Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Elderflower Cordial

For the next couple of weeks Elderflowers are in full bloom and is therefore the time to go out into the Norfolk countryside, pick some elderflowers and make your own cordial.

Some Elderflower and some delicious Elderflower Cordial

I found loads of elderflowers at Limpenhoe (near Cantley) down a small lane to the right of the parish church and there was still plenty left last weekend. Here's the map.

My recipe for Elderflower Coridal (makes about one litre)

15-20 large heads (or umbels if you want to get technical) of elderflower (make sure that the flowers are open and bright white and use them within the couple of hours of picking otherwise they lose their whiteness and flavour)

900g caster sugar (I know this sounds a lot but you are making a cordial not a drink)

1 lemon

40g tartaric acid (You can buy this at any homebrew shop. I got mine at the homebrew section of Roys of Wroxham)

500ml of water

Slice the lemon thinly and put in a large pyrex or glazed bowl along with the elderflowers, sugar and tartaric acid.

Boil the water in a saucepan and then pour into the bowl. Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.

Leave to cool, then cover and leave undisturbed in a cool place for four days.

Remove the elderflowers and lemon slices from the bowl. Now strain the cordial into bottles through a muslin-lined sieve. I bought my muslin at Thorns in Norwich - one of my favourite Norwich shops.

The cordial can be drunk straight away but will keep for some time in the fridge. I freeze a couple of small bottles for Christmas. When it defrosts the liquid is opaque but is still delicious.