- * 20 heads of elderflower * 1.8kg granulated sugar or caster sugar * 1.2 litres water * 2 unwaxed lemons * 75g citric acid
1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl. 2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. 3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours. 4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use.
To serve Elderflower Cordial: Dilute the elderflower cordial to taste with fizzy water, and serve over ice with a slice or two of lemon, or a sprig of mint floating on top. For something a touch more sprightly, add a shot of gin or vodka and a lemon slice, or add it to white wine and sparkling water to make an elderflower spritzer. Elderflower cordial is also brilliant in recipes such as gooseberry fool, and in vinaigrette - mix with wine vinegar, a touch of mustard, salt, pepper and a light olive oil (surprisingly good with a courgette, lettuce and broad bean salad). You might even try adding it to a marinade for chicken breasts. Try it in sorbets, or ice-creams, or just spooned over scoops of vanilla ice-cream, or use it to sweeten and flavour the fruit for a crumble.