Friday, 12 June 2009

Mint Tea

Just been out in the garden picking some herbs to hang in my kitchen to dry (lemon verbena, oregano and mint for now), and then had to make a pot of mint tea!

Summer is most definitely here!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Elderflower cordial

The elderflowers suddenly appeared in the hedgerows a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to have a go at making some elderflower cordial.

The hub went out and braved nettles and brambles, and came back with 2 bagfuls of flowerheads for me... I followed Sophie Grigson's recipe, with slightly less citric acid.

I was so pleased how it came out, I sent the hub out foraging again the next day, to make some more!


20-30 elderflower heads
1.8 kg granulated sugar
1.2 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons, zest pared in wide strips, and flesh cut into slices
2 tbsp citric acid

First, I gave the flowerheads a good ole shake to make sure there were no creep crawlies left, then I placed them in a stock pot with the lemon zest and slices.

Meanwhile, I made a sugar syrup by heating the sugar and water in a pan, stirring til the sugar dissolved and bringing to a boil.

I then poured the sugar syrup over the blossoms and stirred in the citric acid, covered the pot with a cloth and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

The next evening, I strained the cordial through a sieve lined with 2 layers of muslin, and then poured the syrup into glass and plastic bottles. I kept the glass bottle in the fridge to use right away, and popped the plastic bottles in the freezer. Makes about 5 x 50 cl bottles.

It is truly delicious and very refreshing. Best served with ice-cold sparkling water. I often add a little cordial to redcurrant and blackberry summer compote and serve as a verrine with greek yogurt - delish!