Saturday, 14 May 2011

How to make Elderflower Syrup!

Today we’re making Elderflower Syrup.
First let me tell you why.
Because once you know how to do that, you will never have to buy sugary soft drinks any more, even if once in a while you get a craving for a sugary soft drink. Because homemade Elderflower Syrup is still loads cheaper than any sugary soft drinks you get in the supermarket (I haven’t acutally done the math but I’m sure if one were to do it one would end up with really impressive figures). Because in case of your own homemade syrup you know that all the ingredients are 100% natural, and you get absolutely no icky additives or artificial flavours. Because, have you tried shop bought Elderflower syrup, and compared it to the homemade version? The latter is ridiculous amounts of better. Because, every spring hundreds of elder trees are flowering, probably also in your vicinity, and they’re like a gift of nature that you absolutely should not let go to waste. Because it’s absolutely fabulous to make stuff yourself, especially when using ingredients that are just growing in the wild.

I think that’s just about enough advertisment for my product, right?
Let’s get going.

What you’ll need:
approx. 30 umbels of elderflower blossoms
2 litres of fresh water
4 kg of sugar
100 g citric acid (granulated)
5 untreated lemons
a pot large enough to hold water + sugar (6-7 litres)
a large plastic container with a lid (like a large mixing bowl, dough bowl or perhaps a cake container turned upside down)

1. Go for a walk, find a nice solitary elder tree, and get cutting. Bring home your spoils in a wickerbasket (optional).

2. Briefly rinse the elderflower umbels under hot tapwater to remove any unwanted residents like bugs. The water must not be too hot or boiling, or your elder flowers will wilt and turn brown. Also do not rinse for too long, or you will wash away all the sweet and aromatic pollen. Place the flowers in your plastic container and set aside.

3. Cut the lemons into slices, they should be about 3 mm thick – the thinner, the more aroma they will give off. Add to plastic container.

4. Heat the water in the pot. When hot, stir in the sugar. Reduce to medium to low heat and keep stirring, because it will both help the sugar to dissolve, and keep it from burning at the bottom of the pot.

5. When the sugar is fully dissolved and you are left with a homogeneous syrup, gradually pour it over the flowers and the lemon slices. Again, watch out that the syrup is not boiling hot at this point.

6. Add the citric acid and give your mixture a stir.

7. Cover with the lid and let your syrup rest and soak for 7 days. There is no need to refrigerate it (we usually just place it on the patio) – just keep it safe from ants!

8. When finished, fill your Elderflower Syrup into bottles (you can re-use any glass bottle with a screw top, as long as it’s clean!). Store in a cool, dark place. Give away as a present. Enjoy in a tall glass, with ice cubes and a slice of lemon.


Anonymous said...

yayness (not only because of home-made elderflower syrup which by itself already deserves all the yayness in the world, but also because of photos that look like Flemish still lifes. And because of wicker baskets)!

d.ash. said...

I’m pretty proud of them! :) And I also remembered my love of flemish (and other) still lives, and because a certain prof might turn out to be a really unwise choice in terms of supervision, I am currently considering switching over into the baroque era, topic-wise. (Even though it would mean to bid my beloved 19th century goodbye :( ... )