It’s Elderflower season. There is plenty everywhere at the minute. So on a walk out I collected a few flower heads (only what I would need for any recipe, knowing I could collect more if The recipe needed it) and took them home to make something with.
I say something because honestly I wasn’t sure what to make with them until I got home. My dreams of elderflower champagne went out of the window when I realised I had no equipment to use. So I decided to make elderflower cordial, not having any idea what it would eventually taste like.
I semi followed a recipe from rivercottage.net. I say semi followed because I tend to use what I have in, but it turned out lovely.
Makes about 2 litres
About 25 elderflower heads
Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange, plus their juice (about 150ml of juice in total)- (I only had 1.5 lemons so used the zest and juice from that and made up the juice with lemon juice in a bottle)
I put the elderflowers, zest, juice and water into a pan (I also left the whole lemon in there for good measure) and brought it to the boil briefly then left it overnight to cool and infuse. River cottage will have a better way to do this, but as I said I made it up as I went along.
I then strained the liquid into a pan, and added the sugar. I brought the liquid gently to the boil, so the sugar dissolved and simmered for a few minutes. I ended up with a lovely yellow liquid that has a similar colour to cloudy lemonade.
This is super sweet and made loads, I bought some soda water to drink with it and it was delicious, very refreshing. I think it would be a nice addition to gin and tonic.
I had way to much and I knew I wouldn’t use all the cordial, so I decided to put half of it back in the pan to reduce it down and make some Elderflower Syrup. I didn’t need to add anymore sugar just let it simmer and keep an eye on the consistency. It was delicious!
Having all this syrup called for 1 more thing…. pancakes!!
I usually make a simple pancake using 100g plain flour, 2 eggs and 300ml of milk whisked together. But I fancied pancake stacks with fat fluffy pancakes. So I tried a different recipe, again semi made up taken from a recipe from the bbc good food website.
- 300 ml of milk
- 200g self raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 1.5tsp baking powder
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 15g melted butter
- 1tbsp elderflower syrup
Whisk all ingredients together, and pour into a heated pan. Leave for a couple of minutes, then flip.
Once cooked I drizzled them with the Elderflower Syrup.
All in all they were a hit!
After going for a nice long walk yesterday and having fun identifying lots of different plants and trees, we may try a few other recipes with some other foraged goodies provided by nature.
Tony also bought me this great book, The Foragers Calendar, written by John Wright, and it gives you a great month by month guide to what you might be able to find growing. I don’t think we’ll ever go hungry 😂.
That’s all for now. Stay safe and stay well.
Kiera and Tony