I’ve said it before and I’ll definitely say it again – I love finding food when I’m out walking or hiking. And it’s Elderflower time! The Black Forest and my garden is just full of those delicate white flowery heads. This is a light, crispy, sweet batter with a sweet – sour dip. Go out and get picking!
Sweet Gin Battered Elderflower
12 Elderflower Heads
50 g Spelt Flour
50 g Corn Starch
40 g Sugar
60 ml Gin
60 ml Ice Cold Water
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Lemon, Zest only
Pinch of Salt
1 l Oil, suitable for frying (I use Sunflower Oil, Peanut Oil is also good)
When you arrive home with your freshly picked Elderflower heads, run some cold Water into a bowl, gently place the Elderflower heads under the Water, and then remove and leave to dry on a tea-towel. This will remove any dirt or insects.
Put the Oil into a Saucepan, that is rather taller than wider, and start to heat up over a medium heat.
In a bowl, place the Flour, Corn Starch, Salt, Baking Powder, Lemon Zest, and Sugar, then whisk in the Gin and cold Water. The batter should be like thick Cream.
Now check the heat of the Oil. If you have a thermometer, aim for the temperature to be about 160 – 170 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, I find the best way to test if the Oil is hot enough, is just to place a small piece of what you will be frying into the Oil. If nothing happens, then it’s still too cold. If it bubbles excitedly, then the Oil is hot enough. You will need to adjust the temperature as you go. Once the Oil is hot enough, don’t let it get too hot so that it burns and turns a dark brown colour. Adding the Elderflower heads will automatically drop the temperature of the Oil, but after a minute or so it will be back up to temperature, so you may need to reduce the heat then.
Prepare a plate with kitchen towel, have a skimmer to hand, and then you are ready to fry. Take an Elderflower Head, and scoop it through the Batter. Make sure all the flowers have been covered with the Batter. Let a little excess Batter drip off back into the bowl before you carefully place the Elderflower Head into the Oil. Don’t be scared about putting your hand close to the Oil, nothing can happen if you place the Elderflower Head into the Oil, but please do not drop the Elderflower Head into the Oil, as that could cause a splash back of the very hot Oil onto your hand. Batter 2 – 3 more heads and place them in the Oil. It’s best not to over fill the saucepan. After about a minute the Batter will start to turn golden, this is the time to remove the heads from the Oil and allow them to drain on the kitchen towel.
Repeat the battering and frying until all your Elderflower Heads are ready. Serve immediately with the roasted Rhubarb Dip or a sweet dip of your choice. A Vanilla Cream would work very well here.
Roasted Balsamic Rhubarb
400 g Rhubarb
80 g Sugar
1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
freshly grated Tonka Bean (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Peel and top and tail the Rhubarb. Cut into evenly sized chunks and place in a baking form. Add the Sugar, Balsamic Vinegar and pinch of Salt to the Rhubarb, and mix well. Place in the Oven and bake for about 20 Minutes until the Rhubarb is soft and the liquid looks lovely and syrupy.
Scrape the Rhubarb and the Syrup into a measuring jug and blend to a creamy puree using a hand blender. Add freshly grated Tonka Bean to the puree, if you are using, mix and serve with the battered Elderflower. If there is any Rhubarb Puree left over, serve with your morning Muesli.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments below!