Saturday, April 05, 2014

2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge - E is for Elderflowers - Elderflower cordial recipe & elderflower recipe roundup

I look forward to the new elderflower season like some look forward to the new football season!
Elderflower haul - last of the season 2007
Round here there are elderflowers growing everywhere from May - June: such a short season. But if you're clever the season extends - if you know the microclimates. Within a 20 mile radius the season changes by a few weeks depending on microclimate & land height. There's a secret place I picked the ones above when all the others everywhere had finished.
Don't pick directly after rain
Same as berries don't pick directly after rain - it takes away all the flavour and because they're wet they go off much faster. As I was driving to pick these I was beating the rain clouds in the distance. It just started raining as I was finishing picking, so I walked back in the rain. Tell you what though - smelled so amazing as I drove back - nature's perfume! Another time I stopped in the middle of a road near Bath at 11pm at night with the van lights lighting the elderflower crop that I was harvesting... not sure what the odd driver that went past must have thought!......

Discolouration
Elderflowers discolour (go brown) with age & also when cooking. Add lemon as I did with the elderflower liqueur below or citric acid to avoid the discolouration.

Storage
The elderflower season is so short! That's why we make cordial, liqueur, sorbet, etc. But you can also make the elderflower poaching liquor that I use for the elderflower poached chicken & salmon below and freeze that in batches to use over the following summer months.
Elderflower liqueur - you can use gin or vodka as a base. Go on try it! 
Elderflower cordial recipe
This is a ancient recipe from my friend's recipe vault - many times tested and approved!

20 Elderflower heads
2 kg Sugar
1 litre boiling water
80g Citric acid
2 lemons & 1 orange zested and sliced

1. Add sugar to the boiling water and stir till dissolved.
2. Add lemon and orange zest and slices.
3. Place elderflowers into a deep container. Pour over the sugar/ lemon/ orange mix.
4. Cover and leave for at least 12 hours.
5. Sieve and strain through muslin bag to clarify. Pour into sterilised bottle. 
6. Place in a very safe place that nobody else knows about - or they won't last long!

Elderflower roundup
Use the elderflower cordial above to make this turkish delight. But put the cordial in at the beginning not the end like the first time I made it - it sets firmer this way!

Chicken poached in elderflower - a Broadway classic from 2007. We have also often done a similar version with salmon. 

A popular choice on the assiette of dessert:
Assiette of desserts from 8 days ago with elderflower and prosecco jelly centre stage

This particular one was a 2009 vintage - definitely time to make it again!

Elderflower fritters! 
Here's a link to these. I made them at one of her supper clubs I was helping at - literally walked out of the front door to pick the elderflowers and back in the kitchen to fry them off - couldn't be fresher!

3 comments:

Mars said...

Hope your day goes well! I love elderflower so looking forward to see what you cook/make/write about.

Mars
Curling Stones for Lego People

Geri Jeter said...

Love your blog! We lived in Bath for two years so I remember walking by all the elderflowers along the canal tow path. Wish I would have had all your recipes back then.

Found you through the A to Z challenge (and I'm happy I did).

Geri
http://www.gerijeter.com

Beth Lapin said...

Great to see your post.

Beth Lapin
http://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/