I don’t know about you but since lockdown I have kind of being looking at nature, REALLY looking at it and cherishing all I see. The green hedgerows were just that before Lockdown, green habitat that I was thankful to see but didn’t know a lot about but then I discovered foraging!
I remember my parents making wine from Elderflower berries when I was little and how we’d harvest them all together, a tradition I loved so I hoped on to Ecosia and found an elderflower cordial recipe. The flowers aren’t fully in bloom yet but when they are I’ll be taking my cotton bag to cutdown 20 or so heads. When you forage in the countryside for leaves/berries/flowers it’s so important to be mindful to never take a big stash from one place, you need to be respectful that wildlife enjoy what you want to take back to your kitchen so for me, I’ll take a few heads from one tree then move on to another and so forth.
I made a glut of cordial in 2018 and used the syrup and some white wine to make sorbet, which is again really easy to make and my little musketeers love to help. If you are making it, remember to keep some elderflowers to sprinkle on the top before serving.
The recipe I used last year is from BBC Good Food and I love it:
Recipe & Method
- 2½ kg white sugar, either granulated or caster
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
- 85g citric acid (from chemists)
- Put the sugar and 1.5 litres/2¾ pints water into the largest saucepan you have. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Give it a stir every now and again. Pare the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Fill a washing up bowl with cold water. Give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs. Lift flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
- Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan. Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through. Discard the bits left in the towel. Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water. Rinse, then leave to dry in a low oven). The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Or freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.