Elderflower blossoms are starting to pop up all over the country! Whilst this cordial is a little long-winded to make, it is very simple and has a delicious, zangy, summery taste.
I like Mary Berry's recipe as it isn't too sweet. It includes citric acid, which you will find in large supermarkets, pharmacy's or can be ordered online. Remember when picking elderflower, to leave some heads on the tree's to allow for elderberries later in the season.
1.5kg Caster Sugar
Approx. 25 heads of elderflower
50g of Citric Acid
Optional: 2 Campden Tablets*
*NOTE: If using Campden tablets, add alongside the Citric Acid. Campden tablets produce an irritant gas if inhaled. Keep your face well back from the mixture when adding. Campden tablets are a sterilizer and should be used depending on where you source your elderflower i.e. roadsides etc. I'm lucky, we have elderflower in the garden so I don't use them when I make this at home.
- Put the sugar and 1.5 litre water into a large pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Slice the lemons thinly. Put into a large plastic basin or bowl. Add the elderflower heads to the lemons with the citric acid (and Campden tablets if using).
- Pour over the cooled sugar syrup. Cover and leave overnight or up to a couple of days. It is normal for the elderflower heads to brown during this process.
- Sieve and strain through muslin into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge. Bottle can be sterilised using boiling water. This is important as unsterilised bottle will encourage natural bacteria growth.
- To serve, dilute to taste with still water. A favourite in our house, is to add it to sparkling water or a dash to pure orange in the morning! The cordial can also be used in cakes, to make jellies and a range of desserts.
Elderflower heads can be frozen, just pop in a plastic bag - so pick now to allow for delicious elderflower cordial year round! Keep your elderflower cordial in the fridge.