The sweet perfume of elderflowers coated in a thin tempura batter makes for an ethereal delight. This treat can be enjoyed for only three or four weeks in any year, so don't let it pass you by! Some tips:
- Harvest the elderflowers no less than an hour or so before you cook them.
- The flower head should ideally be picked in with most florets opened and the remainder still in bud.
- Don’t harvest on a rainy day as much of the nectar can be washed from the flowers.
Make the most of the Elderflower season and make our Elderflower Cordial recipe and Elderflower Champagne.
If you're interested in foraged foods, do take a look at our Get started with foraging post.
For the batter
- 80g plain flour
- 20g corn flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150ml chilled sparkling water
- 1tsp maple syrup
- sunflower oil for deep frying
To make the batter:
- Pour the chilled water into a large bowl.
- Sift in the flours and bicarbonate of soda. Add maple syrup. Mix roughly with a whisk. Don't worry if there are lumps. Use at once.
To prepare the elderflowers:
- Shake any insects and lose florets from the heads.
- Cut heads into portions about 5cm across, leaving 2-3 cms of thin stalk to pick-up the fritters.
- Don’t wash the flowers as the water will make the hot oil spit.
To make the fritters:
- Heat the sunflower oil either in a wok or a deep frying pan with 5 cm of oil. The oil is ready when a drop of batter bubbles and turns golden in 5-10 seconds. Don’t heat the oil further until it smokes.
- Holding the portions of flower heads by the stalk, gently wipe them through the batter so they are coated all over. Touch on the side of the bowl to remove excess.
- Drop gently into the oil. Moving quickly, but calmly, place a few portions in the oil. Take care they don’t touch or they may stick in a mass.
- Remove when golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
- Serve when still hot sprinkled with icing sugar.