A TASTE OF SUMMER

I’ve been enjoying a little taste of summer with some elderflower cordial……

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Just over a month ago while looking for some foliage to fill little vases to decorate the table for Hannah’s birthday party I discovered we had elderflower bushes at the bottom of the garden! (Our garden is quite big and still a bit of a wilderness, we’ve been busy renovating the house so the garden is still on the endless ‘to-do’ list!) Fast forward a month and I eventually managed to find time to make some elderflower cordial! There are still a few blooms out and about around the country but it is more or less the end of the season about now, so just about getting this blog out on time!

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I searched the internet and most recipes are fairly similar, I decided to try Mary Berry’s version as she would usually be my first choice for cake recipes and i’ve never gone wrong with any of her recipes.

So here it is…….

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Ingredients

1.5kg/3lb 5oz caster sugar

2 Lemons

approx 25 heads elderflower heads

50g/1¾oz citric acid

2 Campden tablets

Method

Put the sugar and 1.5 litres water into a large pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.

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Slice the lemons thinly. Put into a large plastic box or a bucket.

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Add the elderflower heads to the lemons with the citric acid and the Campden tablets. (CAUTION: Campden tablets produce an irritant gas if inhaled. Keep your face well back from the mixture.) Pour over the cooled sugar syrup. Cover and leave overnight or up to a couple of days.

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Sieve and strain through muslin (I got these in http://www.lakeland.co.uk ) into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge. To serve, dilute to taste with still or sparkling water.

 

Recipe Tips

Look for elderflower heads from about the end of May. They can be frozen if liked: freeze about 25 heads in a bag and add to the hot sugar syrup straight from the freezer – this will stop them turning brown once defrosted. Campden tablets are used in home wine and beer making to kill bacteria and also inhibit wild yeast. Citric acid is a natural preservative and also gives a slightly sour flavour to the cordial. (I purchased the Campden tablets and Citric acid from http://www.lakeland.co.uk)

It’s really simple to make and I have to admit I love it, and it’s a bonus that hubby doesn’t!! I can certainly verify that it’s delicious with sparkling water and also added to prosecco! I have also frozen some elderflower heads to make more cordial over the winter.

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I already had some storage bottles but any glass bottles will do, I found these Grolsch lager bottles a pretty but quirky alternative and added some pretty to labels to give them as gifts.

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I hope you enjoy giving this a try!

Christine xx

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