This wonderfully simple recipe works well whether you use fresh elderflower sprays, fresh honeysuckle or rose petals (garden rose, dog rose or a combination of the two, just make sure that no sprays or fungicides have been used on the petals that you choose to use). When the flowers are out of season,you can substitute the fresh flowers for elderflower cordial, just remember to reduce the sugar by at least half, if you’re using a cordial. This is a versatile recipe and another variation involving mint and raspberries will be posted shortly!
• 300ml double cream
• 250ml full fat milk
• Vanilla pod
• 15 elderflower sprays, OR 2 handfuls of honeysuckle OR 2 handfuls of rose petals
• 25g caster sugar
• 4 gelatine leaves
• Mint, berries, or flowers to garnish
Step 1. Pop the cream, milk, vanilla pod and elderflower into a saucepan on a gentle heat, once it begins to simmer then take it off the heat and strain the mixture though a sieve, discard the vanilla pod and elderflower sprays.
Step 2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water.
Step 3. Pop the milk/cream mixture back on the heat and dissolve the sugar.
Step 4. Once the sugar is fully dissolved take it off of the heat. Squeeze the excess water out of the leaves and dissolve them into the mixture.
Step 5. Once the mixture has cooled a little, pour into 4 martini glasses or a mouldy if you intend to serve the dessert on a plate. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
You can serve this by itself with a garnish of mint or make up a fruity sauce or coulis.
As it’s summer, I’ve gently poached some fresh strawberries in prosecco, adding sugar and to taste.
There are few drinks that taste better on a warm summers evening than the sweet, refreshing fizzing floral scents of Elderflower champagne. The hedgerows are abundance of foragers delights during spring and summer and early June is the time to collect your elderflower sprays, just 20 will make around 5.5 litres of aromatic fizz. For our easy 5 step recipe to the perfect picnic accompaniment keep reading below.
- 4.5 litres warm water
- 700g caster sugar
- 1.5 litres of cold water
- 20 elderflower sprays
- 2 lemons – juice and zest
- 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
- Possibly dried brewers yeast
- New or used plastic lemonade/tonic water/fizzy drinks bottles
You need a large plastic container, I use a wide mouthed fermenting tank from a brewers shop. Fill it with 4.5 litres of warm water, pop in your 700g sugar and stir until dissolved. Top up with 1.5 litres of cold water.
Add 20 elderflower sprays (washed, be careful as you don’t want to lose that musty pollen), the lemons and white wine vinegar – give it a stir! Pop some clean muslin over the top.
Check the mixture after two days, if you see no sign of fermentation then add a pinch of dried brewers yeast. Leave the mixture for up to a week.
Strain the liquid off, bottle in plastic lemonade, tonic water or any bottle designed for fizzy drinks. Avoid glass in case you do get an explosion. Store in the garage or utility, somewhere that you can check the bottles every other day and release any built up gas by opening the bottle to a ‘fizz’, perfect.
After at least a week, the champagne is ready to drink. Just the perfect taste to accompany a barbecue in the summer sunshine or a picnic in the English countryside.