While researching edible flowers, I came across some uses for fresh lilacs. Since my lilacs are in full bloom this week, I went straight to work. Be sure to use lilacs that you know have not been sprayed with lawn or pesticide chemicals. Hurry – lilac season won’t last much longer!
¾ C extra virgin olive oil
½ C sugar (or lilac sugar)
¾ C unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole milk
2½ C all-purpose flour (or use 1½ C all-purpose with 1 C whole wheat flour)
3 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 C lilac blossoms and buds, rinsed well and dried, green stems and leaves removed (See my method here for harvesting, cleaning and picking them)
2 t lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place muffin cups or grease a 12-muffin tin. Blend olive oil, sugar, egg, applesauce and milk together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour(s), baking powder and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Stir just to combine; do not overmix. Gently fold in the lilac blossoms and lemon zest.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the tin, then remove. Serve warm with butter, or for an extra lilac punch, serve with lilac honey or lilac jelly.
Step by Step Details
Note:The original recipe for these called for butter, but I made them a little more healthful by substituting extra virgin olive oil and applesauce. (I used some butter flavored olive oil from the Olive Grove along with my regular olive oil, for a little of the butter flavor the original recipe called for.) I also used a combination of white all-purpose flour along with whole wheat flour.
Make the batter as directed, being careful not to overmix the batter.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. I used a ¼ C measuring cup as a scoop for the batter, which worked well. I found that my muffins stuck to the liners, though, so next time I will just spray the muffin cups instead.