Linden blossoms infuse this versatile syrup with a delicate aroma and flavor. Use it to make beverages or as a topping on fresh fruit, yogurt, and desserts. The honey in this recipe highlights the honey-like aroma of the linden.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts or liters
20 -25 linden blossom clusters
- 1 quart/1 liter water
- 1 1/2 pounds/680 grams sugar
- 1/2 pound/226 grams honey
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons (but not the bitter white inner peels)
You can use fresh or dried linden blossoms for this recipe, but the flavor is best if you use freshly picked flowers.
Linden, also called basswood, is a tree that blossoms in late spring. Harvest the dangling clusters of honey-scented blossoms when the creamy white flowers have just recently opened. They should be strongly and sweetly fragrant.If you are foraging your linden flowers from wild trees, be 100% certain of your identification! You are looking for trees in the Tilia genus.
Briefly rinse off the flower clusters and give them a good shake to remove any insects or debris.
Discard the stems and winglike, papery bracts. Unlike the stems of elderberry and wisteria, two plants that have edible flowers but toxic other parts, linden stems and bracts are safe to ingest. However, they don't bring much flavor to the syrup, so I prefer to leave them out.
Add the lemon juice and zest to the flowers.
In a separate pot, bring the sugar, honey and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and honey. Once the sweeteners have completely dissolved, pour the hot syrup over the linden flowers and lemon. Stir well.
Cover the bowl or container. Leave the mixture at room temperature for 3 - 5 days. During this time the flavor of the linden blossoms will infuse the syrup.
Strain the linden syrup through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth or butter muslin. Transfer the syrup to clean glass jars or bottles.
Linden blossom syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month. For longer storage at room temperature, bring the strained syrup to a boil. Pour it into clean canning jars or bottles leaving 1/2-inch of head space. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once sealed, the syrup will keep at room temperature for at least a year (store opened jars in the refrigerator).
Dried linden blossoms are available as tea bags to infuse into a calming hot tisane. Try sweetening your linden infusion with linden syrup for a double dose of this plant's flavor and soothing properties.
Add linden blossom syrup to white wine or vodka for an aromatic aperitif.
Drizzle linden syrup over fresh fruit (it's especially good with strawberries), yogurt, or cheesecake.
Add a small spoonful of linden flower syrup to heavy cream before whipping it for a delicately flavored dessert topping.
Spoon a little linden syrup over a mild goat cheese (chevre).