The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Fruit and Vegetables => Topic started by: John on January 18, 2012, 06:55:16 PM

Title: Recipes
Post by: John on January 18, 2012, 06:55:16 PM
Though hardly seasonal I came across this picture of a pan with elderflower cordial under preparation. Also as this tree/shrub seems quite common throughout the Med and lemons certainly are available I thought I'd post it.
I personally prefer using tartaric acid though I believe that other people often use citric acid. I also suppose it depends what you can get hold of.

Elderflower Cordial

20 Elderflower heads, large or the equivalent
1.6 kilo’s (3½ lbs.) Sugar
1.7 litres (3 pts.) Boiled water, let go cold
57 grams (2 oz.) Tartaric acid
2 Lemons, sliced

Dissolve the sugar and Tartaric acid in the boiled water then when cold add the Elderflower heads and the Lemons.
(I don’t think that the exact number of Elderlfower heads is crucial but there should be enough to fill the container and they should be submerged!)
Allow to stand for 24 hrs. stirring occasionally.

Strain, preferably though a fine material eg. a jelly bag to remove all particles. Bottle in clean containers and keep in fridge as this will last longer.

Serve by diluting to taste as with any other cordial.
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: MikeHardman on January 18, 2012, 09:01:16 PM
John - you forgot to mention the pollen beetles; I find they add a certain je ne sais quoi!

I had thought Sambucus nigra was one of the many woody plants so familiar from British hedgerows that I was going to have to do without in Cyprus. But your comment made me reach for my Flora of Cyprus, and there it is :) It is not recorded from my part of the island, but the climate here is not significantly different from the parts where it does grow. So I might just have to give it a go. I found that it roots exceedingly well in water (I will add it to the topic, David).

For the cordial (and for conserves/jams/etc.), can one use the smaller S. ebulus as an alternative?
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: John on January 18, 2012, 11:08:42 PM
I don't know of that as a substitute and I would be wary until I found evidence to say that it is OK. As for the beetles again if not poisonous, no problem unless you're vegetarian.
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: JTh on January 19, 2012, 12:04:28 AM
It is said to have many of the same properties as elder, only that they are more powerful, but the plant is described as toxic.  However, there are a lot of uses in folk medicine for this plant; the list is almost endless, it has been used against colds, rheumatics, to wash swellings, infected wounds, tea from leaves has been used against gonorrhoea, against cramps in children and for roundworm treatment. The root mixed with brandy was a cure for constipation, being a drastic, dangerous purgative!  All this sound a bit too powerful for cordial.

Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: John on January 19, 2012, 09:57:20 AM
Thanks Jorun, again I would always advice caution when you don't know for sure. Much of this family I would be dubious about. Sambucus, Viburnum and others now seem to have been moved from the Caprifoliaceae to the Adoxaceae but they are still the plants they used to be!
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: Alisdair on January 21, 2012, 11:51:38 AM
You can see the more general discussion of elder as a shrub which sprang from this by clicking here (
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: John on January 23, 2012, 11:05:20 PM
Another use for the flowers is Elder Flower fritters. You simply dip the flower heads in batter and fry them. The stalk is a convenient handle.
Title: Re: Recipes
Post by: John on February 03, 2012, 09:49:39 AM
You might want to be more fussy about removing the beetles for the fritters!