I’ve been foraging for years but for some reason have never managed to forage Elderflowers. I’m blaming that on the short season – and the fact I’m always too lazy to pick them when I see them (“I’ll get them next time…”). There’s really no excuse though – they grow on the street hedgerow just a street from my house, and practically everywhere else.
Elderflower is one of those smells that you’ll just love; there’s no other word to describe it except floral – and luckily it tastes just the same. Occasionally the flowers have little fragrance at all, but the heat of the syrup seems to drag it out of them. It’s ridiculously easy to make, but will last you all the way through the summer and can be used in cordials, ice cream recipes, and much more.
Recipe: Elderflower Syrup Recipe
Summary: Elderflower syrup is delightfully fragrant and will help make summer last all the way through winter.
- 15 Elderflower heads (most of the stalk snipped off)
- 600ml water
- 900g Sugar
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- Start by shaking the elderflower heads to remove any bugs. Next place them in a heat proof bowl or a pan.
- In a large pan empty the sugar, water and lemon juice and heat gently while stirring.
- Once the sugar has entirely dissolved turn up the heat until the syrup reaches a boil.
- Remove from the heat, and pour over your elderflower heads.
- Give the mixture a stir, then cover and leave overnight.
- Sieve through a muslin cloth into sterilised bottles.
Be sure you’re foraging for elderflower and nothing different (the flowers of the poisonous Hemlock are similar). Elder is a tree with distinct leaves (pictured), whereas hemlock resembles an overgrown weed so it really is hard to confuse, but a sniff of the flowers is usually a foolproof way of ensuring you’re picking the right thing.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4