I’m a bit embarrassed to say that after 10 years living on this farm, I’ve only just discovered that we have a good many elderflower trees here. In my defense, they are fairly well hidden by the willows and other greenery that cling alongside the creek that runs by the house and right through the property. So last Sunday, while Tom beavered away (literally) to build a sort of stick weir in a particularly lovely part of the creek, and I was trying to finish my book club book, I looked up to find a canopy of star-shaped white flowers way above us.
And because the deer had just been in this paddock and had eaten all the most reachable branches, there was a fair bit of tree-climbing involved in picking what was left the scratches and near falls were well worth it (see above).
After finally managing to drag a soaking Tom out of the creek, we returned home and I got started making cordial. There are many ways to cook with and enjoy the early summer joy that is elderflower, a light tempura batter and flash fry was suggested as was this elderflower delight. But I admit I retreated to the well-known territory that is elderflower cordial – mostly because I didn’t have many ingredients or much time to make anything else but also because this treatment to me at least, means the sublime floral flavour of the flower is preserved for longer and in a more intense form. The cordial is beautiful not only served as a drink but also made into jellies, poured over ice cream or made into these refreshing pops with cucumber and strawberry. I use this recipe here but also add one sliced lemon to the mix.
Elderflower, strawberry and cucumber pops
These are pretty much exactly what I crave on hot days like the one we are facing today – super refreshing and full of floral flavour. Makes about 6.
1 punnet strawberries
1 cup cucumber, peeled and roughly cubed
1 cup elderflower cordial, or to taste (remember the sweetness will be dulled a little once frozen so perhaps err on the more generous side)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth, divide this mixture between a popsicle mould and freeze for at least four hours.