Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeGardeningBottling summer season with home made elderflower cordial

Bottling summer season with home made elderflower cordial

There is a huge elder tree subsequent to the salad backyard cul-de-sac, whose branches droop invitingly over the fence in the direction of me.  These branches are coated in umbels of flowers about to open so, naturally, I am about to retrieve and wash my cordial bottles, able to replenish my shares of scrumptious handmade elderflower cordial.

I’ve borrowed from my earlier posts (2019 and 2015) about making elderflower cordial to maintain issues easy as a result of, properly, what extra is there to say?  Besides, possibly, elderflower fritters which I have not tried however have heard are excellent.

My recipe under is a simple one which I’ve discovered works properly. I preserve this handy as I obtained very confused once I first tried to make elderflower cordial. Mine is an adaptation of a number of that I’ve used and tweaked 12 months on 12 months. (Initially I used limes, following Sarah Raven’s recipe; it was not a contented consequence.)

Additionally, the sugar – it is loads, however very essential to extract the essence of the flowers and fruit. A few years in the past I might turn into involved in regards to the quantity of sugar wanted for the recipe so did not make any cordial. It was a call I got here to remorse throughout the excessive warmth of the summer season – a glass of iced water sweetened with a slug of citrus infused cordial hits the spot properly on a sizzling day. So I now (attempt to) consider this cordial as a deal with.  It is also excellent added to an iced gin+tonic, and scrumptious in cake. (Be aware to me: I need to look out these recipes.)

So, onto the recipe. It’s, in any case, why you are right here.  However first, a couple of ideas.

Tip one: Most recipes will embrace citric acid as a preservative – I do not trouble. As I discovered it exhausting to pay money for at first, I now preserve one bottle of cordial within the fridge and freeze the remainder in small washed plastic bottles saved from the smoothies I purchase when out. I believe that the addition of citric acid might alter the flavour and the cordial may not style as good. Additionally, because of the sugar content material, the cordial freezes very well; I’ve defrosted cordial after a 12 months with good outcomes.

Tip Two: Look fastidiously for aphids earlier than you choose the flowers. I discovered some stems coated within the form of black aphids often discovered on broad beans and left these blooms properly alone. Even so, once I obtained dwelling, I made positive to softly shake the blooms over the sink to dislodge another critters. (A number of black aphids, greenfly and a few small spiders, thanks.) Having completed that, I then held the blooms over a white tea towel for a re-examination; it was wanted.

Tip Three: There could also be some tempting plate sized blooms under knee stage simply begging to be picked. Do not. Wherever you reside, there will likely be creatures that wee. In my case, canine and foxes. (I hope that is all however let’s not go there.) My recommendation is to select the blooms that it’s important to stretch up excessive for, simply to be on the secure aspect.

Tip 4: Just be sure you’re selecting the correct flowers. At all times vital when foraging for any edibles however right here the unmistakeable scent of elderflowers ought to make sure you choose properly. If doubtful, this is some visible assist.

Collage of 3 elderflowers and one that isn't!
Spot the distinction! Backside proper is NOT elderflower – take a look at the leaves!

So now all we’d like is for the sunshine to return … !

My easy however trusted recipe for Elderflower Cordial

Large bowl filled with elderflower heads and citrus fruit

3 unwaxed lemons
1 or 2 oranges
1 kg (2.2 lbs) granulated sugar (within the US: abnormal sugar not powdered sugar)
15-20 medium to giant elderflower heads
1.5 litres faucet water (50 US fluid ounces)

First stage:
In a big pot on the range, make a sugar syrup by slowly dissolving the sugar within the water over a gently warmth. Stir often and as soon as dissolved (no extra sugar grains to be seen), convey the syrup to the boil for about 5 minutes.
Whereas that is doing, peel the oranges and lemons. The white pith is bitter so attempt to depart that on the fruit. (Or simply slice the fruit in ½ cm chunks.)
Lower the massive stems off the cleaned/shaken elderflowers and put the flowers in a big pot or saucepan with the citrus peel.
Pour the recent syrup over when it is prepared. Put a lid on the pan and depart to infuse for twenty-four – 36 hours. (The timing may be very forgiving; life is unpredictable.)

Subsequent day/stage:
Sterilise bottles or jars able to decant the combination into. Giving plastic bottles a great sizzling wash will suffice if they are going into the freezer. Glass bottles will be washed after which dried on a low temperature within the oven for 10 minutes. As a time saver prior to now, I’ve washed after which microwaved glass jars to sterilise (however not the metallic lids – please!) Lids must be boiled in a pan of water for a couple of minutes.
Sieve the infused cordial by means of a muslin fabric or tea towel, positioned in a sieve over a bowl or giant jug. I now use a jelly bag held securely in it is body, a lot simpler! (Right here, for information.)
Pour the cordial into the bottles, and retailer as applicable.

… Or drink straightaway!  And luxuriate in!



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