The elderflowers are here and it is the best time of year. If I was more of a poet I’d have come up with a second line to go with that. I’ve been shoving elderflowers into various different things for years: cordial, gin, crumble and sugar to name a few. I wanted to try something a little different, and a bit less time consuming this time round, to get that wonderful elderflower fragrance down my neck as soon as I could. A celebration of late
I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different
My idea of a perfect evening when it's raining is to eat something filling then settle down to watch a film (preferably a funny one). On a sunny evening however I always try to be outside; we've been spoilt for sunny evenings recently. Sitting in the garden watching the world go by and the sun go down is improved if you accompany it with a refreshing home made drink. My homemade elderflower cordial has made plenty of appearances this year and this
We've been so lucky with the weather recently, fingers crossed it continues! Sat outside in the sun on a lovely day there's nothing quite as refreshing as an ice lolly; especially one you can slurp enthusiastically at being ever so proud that you've made it yourself. My elderflower and lemon ice lollies are subtly flavoured and just the thing to enjoy on a summer day. I find that adding cordial to an ice lolly inevitably results in much stronger concentrations
I do like a jelly; easy to make, it doesn't need many ingredients, it looks lovely and it makes for great entertainment when trying to serve it into smaller bowls. You might have seen I made some elderflower cordial recently and other than trying it with sparkling water in the evenings this elderflower and blueberry jelly was what I rustled up to take to a Sunday evening BBQ with my parents. A fantastic dessert to make in advance and forget about
If you've been reading my blog over the years you'll know I love anything elderflower. This year I was invited to go foraging in the grounds at Audley Inglewood, home to restaurant The Walmesley, and to knock up a batch of homemade elderflower cordial with their head chef Gert Pienaar. It was great to go out to the fields, pick the elderflowers and have a good old chat about food at the same time. I've not made elderflower cordial before; syrup and
A crumble to me has a whiff of autumn about it. Apple crumble is a classic pudding but a while ago I tried a strawberry crumble and it was so good I couldn't wait to give it a try myself. This is a pudding form of my previous cocktail post; a mixture of strawberries, mint and elderflower syrup but under a biscuity crust. The ingredients in this crumble scream of summer and the smell of cooking strawberries and buttery crumble is irresistible.
There is a bit of an elderflower theme going on at the moment on here but I do like to make the most of something while it's around. Having the elderflower syrup present in my kitchen means I am forever thinking up new ways of using it. I adore strawberries and mint and they are heavenly together so I felt like being brave, getting my muddler out and knocking up a summery cocktail. With all this glorious sunshine it would be rude not to.
I like making ice cream. I don't do it that often but when I do I try to make something a bit special. My grandparents bought me my ice cream maker for my graduation present a few years ago; it's one of those where the bowl inside the machine is frozen before use and I love it. Having the elderflower syrup hanging around means every time I walk past the bottle I think of another way to use or cook with it. I've always wanted to make yoghurt ice cream
There is a guilt associated with serving up a berry laden pudding. Someone is always going to end up with more fruit or more of one kind of fruit than everyone else. You could of course try making a coulis to atop your dessert of choice but sometimes it's not the most attractive option; or the most sensible, no one wants a soggy shortbread stack. To counteract any unfair fruit distribution I scatter a few fruits onto the pudding and then serve the