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G - Elderflower cordial
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Elderflower cordial
As requested by emmy_mallow, the recipe for elderflower cordial is here.

20-30 freshly picked heads of elderflower
Zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange
Up to 1.5 kg of granulated sugar
Up to 200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

Shake insects off flowers, but don't wash them - it ruins the flavour, then place them in a large bowl with the lemon and orange zest. Pour over just enough boiled water to cover them completely (approx 1.5 - 2 litres). Cover and leave for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until cold.

Strain the liquid through muslin or a jelly bag, gently squeezing to extract all the juice. Measure the amount of liquid and pour it into a saucepan. To every 500ml liquid add 350g sugar and 50ml lemon juice. Heat gently to dissolve all the sugar, stirring occassionally. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim off any scum. Let the cordial cool, then strain it again through muslin or a jelly bag.

Funnel the cordial into glass bottles and store in the fridge - will keep for 2-3 weeks.

This is the recipe as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tells it. We made one bottle for the fridge and put the rest into ice cube trays/bags. According to the site I was perusing yesterday it'll keep for up to a year if frozen. We also found that this recipe made a cordial a bit too sweet to our taste, so it might be worth going a little gentle on that front and adding it to taste.

The elderflowers are out in force right now - and this stuff is really easy and completely yummy. Go on, you know you want to. :)


The flowers on the tree.


Close up of the flowers.


An elder tree as they look at this time of year.

And other things to help identify the elder can be found here.

Current Mood: thirsty thirsty

Comments
parallelgirl From: parallelgirl Date: June 19th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I keep reading how great elderflower fritters are as well...
snagglepat From: snagglepat Date: June 20th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. I can well imagine they would be. Our house smells of elderflowers when you walk into it right now. It's just gorgeous. :)
parallelgirl From: parallelgirl Date: June 20th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

*giggles*
Sorry, involuntary Monty Python reflex there...
earwigmc From: earwigmc Date: June 20th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, that'll be what i was talking about *smile*
earwigmc From: earwigmc Date: June 20th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
yum, elderflowers *smile*

have you tried them battered and fried and then dipped in/dusted with a bit of sugar?

cold/sun-kissed infusion is really nice too *smile*
snagglepat From: snagglepat Date: June 20th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
We're planning on doing exactly that tomorrow night as our marker of the solstice. :)
earwigmc From: earwigmc Date: June 21st, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grins* hope yous enjoy *smile*
bi_dancer13 From: bi_dancer13 Date: June 20th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow i've just realised that elderflowers are what i can see from the living room window right now, theres a huge tree on the rough ground that borders our garden. Damn if it was a bit closer to the fence i'd had made asked Ruth to go and pick lots of it but she wouldn't be able to get past the nettles and thistles at the moment.
snagglepat From: snagglepat Date: June 20th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
An old plank of wood or pice of board is really useful for getting over nettles and thistles - just lay it down and stamp on it, then move it along and stamp some more. :) If you can manage to pick some flowers I can't recommend trying to make some of your own cordial enough. It is the taste of summer in a glass.

It's great that you have an elder tree in/near your garden. They're such a magical tree, an entire medicine chest in one being. Years ago, everyone used to have on in their garden as they were acknowledged as being so useful.
(Deleted comment)
snagglepat From: snagglepat Date: June 21st, 2006 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe use 2/3 of the sugar and then when it's all dissolved but before you take it off the heat make up a glass of cordial and taste it to see if you want to add more.
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