This is the time of year when two wonderful flavours tend to coincide – Elder flowers and wild strawberries. Like many wild and foraged seasonal delicacies it’s a short window of opportunity. In fact some years they do not coincide at all but this year the elder flower is in bloom somewhat later than usual and the strawberries are ripening at exactly the same time.
So I just had to put them together in a dish which is stupidly simple and the kids love -Elderflower fritters with ice cream and wild strawberries.
For the elderflower fritters simply pick as many flower-heads as you need. 2- 4 per person is usually adequate, although it’s hard to stop eating them if there are more available. The flowers should be as full and freshly opened as possible with no petal fall or browning to be seen. Include as long a stalk as you can when cutting them and check for insects if you don’t want the added protein.
I make a batter with one egg beaten into 3 or 4 table spoons of self raising flour and enough milk to make a thinish batter. But you can use any batter recipe you like. A proper tempura batter makes a beautiful delicate fritter but is a bit of a faf. Using a thicker batter and you can create an elderflower flavoured doughnut type affair if that is you desire.
To cook simply dip the flower heads in batter, let the excess drain off and deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper for a minute or two and the dredge in caster sugar to taste. A dollop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of wild strawberries and there you have it.
Now I must admit that the strawberries in my dish pictured here were in fact the alpine strawberries growing in my garden (as were the elder flowers actually) but there is no shame in that. Of course purists out there would also have made the ice cream from their own eggs (and cream?) and flavoured it with dried white clover flowers which are said to have a vanilla-like flavour. But you can also buy some fine locally-made ice creams in a number of commercial outlets as well, if you have to.