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.

Sunday Roast anyone?

To celebrate Knorr stock pots being awarded Product of the Year in the consumer voted Gravy & Stock category, I was sent all the ingredients last week with which to create an incredible Sunday lunch.  Succulent lean beef, fresh vegetables and a supply of the stock pots, along with a china gravy boat were delivered on Saturday while I was in London enjoying the delights of Borough Market and celebrating my birthday the following day with two close friends.

I’m an absolute traditionalist when it comes to my Sunday dinner, with a roast being on the menu pretty much every week. What better way to round off the week than with good food, fresh and healthily prepared with lots of steamed veg & a rich gravy.

My beef was roasted slowly at 150C for a few hours in a roaster to keep it moist.  Whilst the meat was resting, I roasted half of my potatoes and parsnips in a hot oven, along with my Yorkshire pudding (always with chopped onion added to the mixture as my mum does!) The remainder of my potatoes, I cut up & boiled with the rest of the parsnips, the carrots & broccoli steaming above them. Into a large saucepan, I put my meat juices and a beef gravy pot, and brought them to the boil whilst whisking.  To this I added a little of the leftover Yorkshire Pudding mix that I’d loosened slightly with cold water and returned it to the boil to thicken before reducing it to a simmer.  A couple of splashes of Tabasco sauce and a glug of double cream and it was tasting amazing!  Dinner was served with a dollop of hot horseradish sauce, making it a meal to remember!
It may have been my birthday last Sunday, but I didn’t mind cooking my roast, and boy! Did we all enjoy eating it too!

Knorr gravy pots can be used on their own, whisked into boiling water. You don’t need to use meat juices, to thicken them, or add any additional ingredients.
The hamper of food was sent to me free of charge by Knorr. I was under no obligation to provide a favourable review of the contents, nor to endorse the products contained therein. All views are my own.