The bushes round here are still heavy with the bridal white of elderflowers. I love the scent and I love making edible goodies from this wonderful plant. My latest elderflower creation is this fabulous jam with strawberries. I mean what could be better, those gorgeous tiny frangrant little elderflowers with the punch and flavour of bright bursting red strawberries, serious yum!
2 kilos/4lb strawberries
2kilos/4lb preserving sugar
Juice of 3 lemons
8 elderflower heads
Start by making the basis for the strawberry jam. I really like to let the flavours steep and develop so tend to chuck the berries (wash and hull them first of course) into my preserving pan with the sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, cover with a tea towel and let them sit all night.
Next morning the sugar will have dissolved and the strawberries will be full of flavour.
Heat them gently to start with and now add your elderflowers. Just shake out the flower heads to make sure there are no beasties in there and then pick off all those gorgeous little miniature flowers and drop them into the hot berry mixture on the stove.
By this time I am totally and utterly carried away by the smell of the flowers and the sheer joy of actually cooking with something so pretty. Forgive me for waffling but this has to be the prettiest jam on record.
Stir in those little flowers and bring the jam to a good boil for about 5 minutes. Skim off any scum on the top.
Have a saucer in the freezer for 15 minutes so that you can test for the set of the jam. You want to be able to put a teaspoon of jam on to the chilled saucer and have it form a skin and wrinkles when touched within 5 minutes of popping it in the fridge. Just keep boiling if it hasn’t reached this point yet.
Once ready let it cool for ten minutes before you spoon it into sterilised jars.
Admire this gorgeous creation and eat it with sheer joy!