I love elderflower!
I love it in cakes (just add a fistful of dried flowers to your favourite plain cake batter).
I love elderflower cordial during summer with fizzy water.
I love elderflower with white wine for a different aperitivo or dessert wine.
I love elderflower jelly and elderflower liqueur.
First of all you have to collect the elderflowers, the flowers have to be fully but just about open, make sure that the elder does not grow very near a busy road or any other dirty place because you can’t wash the flowers.
Dry the elderflowers: I usually make small bunches of 10-12 flowers that I tie with a string and hang on a clothes-horse (heads down). Make sure that you put some paper or a cloth underneath because they loose some pollen while drying.
Now you have the elderflowers, ready for any of the uses mentioned above.
For the elderflower “juice”
1/2 liter of water + approx 100g
200 gr of sugar
For the jelly
800 gr of elderflower “juice”
800 gr of sugar
1 sachet of pectine
(or use the amount of “juice”, sugar and pectine suggested on the package).
Prepare the “juice” by boiling the water with the sugar until the sugar is well dissolved, put the elderflowers and the hot syrup in a bowl (that you can cover), squeeze the lemon and add the juice and the whole “leftover” rind of the lemon to the bowl.
Cover and let sit for 24 hours.
Filter the syrup and use some warm water (approx 100 ml) to “wash” the flowers, squeeze well and filter and obtain 800 gr of liquid (syrup + “washing” water). I normally use a cloth for the filtering that makes the washing and squeezing easier.
Let cool and use as you would use any fruit juice to make a jelly!