We all know it is that time of year, well it is here in the UK for sure. Elderflower time, I think we picked the entire crop at our local Common. It is fast becoming a family tradition to go out elderflower picking each year and becomes a very competitive almost sporting event. Everyone minus myself of course has their carrier bags, clippers and starts like a race-horse at the Common, running to the best areas, splitting in to teams, stealing each others bags or worse still splitting them and trying to spill the contents, there is sometimes swearing and red faces, but at the end of it all it is always a very funny event.
The thing is we come home and have far too much of the stuff, the room is literally bursting at the seams with elderflower, so I had to get inventive and work out many ways that I could use it rather than waste the good stuff.
So I am starting off with cordial, easy peasy….
However, I made two batches, one plain, the other with cinnamon and orange peel in.
I didn’t have enough room for it all to go in to the fridge or freezer, so I left some out for a day. The orange and cinnamon one literally exploded. So word of warning, it’s a very dangerous occupation, LOL, no seriously the glass was thick and it exploded everywhere, shattering glass all over the floor plus the sticky stuff.
The kids heard it from another floor, so did I. They said “oh cool mummy made a bomb!” It was sooooo not cool, so please be careful.
Here is the recipe and how to…
- Servings: Makes about 1.5 Liters Cordial
- Time: 15 minutes + infusing time
25 Elderflower Heads
3 organic unwaxed Lemons
1 liter Water
500 grams Sugar
lemon slices and a few mint sprigs to serve
Check the elderflowers and make sure there are insect-free. Shake them a bit to get rid of any insects. Do not wash them, because you will wash the fragrance away.
Zest 2 of the lemons and squeeze out their juice. Cut the 3rd lemon into slices.
Put the elderflower heads into a large bowl along with the lemon zest, juice and slices.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and stir it till the sugar dissolves.
Pour the syrup over the elder flowers and lemon slices and let it cool on the kitchen table.
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it soak 2 days in a cool place.
Place a clean tea-towel or muslin cloth over a colander and sieve the cordial.
Pour the cordial into bottles and store in the refrigerator.
It will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
You can also freeze the cordial in a ice-cube tray or freezer bags to store them for much longer.
To serve, mix 1 part of the cordial with 3 parts of water or soda and lots of ice.
You can also optionally add lemon slices and mint sprigs.
Makes: 2 litres approx
- 20 to 30 Elderflower heads
- 4 lemons
- 2 oranges
- up to 1.5kg granulated sugar
Prep:15min › Cook:45min › Extra time:8hr resting › Ready in:9hr
- Pick elderflower heads that are fully open and seem freshly opened (ie. not full of browning flowers)
- Shake off any insects and place in a large bowl with the zest of your oranges and lemons. I prefer to peel off the zest with a potato peeler for this recipe so I can return it to the mix when adding sugar.
- Pour over enough just boiled water to cover completely. 1.5-2 litres usually does it.
- Cover and leave overnight (or minimum 4 hours).
- Strain the liquid through muslin, a clean cloth or jelly bag gently squeezing to extract all the liquid. Reserve the zest where possible.
- Measure your liquid. You will need 350g sugar for every 500ml of liquid.
- Combine in a large pan with the juice of your oranges and lemons. Add the zest back into the pan.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Skim off any scum that is produced.
- Cool and strain through muslin again. Pour into clean bottles and seal. Alternatively, freeze in small plastic containers. I like to make this into ice-cubes which can be added to glasses of water.
- To serve: dilute to taste, about 1 part cordial : 5 parts water. Or 5 ice cubes to a pitcher of water.
- You can continue to boil this mix till you get a thick syrup which can be used on ice cream or is great to add to anything made with gooseberry!
So over the next few weeks I will be sharing other Elderflower recipes, but we also made popsicles of which you will see evidence in this post, very simple mix with water and hey presto! A bit sugary I think neat, especially when feeding to already hyper-active children.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Justine xx