Homemade elderflower cordial

A recipe for elderflower cordial in October when the autumn has properly hit London doesn’t seem very seasonal (and it isn’t), but I made a batch in June that I keep in the freezer and use for various desserts when I want to bring summer back, if only for a moment. And since I am about to post one of these recipes tomorrow, I thought it would be nice of me to provide this recipe as well.

Of course you can use store-bought cordial, Belvoir, has an excellent one. But considering how easy this is to make I urge you to try it next year when the elderflower is in bloom.

This recipe is from one of my mother’s many cookbooks, unfortunately I don’t remember which one but it is a tried and tested recipe that requires very little work. The cordial is uncooked which means it doesn’t keep for very long in the fridge, so pour it into small plastic bottles or zip-lock bags and keep it in the freezer instead. When defrosted it keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Elderflower cordial, makes about 1,5 litres

35-40 elderflower clusters

3 lemons, sliced

1,5 litres water

1,5-2 kg caster sugar

50 g citric acid

Clean the flower clusters and place in a large bowl/bucket (that fits in the fridge or other cool place). Add the lemon slices. Bring the water to the boil and dissolve the sugar and citric acid in it. Add the syrup to flowers and lemons and stir. Leave to cool and cover with cling. Keep in a cool place (like the fridge) for 3-4 days. Stir a few times a day. Pour through a fine sieve and into bottles and freeze. Fresh/defrosted cordial keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Note: Picture borrowed from gourmetodling.com

Elderflower parfait

The pudding for my party at home this summer, was an incredibly easy parfait, flavoured with my mother’s homemade elderflower cordial.

I find this dessert or a parfait with any flavour, such a good thing if there are several dinner guests. You can make it well in ahead, and it is stored in the freezer which frees up space in the fridge. Oh, and it is absolutely delicious.

I made a large batch and froze it in a clingfilm-covered loaf tins, serving a slice on each plate with homegrown (from my parents’ garden) red currants.

Elderflower parfait, serves 4

3 egg yolks

100 ml caster sugar

300 ml whipping cream or double cream

65 ml concentrated elderflower cordial (only a guideline as different concentrations for different cordials)

Beat the yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy in a mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl whip the cream. Fold the cream into the egg mixture. Add the elderflower and stor to combine. Pour into any freezeable moulds you like, either divided into portions or in one large mould. Freeze overnight.