I was looking through instagram last week when I came across a beautifully golden forsythia blossom syrup from Colleen Codekas, dotted with yellow blossoms I recognized from a large shrub we have along our driveway. I had no idea it was edible until I saw Colleen’s post about it, and dove right into the recipe on her blog Grow Forage Cook Ferment (which is an AMAZING resource for gardening, seasonal recipes, herbs, and the like). I’ve been on a lemon kick lately, so I included some zest in the recipe here to add that vibrant-yet-delicate lemon flavor to the mix, and the result is a bright and springy floral syrup, adapted from Colleen’s lovely recipe.
I love how crazy bountiful the array of edible goodness from nature is—even neighborhood shrubs that you thought were just there to be pretty have healthful + flavorful benefits for you, too! It will still be a few weeks before any blossoms appear on our lilac shrubs, but I’m very excited to make more lilac syrup with them once they’re here. That syrup and this one are SUCH great additions to any tea for a touch of sweetness and a floral kick.
This past winter felt very long and isolating, so seeing the flowers opening up, the ground becoming green instead of brown, and the rainbow of plant life bursting forth all around the city feels so, so good to see. The longer days and sunshine sure are helping with the happy vibes floating around our household, too! It’s been so nice to be able to sit near the living room window and knit with just the natural daylight pouring through until 7 pm. What a treat!
I hope you’re enjoying the spring so far, and that this lovely forsythia syrup recipe gives you something fun to do with the bright and sunshine-y forsythia blossoms in your own backyard 🙂 And P.S. If you’re wondering about the adorable tiny daffodils in the frame, they’re a new variety I planted this past fall and I am OBSESSED with them! They’re called ‘avalanche’ and I got them from Old House Gardens—they are sooooo fragrant and each stem sends out a spray of tiny, delicate, vibrant blossoms. They’re highly productive, and I definitely recommend them!
Lemon and Forsythia Syrup
Adapted from Colleen Codekas of www.GrowForageCookFerment.com
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup honey
- Peeled zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1 cup forsythia blossoms
Bring the water and honey to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, add the lemon peel, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Place the forsythia blossoms in a medium-sized heat-safe bowl, and pour the syrup into the bowl. Allow to cool uncovered for 1 hour, then strain. Compost/discard the flowers and lemon peel, and store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 1 month.
How do you think I could incorporate some of this forsythia syrup, and also some limoncello into you wonderful pistachio lemon ginger cheesecake recipe?
Hi Patricia! Hmmm that is a tricky question, since the lemon curd and the cheesecake have gelatin in them to make them “set” and firm up in the fridge, when you add excess liquid you run the risk of disturbing the ratio of liquid ingredients to the firming agent (aka the gelatin), which means it might not set properly in the fridge and stay too “goopy”. If you want to give it a try, I’d say add a tablespoon or two of limoncello to the lemon ginger curd when you add the lemon juice. And I’d just serve the cheesecake alongside the lemon forsythia syrup and drizzle it over each slice before serving for a little extra sweetness 🙂 And that way you don’t risk having the cheesecake not firm up properly, and it will stay nice and slice-able 😀
Would dry forsythias work? I don’t have any growing near me
Yes I think dried forsythias would work just fine 🙂
The recipe is amazing! I loved
Awwww yay!!! Thank you Silvia!! <3
Hello. Forsythia is mildly poisonous and shouldn’t be ingested like this. I’m a trained gardener and also you can easily look this up. It is honestly quite irresposnible to not even mention this fact in the recipe. Guess this is what happens when people focus everything on the aesthetic instead of fact checking what the “see on instagram”.
Hello, troll! First of all, what a rude and egotistical comment. Second of all, you’re wrong. A simple google search yields many sources of it being edible (and medicinal) here: https://britishlocalfood.com/forsythia/ here: https://www.outdoorapothecary.com/uses-for-forsythia/#:~:text=Forsythia%20for%20Food,-One%20of%20the&text=The%20flowers%20and%20very%20early,simple%20fancy%20element%20to%20mealtimes here: https://www.eattheweeds.com/foraging-for-forsythia-2/ among many other places. As a “trained gardener”, you need to do a bit of brushing up. As an internet troll, you should do some research before spreading your nonsense. Also, I’ve made this recipe many times and eaten the syrup without any issue (and I have a sensitive stomach). Additionally, please never visit my site again. This is a place for kind people, not a place for rude ones. Byeeeeeee 👋
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