Early Summer and British gardens and hedgerows are awash with elderflower. Sweeter and more fragrant than the elderberries to come, these elegant flowers can be used in all sorts of dishes – try these delicious elderflower fritters!
These are pretty little pastries that pack a powerful elderflower punch, thanks to lots of elderflowers and some elderflower cordial. They will last a couple days after they’re made, but are best the moment they emerge from the hot oil. You can eat leftovers at room temperature, or you can refry them for a minute to crisp them up again.
This recipe can also be used with rose petals and rose water, too.
Makes about 25 fritters.
Prep Time: 5 minutes, once you have your elderflowers picked.
Cook Time: 20 minutes, because you have to cook these in batches.
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sparking wine, pilsner or lager beer, or seltzer water
2 tablespoons elderflower cordial
1 cup elderflowers
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable oil for frying
Pour enough oil into a deep fryer or a large, heavy pot to come up to a depth of 4 inches or so. You can use as little as an inch- worth of oil, but your fritters will be flatter. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the oil to 350 degrees.
When the oil is hot, mix all the other ingredients into a large bowl. Make sure there are no lumps. The consistency should be thicker than pancake or beer batter, but not so thick that it will completely hold its shape if scooped. If it is too thin, add flour. Too thick, add more beer, champagne or seltzer.
Drop about a tablespoon of batter into the hot oil for each fritter. It is important not to crowd them, so you’ll have to cook the fritters in batches. After about 30 seconds or so, if the fritters have not floated to the surface of the hot oil, use a chopstick or butter knife to dislodge them from the bottom of the fryer or pot. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels as you cook the rest of the fritters. When they are cooled a bit, dust with confectioner’s sugar.