Elderflower Nature’s Most Versatile Plant

Bottling Elderflower Cordial

bottling Elderflower Cordial

Take a look around you today, whatever you are doing and I have no doubt that you will see the beautiful foaming white heads of Elderflower in a field, ditch, hedge, park or wood, somewhere near you. Elder is a deciduous shrub or small tree which is very prolific in Ireland. The Latin name is Sambucus nigra. The elder flowers in June/July and it berries in August and in September., The name elder comes from the  Anglo Saxon aeld, which means fire, because in former times the hollow stems were used to blow through, to ignite  fires. We are getting very academic here  but the term sambucus was used by Pliny and comes from the greek sambuca, which refers to the  musical instrument. I love it’s speckled stems and rather peculiar smell when you snap off a branch. It’s not an unpleasant smell, just strange…..

I already have an elderflower recipe for wine on my blog but there is so much more you can do with Elder.  You can make gorgeous  Elderflower fritters, Champagne and you can pickle the elder buds and in Autumn you can make delicious elderberry crumble. Served with yoghurt it is delicious .

Elderflowers

Elderflowers

Today I am going to give you the recipe for the Fritters because they are  so lovely.

Elderflower Fritters   – serves 4

4 oz of flour

1 egg free range – if possible

1/4 pint of tepid water

Pinch of salt

Unwashed elderflower heads.

Make a batter using the ingredients, except the elderflower heads.

Hold the elderflower heads by their stalks and dip into the batter until completely coated.

Deep fry the flowerheads in very hot oil until golden brown.

Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper. You  can cut off the extra bit of stalk if you like.

Serve hot sprinkled with sugar or a pinch of cinnamon.

Delicious!

These can be used for a lovely pudding or  for a bit of a wow factor at a drinks party.

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