Elderflowers are a distinctive summer sight and many people make a cordial from the flowers – this is a refreshing sorbet which is very simple to make. There are many recipes out there for elderflower cordial – here is one from my chum Rachel the Vagabond Baker – Summer in a Bottle. Her blog is a fantastic mix of great recipes, photos and her extensive travels so well worth a look anyway!
Elder has very distinctive fragrant flowers and most people are able to confidently identify them but here are some pictures just in case you aren’t sure.
10 elderflower heads (can leave them on the stalks)
1 litre water
2 lemons juice and zest
Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat. Add elderflowers and lemon juice and zest. Stir, cover and leave overnight then strain through muslin or a fine sieve.
Pour the strained elderflower liquid into a plastic tub with a lid and put in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove and whisk vigorously with a fork or hand whisk. Return to freezer and whisk again after an hour. Return again to freezer and whisk once more after another hour. By now it should look like sorbet but if it still is a bit mushy just keep freezing and whisking until it does.
Serve as it is or with raspberries or mint leaves and enjoy!
This can be made anytime of the year by cheating and using elderflower cordial. 500ml cordial, 1 litre water and 400g sugar. Dissolve sugar in water over a low heat, remove from heat and add cordial and cool. Follow freezing instructions as above.
My elderflower sorbet was featured in a book Recipes Down the Line which is a collection of recipes from a wide range of farmers, food producers, cafés, restaurants and local people based along the route of the Settle-Carlise Railway. It is available online or can be bought from stations along the railway or Tourist Information offices.