There's more to elderflower than just cordial. Here are 6 of our favourite picnic recipes.
Homemade elderflower cordial is one of the nicest things you can whip up in the kitchen at this time of year, but why stop there? Here are some of our favourite things to make using elderflowers
Lemon and elderflower fizz
Mix 80ml gin with the juice of half a lemon, 2tsp of sugar and 50ml elderflower cordial in a large jug, and give everything a good stir. Add a couple of scoops of lemon sorbet, and top up with sparkling wine. Divide between six Champagne flutes and serve.
Elderflower and lemon loaf cake
Preheat your oven to 180C, and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Cream 175g butter and 175g caster sugar together, and beat in the zest of two lemons (reserve the juice for later). Whisk in three large eggs, one at a time, and fold in 175g self-raising flour. Finally, add the juice of one lemon. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. When it’s cooked, prick it all over with a skewer, then spoon over a drizzle made of the remaining lemon juice, 2tbsp elderflower cordial and 100g caster sugar heated together gently in a pan.
Elderflower and gooseberry fool
Wash, top and tail 500g of gooseberries, then simmer over a gentle heat for five minutes with 3tbsp of sugar, a pinch of lemon zest and 4tbsp of elderflower cordial. Crush the gooseberries with a fork, tip into a bowl and leave to cool completely. Softly whip 350ml of double cream, then fold in the gooseberries. Spoon the mixture into glasses and serve with brandy snaps or shortbread.
Elderflower and gooseberry crumble
Preheat your oven to 190C. Tip 700g of gooseberries into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with 70g sugar and drizzle over a good tablespoon of elderflower cordial. Rub together 75g plain flour, 75g caster sugar and 50g unsalted butter in a bowl to form a crumble mixture, then top the gooseberries with it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are bubbling. Serve warm with pouring cream, custard or ice cream.
Elderflower and Prosecco jellies
Soak two leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for five minutes, or until they’ve softened. Pour 50ml elderflower cordial and 50ml of Prosecco into a saucepan, and warm until just at simmering point. Remove from the head. Take the gelatine leaves out of the water and squeeze out any excess, then add them to the pan and whisk until they’ve dissolved. Once the liquid is cool enough to dip a finger into, pour in another 250ml of Prosecco and stir very gently – this will ensure the jelly stays sparkling. Pour the mixture into glasses, place on a metal tray and leave in the fridge for three to four hours to set.
Easy elderflower vinegar
Place 10-15 elderflower heads (cleaned) in a one-pint kilner jar, and cover with a pint of good-quality white-wine vinegar. Close and leave somewhere sunny for a couple of weeks. When it’s ready, strain the vinegar through a fine sieve or muslin cloth, and decant into sealable bottles. This is perfect for adding zing to seasonal salads.
Delicately lacing summer dishes with elderflower makes for delicious seasonal alternatives.