Most elderflower recipes use elderflower cordial as a quick and easy way of introducing the flowers' distinctive flavour. Homemade cordials taste very different to shop-bought varieties, and it is worth making your own, so that you have more control over the process. All it involves is steeping the clusters of flowers in a sugar-syrup, and adding a preservative like citric acid. Elderflower cordial can be frozen - so if you decant it into small water bottles, then you can keep defrosting them throughout the year.
A splash of cordial can then be used to flavour any liquids or custards - meaning that it can then be set into ice creams, jellies or a panna cotta. The flowers themselves are edible, and make a delicate and beautiful garnish. Alternatively, the whole head of elderflowers can be deep-fried to make a textured garnish or snack.
Elderflower is a traditional summer flavour, and goes best with traditional summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. Martin Wishart uses an elderflower jelly to set a selection of summer berries, and Simon Hulstone makes an elderflower crème to go with his strawberry dessert.
Elderflower also makes a good partner to tart fruits like gooseberries and rhubarb - both of which are often served with fish like mackerel - so there's no reason not to venture into a savoury context with elderflowers. Check out out elderflower recipe collection for more inspiration.
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