The elderflower has suddenly burst into bloom like big white splashes of confetti scattered throughout the hedgerows. It is looking and smelling so fresh and summery that I have put it high on my list of half term jobs to do a spot of foraging with the children to pick great armfuls and then to make my annual supply of elderflower cordial.
So this is the recipe I thought I would share this week.
I am sure there are loads of recipes on the internet but I always use the one which appears in the Much Hadham cook book. This gem of a book compiles an eclectic mix of favourite recipes curated in 2009 by a volunteer group to raise funds to build a new children’s playground. My only substantive contribution was proof reading the copy. However, this book has become my “go to” source for a wide variety of reliable recipes from a hot crab dip to chocolate biscuits with all manner of countryside foraged jams, jellies and chutneys in between.
The recipe calls for a handful of ingredients, a bit of patience and that’s about it.
50g citric acid
4 lemons, sliced
30-ish heads of elderflower
Put the water and sugar in a big saucepan or jelly pot and heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and then take off the heat and allow to cool before adding the lemons, citric acid and elderflower. Stir, cover and allow to infuse for 48 hours stirring occasionally.
Strain through muslin and bottle. Keep in a chilly larder or refrigerate and the cordial will last up to a year. It also freezes well (in plastic bottles).
Dilute with still or sparkling water to serve. The cordial is also delicious poured neat over strawberries (and left to macerate for an hour or so) or maybe added to a lemon cake (as per Prince Harry & Meghan).