Posted: Jun 02 2014
Around this time of the year- the begining of summer- the elder tree bursts into bloom the countryside over with its creamy-white sweet scented flowers. These fresh flowers make a quick, yet delicious, aromatic cordial. Best picked on a dry day and when the buds of the flowers are just opening, check for a pleasing fresh perfume.
Please make sure before picking that you have the blessing of the trees owner. Never pick from a layby that might have contaminated flowers from car fumes, and always leave some flowers on the tree.
This recipe will make you a litre of cordial.
You will need-
20-25 heads of elderflowers, picked as above.
1 litre of water
2 lemons, zested, and sliced into 1cm slices.
400g caster sugar
Check the elderflower heads for any insects!
Pour the water into a large pan and heat on low setting to disolve the sugar. When fully disolved add the lemon zest, lemon slices and the elderflowers. Bring the water up to the boil and turn off heat. Cover the pan with a lid and leave the flowers and lemon to infuse overnight.
After that time strain the contents of the pan over a bowl through a piece of muslin or even a clean tea-towel. Pour into sterilised bottles or lovely Weck carafes. The cordial will stay fresh for about 2 months when kept in the fridge.
Dilute with ice cold water for a long refreshing summer quencher.