Strawberries and Flowers for Tea
~ Strawberry & Elderflower Cake and Tart Topping ~
Now is the time for fragrant lanes where clouds of billowing white frothy flowers hang heavy with rain drops……..damp earth and sweet-scented blossom pervades the damp summer air and bees hover over blooms in anticipation of nectar gathering. Berries glisten and blackbirds, the original strawberry thieves, steal their way through green leaves and peck at small ruby orbs……skylarks wheel and soar and the first nightingale of summer sings her sweet song from a nearby chestnut tree. The white frothy flowers have been harvested already, and several bottles stand in cool pantries and cellars……waiting to be poured, mixed, swirled, sipped and enjoyed throughout the next few months.
The last of my Scotty Brand strawberries were the basis for this new summer recipe…….a simple idea, and a marriage of summer fruits and floral cordial……my Old Fashioned English Elderflower Cordial. An idea rather than a recipe, but one that works so well with cakes, bakes, tarts, pancakes, ice cream and shortbread. Also a great way to preserve those over ripe strawberries for a few more hours……and a lovely way to add the very essence of summer flowers and fruit to sponge cakes and custard tarts, I was very pleased with this recipe and plan to make it throughout the summer – making sure I have a container in the fridge for impromptu toppings for all manner of sweet treats.
I imagine that this strawberry “mess” would also be great if spooned into sparkling wine or champagne…….oh the sybaritic decadence of it all….I can picture the scene now, hammock gently swaying under the shade of an oak tree…..sun dappled shadows dancing on idle limbs and hands trailing along the tops of meadow flowers……whilst a glass of elderflower and strawberry fizz sits glistening on a nearby wrought iron table…..a discarded book lays half buried in the tall grass whilst the distant sound of the ubiquitous lawnmower hums along with busy worker bees……work suspended and hours slowed down until time has nearly stopped.
Bringing you sharply back to reality and everyday life, this simple sauce or compote, can also be made with raspberries, when they are in season, and maybe assorted currants could be added too…..a Sauternes wine would also be a great beverage to add in place of the elderflower cordial, if none of this floral elixir is to be had. Decant the scented berries into a cut glass bowl and allow your guests to spoon the berries over their selected treat……or sit this bright and beautiful berry delight next to the Pimm’s for an extra special summer punch…..with elderflower sprigs for decoration, it’s simple de rigueur darlinks! However you decide to serve this, enjoy it and embrace the summer, whether it be wet or dry. See you tomorrow with tales of barbecues and Somerset goats! Enjoy the start to the weekend, Karen.
As I have used summer fruits and strawberries in this recipe, I am entering this into TWO blog challenges for June: One Ingredient which is hosted by Laura and Nizima on alternate months – this month is being hosted by Nazima at Working London Mummy and the ingredient is strawberries….
I have just discovered a new blog challenge run by Linzi over at Lancashire Food,
for elderflower recipes, so I am also adding this recipe to her link up!