This recipe uses roughly a 1:1 ratio to make a simple syrup out of redbud tea and sugar. The thin syrup is suitable for creating lovely spring drinks; the thicker syrup can be drizzled over pancakes or used to soak a pound cake. Redbud has a delicate floral flavor, so be careful not to overwhelm it with other ingredients.
2 oz (roughly) redbud blossoms
4 c. water
sugar to measure
a little lemon juice
1. Rinse blossoms. (Since you’ll be draining the blossoms, no need to go to a lot of effort to pick off stems.) In a medium pot on high heat, bring blossoms and water to a boil.
2. Remove from heat, cover, steep in fridge 6-8 hours or overnight. You’ve now made redbud tea.
3. Sieve flowers out and weigh redbud-steeped tea. Combine tea with equivalent weight of sugar in a pot on the stove.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer 20-30 minutes for a light pink syrup (suitable for drinks), stirring occasionally. For a thicker syrup, such as you might use to soak a cake, simmer another 15-30 minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (If you let it go too long, you’ll end up with rock candy.)
NOTE: If your liquid isn’t looking very pink, add a little lemon juice to change the PH and bring out the pinkness.
5. Let cool, and transfer to lidded jars for storage; store in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
Do you like capers? Pickled redbuds are very similar, but with a faintly floral taste (a little like a sweetpea at first, then tangy), and a lovely color.
1 c. redbud blossoms
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/2 t. salt (ideally kosher or other non-iodized)
1. Gather redbud blossoms (in bud will work a little better for pickling than fully bloomed) — they come easily off the tree. Rinse blossoms and pick off stems; they’re easy to remove in clusters, so this won’t take long.
2. Combine vinegar, water, and salt; stir to combine.
3. Fill a clean jar with blossoms and cover with brine; add a little water if necessary to completely fill. Screw on top; all blossoms should be submerged in liquid.
4. Leave at room temperature for three days, away from direct heat and sunlight.
5. Transfer jar to refrigerator; it will keep for a few weeks. Enjoy pickled redbud wherever you would use capers.
I spent much of last year’s gardening season wondering if I should get a headlamp in case I wanted to garden at night, and thinking that was silly, and talking myself out of it, and somehow this year I just went ahead and got one last week, and today was a long and complicated day (in addition to all the normal stuff, I had to take my husband to the doctor, and my daughter to her first haircut in over a year), so it was dark by the time I got home and had a chance to water the seedlings in the greenhouse, but that was fine, because I had a HEADLAMP.
Tulips, tulips — and new in my garden, leucojum / spring snowflake. I’m really liking how it plays against the tulips, and it’s also consoling me for the loss of the snowdrops. They must be cousins. Tall cousins!