Springtime condensed, this cleansing dessert is delicate yet fragrant; I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe for an amuse bouche or an intermezzo. Note that all lilacs do not taste the same; all of those I have smelled have a rich, floral aroma, but some can taste bitter. For this recipe I used the five-petal, single white lilacs. If you’re unsure of which variety to use, just do a taste test. Be sure to use lilacs that have not been treated with pesticides or that have not been bought at a florist. I would like to thank my neighbors down the street for looking the other way when I “borrowed” these.
2 cups spring water
3/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups lilacs (stemmed and roughly chopped)
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
Granny Smith apple, diced
fresh lime juice
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Add lilacs and steep for five minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl and chill in refrigerator. Reserve a few tablespoons of sorbet base; set aside. Add egg white to bowl and stir to combine. Process sorbet in ice cream machine, following machine directions. Place sorbet in airtight container and freeze until thoroughly set.
Combine apple, reserved sorbet base, and a few drops of lime juice. Set aside.
Garnish sorbet with diced apples, honey, and candied lilacs.