Princes Street Primary School is located in delightful Sandy Bay, Tasmania. I had the pleasure of visiting the school several years ago, I remember admiring their bountiful vegetable garden (and a startling Stephanie scarecrow). This year, in spite of Covid-19, the school’s garden has flourished, thanks to dedicated volunteers from the school community. The students returned from remote learning to a garden bursting with produce.
They also harvested Elderflowers from a neighbour’s overhanging tree, creating traditional Elderflower Syrup, which they bottle and sell to raise funds for the kitchen garden. They were happy to share the recipe. The syrup is traditionally mixed with soda water or even sparkling wine!
2 cups Elderflower blossoms, cut from the stems (or ‘umbles’)
1 lemon, sliced
1 kg sugar
5 cups water
1 teaspoon citric acid
Sterilise 4 x 500 ml capacity jars by placing clean jars in the oven at 150°C (300°F) for 15 minutes.
Place trimmed blossoms in a stainless steel bowl with the sliced lemon. Discard the stems.
In a large pot place the sugar, citric acid and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes.
Carefully pour the hot syrup over the elderflower blossoms, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool dark place for 3-4 days, stirring once a day.
Do not leave blossoms steeping in syrup for longer than 4 or 5 days as they may start to ferment.
The blossom mixture should now be a lovely, golden hue. Strain the blossom mixture into a clean pot and return to the boil.
Have ready your sterilised jars. Carefully fill the jars with the hot syrup and seal the jars. (As the jars will be very hot you may need to use a cloth or oven mitt to tighten the lids on the jars).
Store the syrup in a cool, dry place for up to one year.
Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator.
Serving suggestions: Elderflower Syrup with sparkling water or sparkling wine!
(Harvested umbles will last in a bucket in a cool spot for a couple of days.)