Recipe - Elderflowers
Living in the west of the town, I get my elderflowers on walks
on the Downs above the prison. The flowers keep going there
for weeks; the higher and shadier you go, the later they continue.
This is a bumper year: the trees are blooming like cumulus
clouds. Elderflower syrup is easy-peasy to make and cheaper
than the bought stuff. My recipe comes from an excellent book,
The Elder in History, Myth and Cookery by Ria Loohuizen, published
by Prospect Books. Some people prefer to boil their mixture
(I’m going to try that for my second batch). This one
seems – so far -to have worked well without.
Collect a small bagful of flowers, ideally on a sunny day.
Leave any that have the slightest discolouration; they make
the brew taste manky. Put the flowers (getting rid of as much
stem as possible) in a big bowl and cover with cold water.
Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave in a cool place for
2 days. Strain off the flowers through muslin or an unused
j-cloth. Measure out the amount of liquid and put in a pan
with 750g of sugar and a tablespoon of citric acid per litre
of liquid. You can get the latter ingredient from the chemists,
HA Baker on the High Street. They ran out recently, doubtless
due to elderflower cordial fever. Supplies are due in. Heat
gently, without boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Put
in clean bottles and store in a cool place or the fridge.
That’s it. HE