Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wild things to eat in June and July

Wild things to eat in June and July 

Well, sadly it is nearing the end of Elderflower season.  You can still find a few flower heads up on top of the Mendips and probably other hilltops around the country.  They were really abundant this year - the best for a long time!  I have spent many happy hours gathering them from the edge of fields and enjoying their scent once I have got them home and put them in the mix - not so sweet smelling on their own.  I do count them into the bag or bucket I am carrying.  You need forty for each batch.  I am always generous with them as some are smaller than others.

A really good recipe for them is as follows:

40 heads of elderflower
4 lbs granulated sugar
2 sliced lemons
1 orange sliced
3oz citric acid - best place to buy this is ebay.
3 pints boiling water.

Mix everything together, stir really well to make sure the sugar has dissolved properly and leave to steep for two or three days.  Squeeze as much out with your hands as you can.  Then use a sieve to collect as many of the little flowers left in as possible.  Using a jug,  place your sieve over a bucket or container, line the sieve with a tea towel, and pour the liquid through.  Sometimes you need to squeeze the tea towel a bit to push it through.  Bottle and keep some in the fridge.  Freeze the rest.

Best things to do with Elderflower Cordial

Drink with sparkling water.

Add to salad dressings - mix with a good quality white wine vinegar, some decent olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk.  Delicious!

Make a jelly with elderflower mixed with sparkling water - you can add prosecco or other sparkling wine.  For every pint of liquid, add four sheets of soaked gelatine.  Pour into a glass bowl or terrine tin, with fresh fruit.  If using a terrine tin you can slice it and serve plated with more berries and whipped cream.

Add to whipped cream and serve with fruit puddings.

Use in cocktails.  Very good with prosecco!

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