Thursday, 4 July 2013
Making Elderflower Cordial
Because we seem to be having a summer this year I have been doing pleasant summery things - none of which I did last year because of all that rain.
This week I made elderflower cordial. The elder tree in our back garden is laden with flowers and smells like heaven. I took a large pan outside and spent a good half hour inspecting flowerheads for insects and building up a deep layer of flowers. On top of the flowers went two sliced lemons and two oranges, and the whole lot steeped in water overnight. The next day I drained off the liquid and sweetened it with melted honey. The end result is not so sweet as cordials I have made before, and without adding citric acid it will not keep so long, but it has a lovely sharp tang. It needs to be diluted to taste, but the flavour of this one makes me think I should be adding gin rather than water.
Before I made it I checked the recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book. The instructions are a bit of a laugh... "Shake any insects off the elderflowers..." as if there may conceivably be none, and the hundreds that are there can hang on in a strong wind, so a quick shake can't budge them. Anyway, if you are surrounded by elders, his elderflower cordial recipe is here if you want to try it.