There are a fewer things that epitomise Spring turning to Summer for me than the smell of elderflower in the air. My delicious refined sugar free elderflower cordial recipe always goes down a treat this time of year.
This fabulous hedgerow was brought to my attention by good old Hugh F-W the year my eldest was due, and my friend and I became obsessed with it! We were cordial/wine/champagne making machines and our enthusiasm lasted the following year too. Then life (and five more kids between us) took over, and we forgot all about the pretty little edible flowers. Until this week!
Elderflowers are back, so we took the kids out picking and made some yummy cordial. Five years ago I would follow a recipe but try and reduce the amount of sugar, and use unrefined rather than table. Now I feel more confident in my own abilities to experiment, I used local honey instead of sugar. I’m impressed with the flavour and will definitely make it like this in the future. These lovelies are perfect *right now* and won’t be around for long so make the most of them!
Ingredients for a 1L bottle of refined sugar free elderflower cordial
Carrier bag of elderflower heads
100ml good quality honey (you could use maple syrup or coconut sugar if you are vegan)
3l cold water
Large orange sliced into six (or two lemons if you aren’t keen on orange)
Large lemon sliced into six
A clean, sterilised bottle
– you are looking for large butter coloured sweet smelling elderflower heads, and will need to pick a supermarket carrier bag sized full
– place your elderflowers in a large saucepan with the other ingredients, then pour the water over the top
– bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook with the lid resting on top of the pan for 30 minutes
– drain with a sieve and continue cooking just the liquid on a high heat for 30-45 minutes until it has reduced down
– allow to cool then strain through a sieve one more time
– pour into your bottle and keep in the fridge