Thursday, 7 June 2012

elderflower and grapefruit cordial

It is the time of year for making elderflower cordial. Normally going out to pick elderflowers is a good excuse to be out in the sun, but this year we picked them in torrential rain covered head to toe in waterproofs. Not quite as much fun. This year I decided to try making coridal with grapefruit for a change. I figured that one grapefruit was equivalent to the 4 lemons that my recipe calls for. Mark and I both agree that it was a worth while experiment and has made lovely cordial. And I made marmalade with the grapefruit pieces rather than throwing them away. I discovered that last year, it is a great time saving way to make marmalade.

Elderflower and grapefruit cordial
One ruby grapefruit
1.5ltr water
1kg sugar
1 bag of elderflowers
55g citric acid
1/2 camden tablet

Bring the water to the boil and dissolve the sugar in the water then let is cool. Once it's cooled a bit stir in the citric acid
Cut the grapefruit up into fine slices - how you'd want it for marmalade
Shake the bugs out of the flowers and tip them and grapefruit into the sugar water. Leave for 24 - 48hrs depending on how much time you have. Give it a stir every now and then.
Strain through a piece of muslin. I usually do this by tying the muslin to the legs of an up turned stool, and leave to drip for a few hours.
Crush the camden tablet and stir into the strained liquid then poor into sterilised bottles.
Camden tablets are used in wine making. They kill the natural yeasts that arrive with the elder flowers and allow you to store the cordial for longer. You don't have to use them but the cordial will only keep for a month or two if you don't.

To make the marmalade
Pick the fruit out of the elderflower mess once it has drained and pick out any big clumps of flowers but leave the rest.
Measure the fruit, mine made 1.5cups
Add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to the fruit and boiled until set. Mine took about 20mins but I had cut the grapefruit up very thin.

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