When I was a teenager we lived in a Victorian end terrace in Suffolk. The house had a modestly sized but absolutely beautiful garden.
Honestly – it was dreamy. It was full of heavily scented flowers and had something interesting going on all year round. Really the lady who planted it, was a genius.
One of our favourite things about the garden was a lilac bush which had been trained into a tree shape.
Each spring the blossoms seemed to be fuller than the last and when the sun warmed up the flowers, the air would be filled with the most incredible scent. We’d bring armfuls of them into the house where they’d sit in both crystal vases and old jam jars and perfume every room. Then as quickly as they arrived, the blossoms would fade and fall from the tree.
When I moved onto my own home, I longed to have my own lilac tree but they were actually quite hard to come by. I eventually found a weedy looking example and snapped it up for much more money than it was worth 😂. Still it was lilac and it was mine.
Now several years later, I’ve managed to train it into something resembling a tree shape and we’re getting enough flowers for me to spare a few for recipes. Lilac sugar is the perfect way to preserve that heavenly scent and flavour to use in baking throughout the year and what a gorgeous gift it would make too.
Many lilac sugar recipes advise to simply layer flowers amongst the sugar and wait. This does work but it doesn’t give the intensity of flavour that I want. So this is a slightly more involved method.
You will need
A packed cup of lilac flowers. Be generous, it should be heaped.
2 cups caster sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
Optional additional blossoms to add at the end.
- Pick the lilac flowers from their stalks
- Lay them out on your work surface for a few minutes so that any bugs can crawl away
- Place the flowers in the bowl with both types of sugar
- Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush and mix the flowers and sugar. You want to really break them up to release the oils onto the sugar. If you’re feeling really vigorous, you can blend them
- Spread the sugar on a baking sheet to dry. If you’re having a warm.spromg, this will only take an hour or two
- Bash up any clumps that form, use a blender if your sugar is being stubborn
- Then push the whole lot through a fine sieve. You’ll end up with little flecks in the sugar
- Pour the sugar into a very clean jar and of you want a really strong flavour, layer with a few more lilac blossoms
- Let sit on a cool, dark place for at least three days so that the flavour can infuse. Seven days would be better
- Shake the jar a couple of times a day to help it along
- Your sugar is now ready to use
The colour does fade over time so.if you’re making sugar as a gift, it’s best to give it when fresh.
What would you make with lilac sugar?
Love Rachel ❤️