02 Jul Proper Treats: Elderflower Fritters
Let’s pop these in the proper treat section of nature’s larder. Elderflower fritters are a great way to round off a spring evening… Or do as we did and enjoy them first thing after an early start. We munched them down after greeting the sunrise on the summer solstice. The perfect reward for marking the new cycle.
For some reason, elderflower always gets me excited. I think because it’s the first thing, alongside wild garlic, that I can remember heading out to forage. Cordial was always something we made in summer, although as I got older this quickly escalated into dodgy, mostly exploding, bottles of homebrew. I still haven’t made a batch of elderflower champers that hasn’t malfunctioned somewhere in the process!
It’s also special because, as with most things, the elderflower season is short-lived. I often get to the end of it slightly disappointed. There’s such a wealth of creative recipes online for what to do with the flowers, that it’s almost impossible to feel you’ve used them to their full potential. Next year I have ambitions for a flavoured sugar and I need to make sure I conjure up a few more batches of elderflower infused vinegar. I know it sounds unlikely but its flavour is terrific! Especially in a vinaigrette for a summer salad.
Fritters, though, are firmly up there with one of the best ways to make the most of the hedgerow’s abundance. They’re simple, look a bit impressive and taste great.
I prefer to make my fritters quite thick with plenty of batter. Finish with a shimmer of sugar and a squidge of lemon before serving up. Even better drizzle over some homemade dandelion honey!
- As per, elderflowers are best gathered on a bright sunny day and used almost immediately. Forage away from roadsides and check for any bugs before cooking!
- Don’t eat the stalks, they’re bitter tasting. Use them as a handle for eating the fritters instead.
- It’s best not to wash your elderflowers as it will remove the tasty pollen. Leave the flowers upside or give them a little shake before cooking to let any insects escape!
What you’ll need:
6 or so elderflower heads
80g of plain flour
20g of cornflour
2 tbsp of sugar – I used icing
½ tsp baking powder
Oil for frying
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Slowly add the water and mix till a smooth batter is formed. It should be similar to a thick pancake mix.
- Heat oil in a pan. You’re deep frying so, you’ll near a fair bit. I aimed for about 3cm deep of oil. To test the temperature drop in a little batter. If a few bubbles start appearing around it then you’re good to go!
- Dredge an elderflower head through your batter and allow some of the excess to drip off, then pop it into your oil
- Fry for a few minutes. You may need to flip it over depending on the depth of your oil. You’re waiting for it to go crisp and golden.
- Once cooked pop onto a sheet of kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
- Next, pile the fritters onto a plate and dust with sugar and lemon… Or honey. They’re best enjoyed warm so dig in!
For more elderflower recipes click here, and check back for more inspiration on how we can bring more of the outdoors into our kitchens.