If you are out and about just now one of the loveliest wee trees in flower is the elder. In June the elder is covered in creamy, flat-topped sprays containing hundreds of tiny five-petalled flowers. They have a delicious smell and a flavour of Muscat grapes. And it is this essence that makes the blooms perfect for a refreshing cordial. There are plenty of trees around Tayport to chose from – just remember to leave some of the blossom because elder berries are excellent to cook with in the autumn. It’s best to pick your flowers on a dry day when they are fully open and don’t wash them as this will reduce the flavour…just gently shake out any insects. Dilute the finished cordial with still or sparkling water for a summery drink. Cheers!
15 elderflower heads
0.8 litres/1.5 pints boiling water
450g/1lb caster sugar
25g/1oz citric acid (available from chemists)
2 unwaxed lemons sliced
1. Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a large bowl. Stir well and leave to cool.
2. Once cool, add the citric acid, sliced lemons and then the clean elderflower heads.
3. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain through muslin (or fine sieve) and transfer to sterilised bottles.
It will keep in the fridge for about 1 week but I suspect it will be used sooner.