The Food Gatherer's Note: Well you know that summer is around the corner when the aroma of elder fills the air. I will always make time for an annual steeping of elderflowers to make this cordial and then add it to a generous gin and tonic for the perfect cocktail with botanical benefits... This recipe is from The River Cottage but you can also try this one from the ladies at Handmade Apothecary who will be coming along to do a foraging walk at the Enfield Food Festival August Bank Holiday Monday.
Makes about 2 litres
About 25 elderflower heads
Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange, plus their juice (about 150ml in total)
1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)
Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl together with the orange and lemon zest.
Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.
Strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid (if using).
Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.
Use a funnel to pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks.
Recipe taken from The River Cottage