Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's elderflower time! November 16th 2013

suddenly realised last week that the elder flowers might already be flowering. It has been such a wet winter and spring that I thought everything might have been a bit behind but when I started looking in my secret places along an old railway line discovered that the elder flowers were in full bloom. So after work one day last week, I set off with secateurs and shopping bag to collect as many as I could. 
Some of the flowers were to go into making a sparkling elderflower drink for hot summer days and the rest were for making cordial syrup. I wrote a blog about this last year and mentioned that recipes for these were on Sally Wise's website but when I went to look for them, I could only find the sparkling drink recipe! After hunting all over the web, I didn't find one that had the elements of Sally's quick and easy version. I was very frustrated as I wanted to make the cordial while the flowers were fresh. I was sure I had written the recipe down but couldn't find it in all my folders of loose pieces of paper. I looked in her book A Year in a Bottle but only found the sparkling recipe in the index then had the thought to look inside the front cover....of course that is where I had put it! So, in case I look here on the blog next year when I want the recipe I thought I would publish it for my own reference as well as any blog visitors.
Elderflower Syrup
1.5kg sugar ( this can probably be reduced a bit if you intend to freeze the syrup in PET bottles as I do)
4 cups boiling water
Add 1 tablespoon tartaric acid
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
14 elder flowers
Dissolve the sugar in the water then add the remaining ingredients. Leave until cool then strain and bottle.

Sparkling Elderfower.   Make it in a food safe bucket or container
3 cups sugar
4 cups of boiling water
Dissolve the sugar in the water
Add 14 cups cold water
4-6 elderflower heads
1 chopped lemon
2 Tablespoons vinegar
Cover and sit for 48 hours. Strain and bottle. Ready to drink in 2 weeks

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