Recipe: Elderflower Summer Magic
Here comes the white glamour of the British countryside, heralding in summer with tiny star-shaped sprays of fragrant muscat aroma. There is indeed magic in this wild plant found in woods, gardens and country lanes. The flowers give bursts of flavour in sorbets, cordials, jellies, jams and the magnificent Elderflower champagne. We found ours in the hedgerows of the Grand Union Canal.
Celebrate the summer with a beaker of Elderflower Champagne.
Pick on a blue-skied morning. Flowers should be opened and still absolutely white and fresh.
TIP: Gather away from the routes of cars. You should not wash the clusters but gently shake away any leaves (and dear little summer bugs ) to retain both the delicacy of the Elderflowers, and the pollen. It is the pollen which gives the bursts of fizz if you are following a recipe for elderflower champagne.
If you are making a refreshing Elderflower Cordial you should place 20-30 white coronets in a large bowl with the zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange and cover them with 2 litres of boiled water. When cool, strain and add 350 g of sugar and 50ml of lemon juice to every 500ml of elderflower juice. Heat, simmer and cool.
- drink diluted with ice-cold water
- freeze into cubes to add to summer cocktails
- use as a syrup base for cakes and desserts. (More surprises about this, later!)
Elderflower Sorbet Recipe
Dissolve 225g of caster sugar in 6oo ml of water and boil until dissolved. Add 7 Elderflower coronets, with the juice and very thinly grated rind of 4 lemons and 1 small orange. (The peels must be in perfect condition.)
Leave the flower mixture to infuse until completely cool. Strain.
If you do not want to use an icecream machine, freeze for 20 minutes, whisk, (to get rid of ice crystals) part freeze again, whisk and then freeze the sorbet until firm.
This can be a wonderful summer addition to your Mezze Table, and can be served at the beginning, middle or end of the meal: it’s magic!
SPECIAL JUNE OFFER! Free organic Elderflower Cupcake offer from MoreSouth for those who are lucky enough to live in Hertfordshire.