After Mr Beehive and the younger two Beehives spending another morning shovelling horsey poo into our compost bins at the allotment, he came home to the spankingly clean kitchen - yes, that's right readers, I had even washed and scrubbed the floors and cleaned out some of the cupboards, it was that "touch my house and you die" kind of clean!
He decided that today was the day to turn this spankingly clean kitchen into a less than spankingly clean brewery!
Two demi johns later and still a good quarter bucket left of elderberries I decided to join him and make some cordial with the remaining.
This is a very simple recipe, there are hundreds out there, but this has been the best one I've found so far:
Cloves (whole, not powder)
Glass bottles with plastic lids
You need your elderberries in a pan, washed and taken off the stalk. You can do this with a fork.
Put them in a heavy bottomed pan or maslin pan and just put in enough water to cover them.
Gently bring them to the boil.
Then reduce the heat and let them simmer for 20 mins
Take it off the heat and then strain it either using a muslin or pressing through a sieve. I do both.
I tend to push through a sieve first and then squeeze the remaining juice out by wrapping in some muslin cloth.
Once you've done this it's time to put in the sugar.
Sterilise a measuring jug and pour your juice out.
For every 600mls (1pt) you need 1lb of sugar.
Return your juice and sugar to the maslin pan, add around 6 cloves per pint and gently allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add a 1/4 tsp of citric acid
Allow the cordial to cool a little and then pour it into your sterilised bottles.
I used green coloured bottles because the cordial keeps so much better in the dark. You can keep it in the fridge and it will keep, unopened, for up to 2 years or so I've been told.
I'm not sure about its preservation without proper pasteurising or canning if you don't keep it in the fridge.
However, I really don't think ours will last that long, it's delicious!
My kitchen, on the otherhand, lasted even less time...they do make for a rather beautiful purple hue though do elderberries!