flavor and lovely shapes behind.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until it just starts to brown. Let cool before serving.
Lilac Simple Syrup
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of fresh lilac flowers (no leaves, stems, green parts if you can manage). These may make it bitter. Place the flowers in a separate bowl of medium size
Heat the water to a boil on the stove. Turn off and remove from heat. Stir in sugar until it the liquid is clear and you see no sugar granules. Pour this liquid over the lilac flowers. Cover the bowl with a plate and let steep for 3 hours, not a minute more. Strain out the flowers and bottle. The syrup will store in the refrigerator for several months.
Simple syrup can be poured over ice cream or fruit. I added it to hibiscus tea and the girls swore it tasted like fruit punch.
Not only are lilacs edible they have healing properties as well. Historically lilacs have been used to lower fever, treat malaria and relieve gas or constipation. Externally they tighten tissues and increase circulation. This makes the flower useful as a facial toner or to assist in the healing of any skin issue.
I would love to know if you have ever cooked with lilacs or if you try my recipes.