Friday Forage #13 | Elderflower cordial recipe - our first taste of summer

June went and passed us by in the flash of an eye...we spent our days on and off the water in Dorset on kayak adventures and running our wild food workshops enjoying the first tastes of summer and Elderflower has to be up there with one of our top favourite foraging finds. Most summer seasons are signaled for us with that sweet heady scent as you pass through the hedgerows, those sudden bursts of blooms that appear out of nowhere, here today and seemingly gone tomorrow. You have to get your baskets laden quick sharp if you want to make this one last the year with our elderflower cordial recipe that makes the basis for jellies, preserves, syrups, cocktails and everything in between to keep those sunny memories alive throughout the dullest of days….

Elderflowers come out to play early Summer around May/June time and if you’re lucky there will still be some Elder trees in flower around this time of year in the beginning of July but they don’t hang around for long, you’re looking for creamy white flowers with a yellowly tinge, flat topped clusters with 5 petals. They can be quite large in size up to 20cm wide and laden with sweet sweet pollen.

Set the alarm and watch the weather forecast like a hawk, get your foraging baskets ready, you want to set the date for a sunny early morning to ensure you beat the bugs and get your mitts on the most nectareous of blooms.  Elderflower….your sweetness is most definately our weakness.

foraging for elderflower in dorset

Time: 24 hours for infusing & 30 minutes to make
Makes: 2 bottles

20 elderflower blooms
1kg sugar
2 lemons
2-3 pints of water
1 tsp citric acid

How to:
Gently shake the elderflower to remove bugs but don’t wash them as this will remove the pollen.

Remove the flowers from the stalks as they can be poisonous

Add the sugar and water to the flowers in a large saucepan.

Add the lemon juice, grated lemon rind and citric acid and then bring the liquid to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Cover and leave to infuse for 24 hours.

Sieve the mixture through a muslin and pour into sterilised bottles.

There you have it, the basis for many treats, we like to make Elderflower Jelly with this, just add a few sheets of gelatin and pour into a jelly mould and top off with fresh raspberries or add it to Prosecco for a refreshing summer infused drink. Watch out for our next wild food recipe coming up on the blog which features our very own cordial, a real treat for the tastebuds!

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