Lawrence bottles the taste of summer with a sweet elderflower cordial.
Take the children, dogs or just yourself for a walk this weekend into our glorious countryside and you are bound to see that the elderflower shrubs are in full bloom, telling us that we are moving from spring to summer.
If the sun is out, you will probably be able to smell the fragrant muscat flowers at the same time you spot the first shrub – some people, like me, love this aroma.
I suggest you take a bag and scissors with you to collect some heads of this wonderful plant, making sure you take the flowers that are fully open.
On returning from your walk you can make some elderflower cordial from this week’s recipe and by next weekend you will be able to add it to sparkling water or even better sparkling wine.
A lot of commercial elderflower cordials have added flavourings so at least by making it yourself you know what’s in the bottle.
You will need to sterilise some glass bottles but this is easily done by putting them in a cold oven, turning it on to 160c and once the temperature is reached turning it off and allowing them to cool.
The cordial will keep for at least eight months in a cool place due to the high amount of sugar.
I have turned this cordial into tortes, jellies and mixed it with vinegar to make a lovely salad dressing. Save a bottle for an autumn rainy day and it will remind you of the beautiful summer we are about to have.
To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.
1.5l of water
1kg of caster sugar
20 heads of elderflower
60g of citric acid
1. Put the water, sugar and lemon zest into a saucepan and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar.
2. Allow to cool.
3. Add the lemon juice and citric acid.
4. Put the elderflowers into a container and pour the liquid over them.
5. Leave to steep for 48 hours, strain and put in sterilised bottles.