Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spring Sunshine in My Cup

So it's officially the beginning of Summer here in Christchurch and my Melanin cells are kickin into gear.

Elderflower is the my first thought when I think of Springs seasonal window. But to my despair in all my kitchen mayhem lately the elderflower cordial slipped off the production line. Yesterday I found my true appreciation for slow bloomers when I came across a newly opened elderflower bush. Swerving to the side of the road I clambered out of my car (currently my car door doesn't open and I have no front window) to retrieve some of the creamy white flowers. With a colour like my red haired sister's skin and a scent as wild as the Alps what better way to enjoy them than in a soda/elderflower twist.

Elderflower Cordial

Makes 1 large jar full

Ingredients -
About 25 elderflower heads
Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 2 orange, plus their juice
700g sugar
1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)

You want to choose newly opened elder heads, with a pleasant scent. Warm early mornings are the best time for picking.

Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl .
Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil together with the orange and lemon zest and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin or fine sieve and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid (if using).

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a
5-10 minutes or until golden and like a fine syrup.

Pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles
with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks and store in the fridge once opened

Enjoy with soda water, mint and lemon or whatever your favourite mix is. Freeze if you want to keep for those sweltering summer afternoons

Happy brewing xx

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