Inspired by lovely friend Melody, I set out last weekend to find some elderflowers to make a cordial, I actually failed. I think I must have been looking in the wrong places, however I did notice some down at the allotment. So on Tuesday when Bex and I were done with digging for the day we went to collect some elderflowers.
We found lots and lots, when we picked them they hardly smelt at all, but by the time we got them home there was a very strong scent of elderflower pouring out of carrier bag.
We set about counting them and knocking the bugs out of them as soon as we got back, and well there certainly were a lot of bugs, so much so that both Bex and I ended up itching all over at the thought of them.
I ended up with 3 different recipes, one from Melly, one from the river cottage preserving handbook and one from the river cottage hedgerow handbook. So I decided to mix it up and make up my own. This is what I did.
30 or so elderflower heads
1 kg of golden caster sugar
1.5 litres of water
the juice and zest of 3 lemons
the juice and zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon citric acid
As I already mentioned we knocked the heads lightly to remove the bugs and dust and then popped them in a big bowl.
Then I added the water and the sugar to my preserving pan and slowly heated through to dissolve the sugar, once dissolved I brought it up to a boil.
I then poured the sugar water mix over the elderflower heads, added the juice and zest of the lemons and orange, plus the citric acid, gave it a stir, covered and left for 24 hours.
After 24 hours I strained the mixture through a piece of sterilised muslin, I let it drip for a couple of hours, then using a funnel (sterilised of course) I de-cantered it in to (sterilised) jars. I used jars because I didn't have any bottles, I'm not sure if this OK? I see no reason why not, just not perfect for pouring, but so far I haven't spilt any!
It tastes pretty good, I'm very pleased, only had it with water so far, but very much looking forward to mixing it with some sparkling wine this weekend.