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Everything seems to be early this year, and the Elder bushes coming in to bloom are no exception! Elderflowers have a glorious aromatic quality and make great cordials, sorbets and champagne (more of that in a later post…)
I picked up a large bag of lemons at Bicester street market yesterday in preparation for making one of my favourite sorbets – elderflower (although you could leave the elderflowers out and call it lemon sorbet if you wished!)
This is easiest to make if you own an ice cream maker – luckily I have a Gaggia Gelatiera which does all the hard work for me. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, simply follow the extra instructions I have put at the end.
- 8-10 Elderflower sprays* (remove as much of the green as possible with some scissors and make sure that there are no insects clinging on, but DON’T wash the flowers as you will loose the fragrance)
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 600ml Water
- 3 or 4 Lemons, Zest and Juice
*Elderflowers should be picked on a sunny day, when the flowers are in full bloom. Try to avoid flowers that are ‘over’ or not quite in full bloom.
- Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to the boil. Boil hard for seven minutes to get a light syrup.
- Remove from the heat and add the elderflowers and the juice/zest of the lemons.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and leave the flowers to infuse until the syrup is cool, then strain.
- Pour the remaining liquid into your ice cream machine and leave until you have a sorbet.
Alternative method if you don’t have an ice cream machine
- Follow steps 1 to 3 as above.
- Pour liquid in to a freezeable container and freeze until slushy.
- Whisk thoroughly to disperse any ice crystals.
- Part freeze again.
- Whisk again.
- Freeze until firm.
Elderflower sorbet in the Gelatiera