Number 1. Elderflower Fritters
We pretty much mainline elderflower presse round here and can’t tell you the satisfaction we feel that very soon we will have our own cordial which cost us virtually nothing and created a whole lotta fun in the making. It’s all the way up to 11.
But these treasures are where it’s at. It’s these delightful crispy uniquely sweet things that I left my bed for on a wet stormy sunday morning (in bloody June), knowing I’d be eating these later.
Y’know how you can taste the river in trout and the sea in oysters, well you can taste the woodland in elderflower fritters.
50 mins inc 30 resting time | makes 14 | easy
14 elderflower heads, freshly opened buds and picked that day
100g plain flour
2 tbsp veg oil
175ml sparkling mineral water
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 egg white, beaten
oil for deep frying
golden caster sugar for dusting
Sift flour into a bowl, add the oil and fizzy water and beat to a thick paste. Then stir in the sugar and set aside to rest for 30mins.
Rinse the flower heads and shake dry – all very gently. Inspect each one carefully to ensure no bugs or brown flowers are hanging on, leave the stalks long so you can hold them. Heat 2-3cm oil in a large shallow pan or wok.
Back with the batter, you wanna fold in the egg white as the oil is reaching temperature. Dunk the flower heads in the batter 3 at a time, making sure to coat all and into the pan. Hold them down by the stalk for a few seconds and fry them until they are lightly golden and crisp. Lift them out, drain on kitchen paper and dip into the caster sugar.
Eat immediately – who couldn’t?
The trick is getting the right amount of batter – too much and it’s pappy – too little and they’re too crispy. It’s important every part is coated but also that you remove the excess by swishing them.
We used to do this almost every late spring growing up in the New Forest. Can’t believe it’s taken this long to realise elderflowers are abundant in London too if you know where to look.
For this weekend, we knew Nigel Slater would provide the recipe goods.