Its Elderflower season and with our dry sunny weather it’s the ideal time to make a batch of Elderflower Syrup, cordial or Champagne. Last year I added fresh fragrant rose petals and really loved the results. Quick and easy to make, here are a few Tips
: Strip the flowers from stems before using, I use a gloved hand as have never liked the fork method.
: Store in sterilized bottles or freeze excess syrup in silicone baking forms for later use.
:Use limes instead of lemons, unwaxed organic of course.
: For the syrup use unrefined sugar, or honey if you can.
Elderflower and rose syrup.
I find the syrup more useful than the champagne, it has no alcohol, no problems with pressure in bottles, excess can be frozen in silicone baking forms and bagged for use much later, ideal ingredient for mixing cocktails or making deserts. If you like a sparkling drink, just add tonic or sparkling water or sparkling wine.
20 Elderflower heads, stripped.
2 cups scented rose petals, from non sprayed roses.
2 kg unrefined sugar, or honey.
3 limes, 1 lemon, organic non waxed, zest and juice.
2 teaspoons of citric or tartaric acid.
1 and half litres water.
Put the elderflowers,a petals, juice and zest into a large bowl or bucket. Biol up about two thirds of the water, no need to be too exact, turn off heat and stir sugar into hot water till dissolved. Cool the mix with the remaining cold water and stir in the acid, Pour the lot over the flowers and cover with a clean cloth. Leave overnight, strain and bottle into sterilized bottles or freeze.
For a real summer treat, serve garnished with flowers or herbs from the garden, lemon balm, rose petals or try a sprig of Rosemary in Gin with a dash of Elderflower syrup.
For the Champagne use 10 Elderflower heads, 1 cup of rose petals and proceed as Dandelion and Gorserecipe.
The old fashioned roses are so fragrant just now and I’ve been working on ways to capture their fragrance so it can be enjoyed in depths of winter, very happy with this recipe for Rose Petal Jelly. In this recipe the petals are never boiled and retain their essential glory. Rose petals are also used as a remedy for many things.
I can’t think of a better food to soothe a battered heart.
Rose Petal Jelly.
5 large handfuls of fragrant rose petals,
juice of 3 lemons,
1.2 litres filtered water (1,200mls)
2 teaspoons rosewater (optional)
1kg jam sugar.
Have small jars clean and warm ready before you start to make. Put all ingredients except the petals into a stainless steel saucepan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 5 mins or so, test for setting point.
Meanwhile slice the petals into small pieces.
When setting point has been reached turn off heat and stir in petals.Pot while hot into jars distributing the petals evenly between jars. Seal as quickly as possible. The petals will infuse in the hot liquid, giving their heavenly scent and colour to the jelly.
The jelly freezes very well and is best in small jars so it is used quickly after opening.
I am also making a glycerite from petals and will report on progress over the summer.