Monday, 30 May 2011

Elderflower Cordial

900g/ 2lb caster sugar
30g citric acid
1 lemon
1 orange
10 large elderflower heads, washed and drained

Elderflower is so beautiful and grows absolutely everywhere, so access is easy. My ma lives in Tulse hill in London and made a huge batch, so whether you live in the city or the country it is blooming everywhere. I picked mine from my back garden and I can't tell you how wonderful the scent of the basket was . It's so easy to make cordial and it can be used in lots of ways, in champagne, lager, on yoghurt, in salad dressing or as a marinade on a fruit salad.

1) Put the sugar in a large heatproof bucket and add 600ml/1 pint of boiling water. Stir until dissolved and add citric acid. It can be quite hard to track down citric acid, it should be available from all chemists and brewing shops but it often sells out at this time of year. Chemists can only order in so much as naughty folk use it to cut drugs so don't be suprised if you get the odd askew glance as your desperately trying to track it down!

2) Grate the rind of a lemon and orange and add to mix, then slice the fruit and add that too. Put in the elderflower heads until they're submerged. Cover and allow to stand overnight or for around 12 hours. The sweet heady smell will completely dominate your house.  Strain through muslin and bottle. Ensure your bottles are thoroughly cleaned and bottles are sterilised by placing them in the oven at 100 degrees for 15 mins, soak the caps in boiling water.

Enjoy! It's a lovely gift too so make a big batch and hand it out to your friends.