This Summer I fell in love.... head over heels kind of love, can't stop thinking about you kind of love, always wondering what we could do together kind of love...her name was Elderflower -a delicate, heady, fleeting blossom. She's gone now but we had some delicious fun -we made tangy goosegog and elderflower pie, we made refreshing cordial, we made a delectable custard, we made cocktails with prosecco and we made a beautiful, opaque, wibbly wobbly jelly. For me elderflower is the queen of the foraging world -even in the city you can easily find them -just follow your nose. I made a huge batch of 'blessed cordial' after I happened upon a fantastic collection of trees close to a convent in Dublin...but I can't tell you where it is of course! Soon the elderberries will be out and they have lots to offer too -you can make an apple and elderberry tart or concoct a syrup from them which will help to ward off colds during the Winter months.
I served the following dessert at a recent supper event
, I was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe from his Tender Vol II
book. It's a good make ahead dessert and so works really well if you're cooking a for a group. I had also made an Apricot Liqueur for the same supper event so I popped one of the booze soaked apricots into the bottom of each glass -a nice little surprise as it looked like an egg yoke. I crystallised some rose petals from the garden for a little variation in texture and decided to make Hugh Fearnleys gooseberry curd
to twist through some whipped cream. My Dad provided the tasty gooseberries and raspberries -thanks Dad, sorry you didn't get any!
|Fruit + Jelly + Cream = Heaven|
What you need: serves 4
- leaf gelatine 12g
- 140ml elderflower cordial (this is double what Nigel says, but for me it needed it)
- 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
- 250ml fizzy water
- 250ml white wine
- 400g raspberries
- 100ml of cream whipped
- 4 crystallised rose petals -optional
- 1 tbsp of goosegog curd -optional, you could use lemon curd
- 4 booze soaked apricots -optional
What you need to do:
- Soak your gelatine leaves in cold water until it softens -roughly 5 mins
- Into a saucepan put the cordial, sugar, water and half of the white wine
- Place your gelatine in and whisk it all around
- Put onto a low heat and stir until the gelatine and sugar have dissolved completely
- Take off the hob and pour in the rest of the wine
- Pop an apricot into the bottom of the glass and split the raspberries evenly between each glass
- Pour over the liquid jelly mixture and when cool put into the fridge
- Give them a few hoursto gain some solidity or leave overnight
- To serve simply swirl the curd gently through the whipped cream -dollop on and top it off with a rose petal
|Crystallised Rose, Thyme & Rocket Flowers|
How do you crystallise petals?
It's very easy, all you need to do is whisk an egg white, pop in a shallow bowl, put some caster sugar into a shallow bowl, take your petals and dip first in the egg white followed by the sugar -leave on greaseproof paper to dry out -pop into an airtight container.
The XX song Crystalised
-don't think they were singing about things of a culinary ilk...