Elderflower Cordial

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Such a simple drink to make, using only 5 ingredients.  Elderflowers are synonymous with the start of the British summer and are in season for such a short spell of time, that it’s a shame to waste those fragrant blossoms when making cordial from them is such a simple thing to do.

Elderflower Cordial

You need to pick the elderflowers on a warm, dry day, allowing any dew to evaporate before picking. Make sure that you only pick heads that have just opened and are still the beautiful creamy colour, without any of the flowers starting to turn brown. Find a nice country lane or hedgerow, away from busy traffic routs that could taint and the delicate blossoms with chemicals.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 2kg granulated sugar
  • 2 Lemons
  • 20 Elderflower heads
  • 85g Citric acid
  1. Pick the heads and very gently shake any bugs free from them.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the water and the sugar.  Gently heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Using a potato peeler, pare the lemon zest from the lemons and slice the lemons into ½cm thick rounds.

Elderflower Cordial

4. In a large bowl, add some cold, clean water and gently swish the elderflower heads to remove any remaining insects.  VERY GENTLY shake the excess water off them.

5. Snip the elderflowers from the stalks (to leave too much stalk on them can leave a bitter taste).

Elderflower Cordial

6. Bring the water and sugar syrup to a boil and turn off the heat.

7. To the sugar syrup, add the elderflower heads, lemon zest, lemon rounds and citric acid.  Stir well.

8. Place the lid onto the saucepan and leave, covered and undisturbed, for 24 hours.

9. Line a colander with two layers of muslin and drain the cordial through into a clean bowl.

10. Squeeze the muslin to extract all of that delicious cordial. Discard the lemons and elderflowers.

11. Pour the cordial into clean, sterilised Kilner bottles.

Elderflower Cordial

This will keep for up to about 6 weeks in the fridge.  You can also freeze the cordial in ice cube trays/bags for use later.

To sterilise the bottles, you can either wash them and dry them, upside down in a warm oven, or wash them through your dishwasher cycle.

Lemon, Rosemary and Citrus Olive Oil Cake

This recipe was developed from my original adaptation of the Olive oil, Rosemary & Lemon cake that I found on the Olive Oil Times website which was contributed by Mooney Farms.
I made this version using using Soralina’s Italian Citrus Olive Oil which is a wonderful cold pressed combination of Italian fresh olives, Sicilian lemons, mandarins, oranges and pink grapefruits which are crushed together, releasing the amazing citrus oils directly in to the oil, imparting their amazing flavour and fragrance, without the need for artificial additions.  Soralina were awarded the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner on 25th May 2014. When I met them personally at the BBC Good Food Show in May, this is clearly something that the family owned business are incredibly proud of. Mo and Sylvia were kind enough to let me have a sample of their oil to take home and try.

 

I know I’ve made this cake and published the recipe before using a fabulous Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil which turned out beautifully, but I was curious to see how the Citrus oil would enhance the flavours of the lemons used in the cake.  Time was of the essence in getting this made and into the oven, so this time, I made it using the ‘all in one’ method.
385g Self raising flour
1½tbs Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2tsp Baking powder
½tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½tsp Salt
370g Granulated sugar
125ml Soralina Citrus extra virgin olive oil
125ml Milk
2 Lemons, zested
60ml Lemon juice
1tsp Vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
Icing
150g Icing sugar
15ml Lemon juice
1. Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C.
2. Line a 22cm/9″ springform tin with a cake case (I buy mine from Lakeland).
3. In a large bowl, place all of the cake ingredients.
4. Whisk together using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly.
6. Remove from the oven, but leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the cake from the tin, leaving it in the parchment cake case, and place on a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.
8. For the icing, mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until you get a smooth, soft paste.
9. Spread over the top of the cooled cake. If the icing is a little too stiff, you can heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds which will make it easier to spread.
10. Decorate with a small sprig of fresh rosemary.
11. Serve and enjoy in thin slices.
As a thank you to Mo and Sylvia, I made another of these cakes for them, which I took down to the Taste of London festival in Regents Park on Sunday 22nd June.  They shared a few slices with customers who were interested in this oil, but Mo decided very early on that he was going to enjoy this gift and share it with his family.  I hope he did share it too!!!

 

The oil was generously supplied to me by Soralina.  I adapted my original posting of the recipe, initially as a family cake for myself prior to making one for Mo & Sylvia. I was under no obligation to blog this recipe or to give a favourable review of their product.  The views are my own and are a genuine reflection of how I found their oil.