There is a special time of the year in Bavaria when every corner smells sweet and flowery thanks to the elder trees. The time is just now.
The heads of the elderflowers are quite big and carry hundreds of little white blossoms, looking like stars. They smell very intense and make a delicate cordial.
To clean and use them, carefully shake of the pollen and pick off any bugs.
I make my syrup a bit less sweet than others and I add the heads of the elderflowers when it is has cooled after cooking, so the flowers won´t get brown and the taste is fresh and strong.
Elderflower & Gin Jelly
2 tsp citric acid
10 heads of elderflowers
For the syrup, place 2 liters of water, 500g sugar and 2 teaspoons of citric acid in a pot. Bring to boil, then transfer into a big mason jar and let cool.
Carefully shake of the yellow pollen of the elderflower heads and pick off any bugs, then add them to the liquid. Place the jar in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight.
(I keep it in the fridge until it is finished but if you want to keep your syrup for a longer time, then pour it through a fine sieve and bring it again to boil, then fill it in sterilized bottles.)
Also try out the very best Elderflower Lemonade: Mix 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup, some ice cubes and sparkling water.
elderflower & gin jelly
10 sheets of gelatine
4 heads of elderflower
Place the gelatin leaves in cold water. Heat about 200 ml of the elderflower syrup in a small saucepan just until hot, do not boil it. Take off the heat, then squeeze out the water of the gelatin sheets and add it to the warm syrup. Mix well, and let cool a bit. Stir in the remaining 600ml of syrup and the gin and pour half of it into the mold of your choice.
Clean the heads of elderflower (as described above) then place 2 of them in the mold, pushing them in the liquid with your fingers. Place the mold in the freezer for about 15 minutes, just until the liquid sets on the surface. (this prevents your blossoms to swim on the top). Pour in the rest of the liquid, then add the remaining elderflowers. Place in the fridge and let set for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Turn out of the mold (if the jelly sticks just hold it unter hot water for a few seconds) and serve cold.