Elderflower Delight

Elderflowers are at their best for picking just when they open before they begin to drop their pollen.The stalks should always be removed. I first started making delight last year and was amazed by its popularity even with people who dislike turkish delight.I started with John Wright`s recipe from the River cottage handbook no.7, “Hedgerow” but soon began tweaking anf modifiying to suit my own taste, this is the result and I hope you like it.

  • 40 large elderflower heads, stalks removed,
  • 600mls water,
  • 1,400grms unrefined sugar,
  • 8 limes, jest and juice,
  • 200grms cornflower,
  • 40grms gelatine, leaf or powdered,
  • 1 teaspoon salt,

Line a shallow tray with baking parchment.put the flower heads and water into heavy sausepan and heat, leave to infuse overnight or for at least a few hours. Strain and return liquid to the pan.Add the sugar and lime juice and zest. Continue heating and stirring to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile soak the gelatine according to pack instructions. Make a smooth paste with the cornflower and some cold water. Stir the cornflower mixture into pan and mix well,add the gelatine and stir quickly to mix well and dissolve throughout mix.

Now (this is the tough bit) bring the mix to the boil stirring all the time, its a good idea to wrap the mixing hand in a tea towel to protect from heat and splashes of very hot mix.As the mix comes to the boil it will thicken and can “spit” a lot, keep stirring to prevent burning, boil for 10 minutes and then pour into prepared tray. Allow to cool and when cool cut into cubes.Place the cubes on a flat tray lined with parchment and allow to dry in a hot press or other warm dry spot for 2 or 3 days. Toss the cubes in a half and half mix of cornflower and Icing sugar. Delight can be stored in tin boxes if you can manage to resist eating it all straight away.

I would like to experiment a little further and try using Carrigeen moss to set the delight thus producing a vegan friendly version.

Hay fever tea?

Time for more recipies, so many things going on, lots of growth which is great but high pollen means hay fever for many people. If you are one of the unfortunate afflicted you could try a herbal tea made of Nettle, Elderflower, Ribwort Plantain and Camomile. I do not have a recipe for this and happily don’t suffer but here is a suggestion, I would be grateful for any other ideas and especially feedback on this. Buy herbal camomile tea and brew up with a handfull of Ribwort Plantain leaves, a glove-full of Nettle tops and 3 Elderflower heads (stalks removed). Allow to infuse for 5 minutes before straining, sweeten with honey or unrefined sugar if liked.

 

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