Foragers Champagne and Fritters

Last June I made elderflower champagne for the first time and with everything blooming a few weeks early this year, my friend Shirley and I went out to collect our elderflower heads. Preferably they should be picked when the first sun of the morning hits them and their perfume is most concentrated. It is very easy to make and I think after experimenting with two recipes last year, I have come up with the perfect recipe.Elderflower picking in the sunshine

In a very clean bucket or trug, mix 1kg sugar with 2 litres of boiled water and stir until dissolved. Add a further 6 litres of cold water. To this, add 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and the zest and juice of three large lemons. Add approx 25 – 30 heads of elderflower and stir and cover. Stir a few times over the next three days and then decant through muslin into sterilized plastic bottles and fill to within 2 inches of the top. Leave for approx two weeks and then loosen the tops to check if they have started to ferment. Over the next couple of weeks, if the bottles start to bulge, release the pressure very carefully before screwing the tops back on very tightly. You should now be safe to leave it for another month ideally before it is ready to drink.

Elderflower Heads

With a few heads left over ( it’s always difficult to tell how much you have picked), for the first time, I am going to make elderflower fritters. Never having had them before, I am keen to try them cooked in a light batter and dusted with icing sugar whilst still warm. yum!!!!!!

As it is so prolific, I have also made a cordial to mix with prosecco, wine, sparkling water and it’s delicious drizzled over ice cream and cakes.

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