Over the last year or so I have become a lover of foraging! Of using what is natural and local in our home, in our cooking and in our cleaning. I find the world of essential oils so fascinating and love that the natural world holds such store for us, even in our modern age.
In the Autumn I made this blackberry, lime and cardamom gin from blackberries foraged from our local park and hedgerows in our area. So when the elderflowers started to bloom I went on the search. Once I knew what I was looking for I suddenly became aware that there are elderflowers everywhere! If you are going to use them in a recipe just try to find some away from a busy road.
This is such an easy wee recipe so be sure to get the kids involved if they’re about! I used Emma’s recipe from A Quiet Style as a basis, though I think next time I would add more water. I love that this was quite an impromptu afternoon’s activity for me and I was able to make it using what I had in the kitchen, it doesn’t require complicated ingredients so if you find some trees go ahead and pick those flowers…I only had half a lemon so I used that and then added an extra one when I bought more the following day, so if you’re short, don’t worry, get it in the fridge and add to it later.
I am planning to make another batch for some end of year teacher gifts…you can find some great wee bottles in Sainsbury’s, just sterilise them on low heat in the oven for 10 minutes first. Some recipes suggested that the flower heads should not be washed as it removed flavour but I couldn’t bear the thought of little bugs swimming around my syrup so I thought I’d take the risk!! So give the flower heads a rinse under water and then shake off any excess water if you’re anything like me.
- 20-25 flower heads
- 1 lemon
- 3 cups of sugar
- 500 ml water
// Bring your water to a boil and add the sugar. Mix until all the sugar has dissolved and then remove from the heat.
// Remove the tiny flowers into a bowl, they brown pretty quickly but don’t worry, this won’t effect your flavour. This is a relatively slow job but I quite enjoyed it…the sprinkling of tiny little flower sequins over your table is a simple but a beautiful sight!
// Chop up your lemons and you’re ready to go!
// Fill a container with your cooled syrup and stir in the elderflowers and the lemons.
// Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of days.
// When you’re happy it has infused, pour out the mixture and drain through a muslin. I used a sieve initially but the muslin definitely got a clearer syrup. A fine tea towel will do if you don’t have any muslin.
// Pour into your bottle and keep it in the fridge.
I decided on a syrup as I thought I could add it to water, sparkling water, Prosecco or gin…I’m all for a bit of versatility!! If you fancy some other recipes check out Elderflower Champagne with Mel Wiggins or a yummy gin with Me & Orla.
To see who I’m linking up with head here.