Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Elderflower cordial

Summer is almost here, and so to are the Elderflowers, but you must be quick, they'll be gone before you realise it. The elder's significant health properties have been appreciated way back. High in vitamins A, B and C, elderflower cordials and elderberry wine were thought to prolong life. I love the refreshing flavour of the cordial, mixed with still or sparkling water and lots of ice. Dilute to taste.

20 heads of elderflower
1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar
1.2 litres water
2 lemons
75 g citric acid
  1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any 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.