Monday night preserving – elderflower cordial

After a crazy week of work, we had a fabulous weekend with friends and family letting our hair down. More about that during the week as tonight is all about preserving for me.
June is the month of the elderflower here. We’ve been patiently waiting for the flowers to open and be fresh and healthy, before they go over and we wait patiently again for the elderberries that follow. The weather of the last few days has been perfect for picking elder flowers. We are lucky to have loads of elder trees around here which we found last year.
So as usual, off my little family trooped and gathered enough heads to loosely fill 2 carrier bags. Classy or what?

No one else ever comes here for any foraging, not a soul in sight.
Back home we shook off any bugs and put them in a large saucepan with the zest of 2 oranges and 4 lemons then poured just boiled water over them until covered.

I left the saucepan overnight with a fly cover on to keep it clean whilst it cooled. Then I strained it whilst I sterilised the bottles in the usual way of washing in hot soapy water and drying in the slow cooker.

For every 500ml of liquid we added 350g sugar, a teaspoon citric acid and 50ml of lemon juice. I simmered it at 90c before cooling and straining it again once cool enough. We made enough for 4 litres of cordial.
Now interestingly, the cordial colour was nothing like last years. It looked almost black in the pan and I think that’s because I used a pan and not a bucket. However if you make it and it looks dark and awful, stick with it as it came good in the end.
I water bathed those which I will keep to Christmas gifts.

They turned out great and it tastes delicious!

The rhubarb wine is now in Demi johns bubbling away so once I decant it into bottles I will do the post about it.