On Friday evening, 29th March, I posted a photo on Instagram of a magnolia tree in Horsforth Hall Park. [If you want to follow me on Instagram - my 'name' is @benswinemaking.] At this time of year (and I think particularly this year) magnolias are stunning. They are an attractively shaped tree anyway, with sparse branches at angles designed by architects, and their flowers are individual vases in delicate pink and cream. After posting my photo I received a comment from Lucy [@lajmmm] "Flowers are edible!". This, of course, made me wonder about turning them into wine.
I did a Google search, just to make sure that Lucy was not trying to poison me - she wasn't - and e-mailed Angie and Phil, who have a splendid magnolia tree in their front garden, to ask if I could collect their fallen petals.
|Magnolia Petals on Angie and Phil's lawn|
On Saturday morning I collected my first small bag of petals after biting into one - it had an odd but not unpleasant taste - took them home, put most of them into the freezer and made magnolia tea out of a couple. The tea had a subtle flavour, but again was not unpleasant. Therefore, I returned on Saturday afternoon, caught up with Angie and Phil's news and collected a larger bag - concentrating on the freshest, most recently dropped petals.
Back at home I followed my dandelion wine recipe entirely. I measured six pints of petals (those in the freezer turned brown on defrosting) and put them in our large pan with the thinly peeled peel of two lemons and an orange. I put in 2 lbs 12 oz of sugar and 7 pints or water, brought this to the boil (a long process) and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Meantime, I squeezed the lemons and orange and put the juice into my bucket with half a kilo of minced sultanas.
|Me, looking pleased with my creation|
When the magnolia mix had finished its 20 minutes simmer I poured all of it into the bucket. At this stage all the petals had gone brown and the wine looked unappetising (for which, read 'like vile dishwater'). I'm not certain about the smell either (though as the week has gone on, this became more floral with an element of spice, which makes me hopeful about the end result).
|Vile dishwater, or something rather exotic?|
I added a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient, pectolase and tannin on Sunday morning, 31st March. On Thursday evening I put the liquid into its demijohn, sieving out all the solids. One might expect Magnolia Petal Wine to be white with a hint of pink. I can report that it is a rather nasty brown. This, however, will be a temporary state of affairs and it will (honestly) clear to a golden yellow.
If you want to see how this wine turned out (and if I was lying about it clearing to a golden yellow), click here.
|This will clear to a golden yellow|
I make this wine as well, only I add a few tablespoons of rosewater ( depending on the batch size) I realize that this distorts the true essence of the Magnolias, but their flavor still comes through. I use teepals from a range of different Magnolias. Loved your post!ReplyDelete