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In season now... Elderflower.

These cloud-like flowers are glorious from now until mid-June (later depending how far north you live). Pick them in the morning on a sunny day, away from the road. Cut the stalks, don't pull them off, and be careful not to shake them on the way home - you need the pollen. Don't wash them, but carefully pick off any bugs before use and remove any twiggy stalks. You can dilute elderflower cordial in water or champagne, or make it into ice lollies.

Elderflower cordial | In a large pan, bring 1.5l water to the boil, then pour in 750g granulated sugar and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. | Meanwhile, zest 2 unwaxed lemons, and juice 1 and a half, cutting the remaining half into slices.

| Take the sugar water off the heat and stir in the lemon zest, juice and slices.

| Add 20 or so heads of elderflower, making sure the flowers face downwards in the sugar water, cover and leave to steep overnight, or for up to 24 hours.

| When ready to bottle, strain the cordial through muslin over a fine sieve, then use a funnel to transfer to two sterilised bottles. When serving as a cordial, add more flowers, ice and slices of oranges and lemons to decorate.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 26, 2019
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