I mentioned in a previous post that I had been out and about collecting elderflowers. I LOVE elderflower cordial, in a big way. I love it's delicate summery and lemony flavour, I just can't get enough of it. It's like my secret squash just for Mummy. Plus those who know me know that I love a good forage, it gives me great pleasure to make something lovely from anything fresh, local and free!
So here is my elderflower cordial recipe. First of all, find a tree with lots of beautiful fresh elderflowers. Make sure it's away from any roads and try to pick your flowers on a nice warm day when the blossom is open. Give the blossom a little shake just to make sure there are no little bugs hanging around.
You will need approximately twenty large heads, with no brown flowers.
Once home remove the flowers from their stems with a fork. There is a very small amount of a cyanide-like compound within the stems, so best to chuck those! The flowers come off easily. You should be left with a lovely big bowl full of flowers which look a little like this.
The remaining stems look like this. You don't need to be horrendously accurate and remove every single flower. They smell amazing!
In a large, deep, clean pan dissolve 1kg of big standard white sugar into 1.5 litres of boiling water. Swish it around until its all gone. Then add 55g of citric acid and dissolve that too.
Add your elderflowers and four lemons all chopped up. Then cover and leave it alone for 48 hours. Yeeps!! The elderflowers will steep, the lemons will release their natural oils and your kitchen will smell fantastic.
After 48 hours have passed strain the mixture through a sterilised muslin. Then do it again to make sure you have a lovely pale yellow liquid. Pour into sterilised bottles and store it somewhere dark and cool. It should keep for about three months.
Enjoy diluted as an alternative to squash, add to lemonade or sparking water. Try it in gin and tonic for an unusual and refreshing twist. You can also drizzle it onto cake, add to gooseberry fool or pour it onto fresh fruit salad to make it summery. You can make fantastic ice lollies with it or even try it hot. Apparently it's beneficial for treating colds and flu!
Personally I like to take bottles to summer BBQ's as a gift for the host. It makes a nice change from a bottle of plonk and if you've made it yourself you feel like it's a bit special!
Have you ever made elderflower cordial? Do you have any other uses for it?
To me it's like summer in a bottle. I've got to go and have some now, I've worked up a hankering for it now I've been talking about it so much!! If you're in the UK there's still time to get out there and snaffle yourself some flowers!