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Elderflower cordial

For over 400 years in Britain we have been making elderflower cordial from the sweet and fragrant blooms of the elder tree, the white blossoms are now just bursting into bloom, by next week they will be ready to pick, so why not make your own cordial with this simple recipe?

Elderflower cordial and presse have seen a massive rise in popularity in the last few years, Waitrose just reported a 23 per cent increase in sales in the last twelve months – with 10% of all soft drinks sold now having some elderflower in them. I even tried a new elderflower Pimms last week which was lovely.

The cordial is fabulous to poach gooseberries in; the two ingredients are just made for one another, or try an elderflower jelly for a really light, fragrant dessert.

Washing your face in dew from freshly gathered elderflowers was believed to enhance and preserve youthful beauty (might be too late for that one!). More practically the leaves can be hung in doorways and windows to repel flies!

Elderflower cordial

Serves 15

  • 1.25 litre water
  • 1 kg caster sugar
  • 2 lemons- quartered
  • 3 limes – quartered
  • 250g elderflower heads
  • 50g citric acid

Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan. Pour the boiling water over the sugar and allow to dissolve.

Add the lemons and limes to this sugar solution.

Allow the syrup to cool.

Rinse the elderflowers under a cold running tap, ensuring that all the woody stalks are removed so only the flowers remain.

Add the elderflowers and citric acid to the cooled syrup, cover and leave in the fridge to infuse for 24/48hours.

Pass the cordial through a sieve and pour into clean sterilised bottles. Plastic squash bottles are great to use if you wish to freeze some cordial for months to come.

Serve with lots of ice, lime and mint. You can mix with sparkling water, soda or even champagne for a treat!

 

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Through The Natural Pantry I hope to share with you some of the delicious recipes discovered whilst cooking in my kitchen with produce grown in our garden and the very best natural ingredients.