Monday, 25 June 2012

Edlerflower cordial

pretty and highly scented elderflower heads
One thing everyone enjoyed yesterday at Eileen's Garden party, apart from the outstanding hot weather, was the delicious elderflower cordial mixed with sparkling water and distributed to all and sundry. It's been impossible to think of making it in the last week with all the heavy rain but today is the perfect day to go off and gather your flower heads to make the base. I just picked some on my way home from my morning walk( and I have the nettle welts to prove it). Anytime you pick fruit or flowers you need at least two consecutive dry days if you are preserving them in jams, jellies or cordials. I make this every year for BB Q's, it goes down well with the outlaws! Nabbed the recipe from uktv food

Elderflower Cordial
Prep time:20 min, plus overnight infusing
Cook time:5 min
Serves:Makes 1.5 litres


20 heads of elderflower(as fully opened as possible)
1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar
1.2 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons 

75 g citric acid(you will get it at the chemists)


1. Shake the elder flowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.

2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elder flowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use.

Cooks Tips...

To serve Elderflower Cordial: Dilute the elderflower cordial to taste with fizzy water, and serve over ice with a slice or two of lemon, or a sprig of mint floating on top.
cute pic nabbed from
For something a touch more sprightly, add a shot of gin or vodka and a lemon slice, or add it to white wine and sparkling water to make an elderflower spritzer.  
Elderflower cordial is also brilliant in recipes such as gooseberry fool, and in vinaigrette - mix with wine vinegar, a touch of mustard, salt, pepper and a light olive oil (surprisingly good with a courgette, lettuce and broad bean salad). You might even try adding it to a marinade for chicken breasts. Try it in sorbets, or ice-creams, or just spooned over scoops of vanilla ice-cream, or use it to sweeten and flavour the fruit for a crumble.

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