Elderflower jelly


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So does anyone know where summer’s gone? It’s been so rainy and miserable lately – one day we even had stew for tea it was that bad!

But in a stubborn bid to remind myself that it is actually still August, just, I decided to make a perfect summer dessert. And it worked! Right on cue the sun came out that evening. It didn’t last long though…

The cooking

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This was a deliberately simple dessert chosen so that I could A make it while looking after Baby S and B serve it to guests on Friday night with as little hassle as possible.

In fact, I’d had the recipe saved for some time because I’d wanted to try it and had the ingredients in the cupboard ready to go.

So with the boy in his high chair watching (from a safe distance), I began my best James Martin impression and explained to him all about how you make elderflower jelly. He thought it was rather funny at first (there may have been some dancing from me too that helped this), but he soon zoned me out in favour of his trusty robot Rusty.

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Anyway, back to the actual cooking. I put 150g of caster sugar and 450ml of cold water in a pan over a medium heat and stirred until the sugar had dissolved. It didn’t take long at all – just a minute or two. The pan was then removed from the heat.

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Meanwhile four gelatine leaves went into a bowl of cold water and were soaked for three to five minutes until soft. I then squeezed out the excess liquid and stirred them into the sugar syrup – again they dissolved really quickly.

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Finally I added in 100ml of elderflower cordial and left the whole lot to cool. It then went into four glasses and into the fridge to set. The recipe said to leave for at least eight hours – I left mine overnight.

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The next day when it came to serving I popped some mixed berries on top (I was being exceptionally lazy even for me and used a pre-packaged selection from M&S) and that was that.

The eating

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We’d had sushi takeaway for dinner and I was looking forward to a light and fresh dessert to follow it. This jelly was exactly that, and a perfect partnership with the berries. I am also obsessed by the flavour of elderflower so it was always going to get a big thumbs up from me.

However, there was too much cordial in it for my liking, making it a bit too sweet. Next time I will try half as much and see how it turns out. This can depend greatly, however, on what kind of cordial you use in the first place – some are sweeter than others.

Considering how easy this was to make it went down a treat and certainly looked the part on a summer’s day. The recipe also made four perfect portions. You can leave the jelly plain or add fruit into the glasses before the jelly or like I did on top. I’d also like to have a go at making my own elderflower cordial some time, but one step at a time!

The ratings

Yumminess: 8/10 – delicious but a bit of tweaking needed

Faffiness: 1/10 – My four-month-old now knows how to do it (well, kind of)

Mr S’s verdict: 7/10 – nice and fresh

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