The one great benefit to sharing the fruits of your labour with the neighbours is that at some point they share too. So last year our Damson harvest was taken away in carrier bags to all the nearby dwellings. I’ve always fancied making elderflower cordial but our tree is in the shade of a mighty sycamore and doesn’t produce many flowers. When out riding I spotted Outrun Nook over the hill had a magnificent elderflower crop and suggested we had a go at some cordial, (they in fact made the champagne).
The recipe was quite insistent that the flowers should be picked on a warm and sunny day, it rained for a week so we lost patience and picked them on a rather gloomy and definitely windy day! So glad I wasn’t up the ladder. Making the cordial was so easy, very little effort for a glorious nectar. Jamie Oliver helped it has to be said! So here is his recipe:
500g caster sugar
4 tablespoons quality runny honey
2 unwaxed lemons
1 Wash the elderflower well, picking off any bugs.
2 Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Gently bring to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.
3 Finely grate in the lemon zest and add the elderflower upside down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.
4 Squeeze in the juice from one of the lemons, then slice the other and add it to the pan, too. Pop the lid on and leave to one side to infuse for 24 hours.
5 When you’re ready to strain your cordial, line a fine sieve with muslin over a large bowl (if you don’t have muslin, you can use good quality kitchen towel) and pour through the cordial.
6 Store in sterilised bottles or jars and drink diluted with water, soda or Prosecco.