Home made Elderflower Cordial
What a lovely weather this weekend, nearly 80°F/26°C, sunny, warm and a little bit breezy.
We went to have a walk around the hill that close to us today. Lots of mature conker trees out there, I think they’re quite old, because the tree trunk could tell you. In the old days, we could see lot of horses or small ponies, munching the fresh grass over the field. Usually we picked some grass and feed them, those horses are so timid and shy, but when they’re get used to us, they’re so calm and started to munch the grass that we picked. We had lot of good time there. But after I started to work, we haven’t been to the hill anymore, even it is closed to us.
And today was such a good and sunny weather, we decided to walk up to the hill again. Such a big difference from the old time, the trees are grown so high. I think the horses haven’t been there for a long time, because the grass are grown wild. And all the bushes and shrubs are growing so tall and big.
But we found some plants those are edible, like blackberries and elderflower, because those plants grew wild here and out of the road (no traffic), they haven’t got air pollution here, so we decided to pick some elderflowers and make some thing about it. Maybe we will come back next time and pick some blackberries when they are ready to eat.
So I decided to make the ‘Elderflower Cordial’ for this summer, maybe we will have another barbecue during this nice and warm weather. Elderflower cordial will be an ideal refreshments for us.
This elderflower cordial nearly cost nothing but the sugar and a bit of time, that’s all! And I think it’s worth to take times to make it, if you can smell the elderflower’s fragrant, they’re so inviting.
Try your best to pick the flowers from non-traffic area, that’s my highly recommendation.
I just only add a certain amount of sugar, and little bit of citric acid to stabilize it, that’s all the ingredients, how simple is that! But, if you haven’t got the citric acid, skip it, really doesn’t matter!
Let me explain what is the citric acid information that I found from the web: they’re a colorless translucent crystalline acid, C6H8O7, principally derived by fermentation of carbohydrates or from lemon, lime, and pineapple juices.
Citric acid is a slightly stronger acid than typical carboxylic acids because the anion can be stabilized by intramolecular hydrogen-bonding from other protic groups on citric acid, it has a sour taste.
Ok, let’s make it now.
Recipe adapted from Red magazine.
Home made Elderflower Cordial
Ingredient: Makes: Approx. 2.8 litres/2800ml
- 4oog Fresh elderflower, ( slightly shake it but don’t wash )
- 1.8kg of Raw sugar
- 80g Citric acid ( available from Asian store or pharmacists )
- 3 Lemon, thinly sliced ( I used the lemon juice only )
- 3.5 lt Water
- Tap the blossoms to remove any stubborn insects. Remove the long stem and leaves. Put the sugar in a large bowl and pour in 3.5 litres of boiling water. Stir to dissolve sugar, add in the citric acid, followed by the flowerheads and lemon slices or lemon juice. Cover and leave in a cool, dark place.
- Leave to steep for anything between 24-48 hours. The longer it is left, the stronger the flavour and colour will be. Put a muslin-lined sieve over a large bowl and strain the flower liquid through to catch all the bits. You may need to do one more this step again , transferring some of the cordial to a jug as it drains before leaving to drain a little more.
- Sterilise some glass bottles. Set the oven at a low temperature – 100°C/200°F/gas mark 1/2. Stand the open bottles in the sink and fill them with boiling water. Using a cloth to hold the bottles, tip out the water and put on their sides in the oven. Leave to dry for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven. When they are cold, stand the bottles on a surface with a cloth underneath so that they don’t slip. Using a funnel, fill each bottle with cordial.
- The cordial is ready for use. Dilute with plain or fizzy water, adding ice and lemon slices if you wish, it’s also delicious added to cava.
- Pick flowers off the track away from traffic pollution and when it is dry.
- Once open, use within a week. Otherwise store in the fridge or in a cool dark place. Will keep for several months. Freezes well in small plastic drinks bottles – don’t fill completely, otherwise the bottles will explode when they freeze. I did fill more small bottles to share with our family and friends to taste, they’re so surprised and pleased how good that is, they all said will try to make it next year!
- Also delicious in vinaigrette – mix with wine vinegar, a touch of mustard, salt, pepper and a light olive oil, and pour over a salad of courgette, lettuce and broad beans. I did try out for last night’s salad bowl, so refreshing!