The Elder is flowering, at least in the protected environment of London Parks and I went and picked earlier this week, enough to make a batch of my elderflower cordial. This makes the best cordial ever and I make one or two batches every spring and freeze to use during the summer. It is lovely served with normal or sparkling water (my favourite) or mixed with white wine. It can also be used as an ingredient in all kinds of cakes and desserts – but mainly we drink ours.
I have used various recipes over the years but this is the best and the one I’m now sticking with. You can make a kind of jam from the leftover lemons and elderflowers, it has a very intense taste, and is nice in small batches.
40 heads of eldersflower
2 kgs sugar
2 liter water
50 g ascorbic acid (buy this from the chemist)
Carefully cut the flowers off the stalks into a large bowl that can take the liquid later. It can be a bucket or a bowl, but mustn’t be made of aluminium. It doesn’t matter if small pieces of green stalk is included but the less there is, the better the taste. Peel the lemon with a carrot peeler and add to the bowl of flowers. Remove the white peel from the lemons and throw this out. Cut the lemons into slices and add to the bowl.
Heat up the sugar and the water until boiling. Add the ascorbic acid and pour over the flowers. Leave for 3-5 days, covered with a cloth, stirring once or twice a day. When ready, decant into bottles and freeze.