June 21st, 2009


Elderflower and English Wine Jelly

The short elderflower season is drawing to an end.

I’m feeling a bit sad as it means that this wonderful gift from Mother Nature is not going to be around for much longer.

I am very pleased with my 2009 batch of elderflower cordial. Last years was not all that great as I harvested the elderflowers too late in the season and they were past their best. I like to pick them early on to capture the fresh green almond fragrance,otherwise they are a too mature amd past their best.

I have a slight superstitious belief that I should pick the elderflowers before the summer rain kicks in, once it has rained the flowers drop and this encourage the fermentation process, as I said it’s all in my head!

Our local Cambridgeshire winery, Chilford Hall makes wonderful award-winning wines. I thought the combination of the English white wine and the floweriness of the elderflower cordial would be a perfect complimentary combination. We went to Chilford Hall to select the Chilford Hundred Dry White Wine for our jelly. To finish the dish I made a tempura batter with a dash of the cold diluted elderflower cordial and deep-fried them for a crisp texture.

It’s a pretty dish and reminds me of joyful summers at


Elderflower and English Wine Jelly

  • 5  leaves of gelatine
  • 200g Homemade elderflower cordial
  • 100g English white wine
  • 350g Water

Soak the gelatine in cold water.

Mix the water, cordial and wine. pour a third of the liquid in a small sauce pan, heat to just before boiling point and remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and stir the gelatin into the warm mixture. Stir to dissolve.

Once the gelatine is dissolved add the rest of the liquid and pour the jelly into the chosen moulds.

I used 7cm x 8cm size traditional jelly moulds.

Gently place the filled jelly moulds in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. However I find over night works the best.

Crispy Elderflower Tempura

  • 1 egg white
  • 80g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 10g cornflour
  • 200ml chilled diluted elderflower cordial mixed with sparkling water
  • eldeflowers
  • oil for frying

Lightly whip the egg white until it becomes light and fluffy.

Fold in the flour, cornflour and bicarbonate of soda.

Stir in the chilled sparkling elderflower mix.

Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.

Wash and dry the elderflowers. Cut them in even sized pieces.

Heat the oil to 140°C.

Dip the flowers into the batter and fry them in the oil until golden, drain the flowers on kitchen paper.

Elderflower Chantilly

  • 200ml double cream
  • 1tbs elderflower cordial
  • 1tbs Crème fraîche

Whip the double cream and cordial until thickened.

Fold in the Crème fraîche. Refrigerate until needed.

Assembly of the dish

Dip the jelly moulds bottoms in warm water to loosen them and to turn them out with ease.

Place the jellies in position on the chosen plates.

Place a small quenelle of the Elderflower Chantilly on top and garnish with the elderflower tempura, garnish the plate with fresh strawberries.

Makes 6

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3 Comments to “Elderflower and English Wine Jelly”

  1. James says:

    Elderflower tempura sounds great. Was thinking of elderflower turkish delight. Will have to hurry up though…….

  2. Elisa says:

    And here I am, equipped with your recipe for the elderflower cordial, still waiting for the buds to open, have been checking them every couple of days for the last 3 weeks.
    Thank you for these recipes, more things to try!

  3. PollyWed says:

    Today I made gooseberry eton mess with elderflower coulis – total heaven

    Polly that sounds fantastic! mmm you made my mouth water!
    Happy Cooking

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