Life is getting back to normal after the excitement of the last few weeks. We’ve been living on leftovers since Saturday and while it’s been great not having to plan supper every day, the joy of eating wedding food has begun to pall a little. Last night we reached the end and everything is now eaten, fed to the dog or frozen except for a barrel of beer that Bill is manfully trying to drink his way through. I’ve been helping him by feeding beer to my sourdough starter that was shoved to the back of the fridge, unloved and neglected for so long that it almost lost the will to live. It’s proving hard to resuscitate but his morning it raised a feeble bubble so there’s hope of revival.
Yesterday, I realised that the elderflowers will have finished flowering before I’ve had a chance to use them. By now I usually have bottles of elderflower cordial and syrup in the pantry but this year I’ve done little more than make Elderflower Fizz that’s quietly maturing in the cool of the cellar. Every year my recipe for Elderflower Cordial changes slightly, but this recipe for Elderflower Fizz is the only one I ever use. Sometimes the original is best. Yesterday evening I scouted the hedges for a few elderflowers and pottered about the kitchen making Elderflower Milk Jelly.
Life is getting back to normal when I start making jelly. Not normal for everyone obviously. But normal for me.
Elderflower Milk Jelly
400ml whole milk
4 heads of fresh, creamy coloured elder flowers pulled from the stalks
Finely grated zest of a lemon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (add more if you have a sweet tooth)
4 leaves gelatine*
Put the elderflowers into the milk and bring almost to the boil. Stir in the lemon zest and sugar and leave to cool.
Chop the gelatine leaves into 100ml of cold water and leave 5 minutes to soften. Then microwave for 40 seconds which should completely dissolve the gelatine.
Strain the milk into a jug and then whisk the melted gelatine into the elderflower infused milk. Pour into a mould and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
Unmould and eat with freshly picked strawberries.
*Gelatine strengths vary. My packet states that 15 leaves set 1.25 litres but 4 leaves sets this milk jelly.