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.
Strawberry & Elderflower Cake and Tart Topping
|Serves||6 to 8|
|Prep time||12 hours|
|Meal type||Breakfast, Condiment, Dessert, Side Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Valentines day|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 200g strawberries (hulled and cut in half if very large)
- 50g caster sugar
- 4 to 6 tablespoons elderflower cordial
A fabulous way to preserve strawberries for a short time whilst adding floral notes to them; use as a cake, tart, ice cream, pancake or shortcake topping.
|Step 1||Place the strawberries and sugar into a container, and gently mix the sugar through the strawberries. Add the elderflower cordial and mix well.|
|Step 2||Cover and allow to macerate for up to 12 hours, in a cool place.|
|Step 3||Use as a cake, tart, ice cream, pancake or shortcake topping.|
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….
……and also Tea Time Treats, hosted by ME and Kate, and this month the theme is summer fruits and Kate is hosting it over at What Kate Baked.
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!
All That I'm Eating says
This looks amazing! I think I’d put it on porridge…maybe it’s a bit too decadent for breakfast!
OH YES! Let’s add it to porridge, why not? GREAT idea! Karen 🙂
I loved reading this post as you were transporting me to this idyllic place with the hammock and time nearly stopping and then you brought me sharply back to reality! These are a great idea and definitely a summer staple. I want some now! PS did I tell you I like the new look? especially the pink 🙂
Aw thanks Ros, and I was wondering how many people might have noticed the few tweaks here and there…..I LOVE the new look too and also the photo slider at the top of each page!
Lancashire Food says
Sounds delicious, classic combination and thank for the links to the #elderflowerchallenge 🙂
Thanks Linzi, I have more elderflower recipes up my sleeve, so I will be sure to add them to your challenge! Karen
I do love this idea and will be trying it out in many ways over the next month or so. Also, I have just made elderflower cordial using your recipe but with a few changes due to missing ingredients. Will let you know how it turns out in 4 days time! Thanks for entering this into #oneingredient too! xx
I am always pleased to enter one ingredient Laura and I look forward to seeing how your elderflower cordial turns out too….THANKS so much for your lovely comments! Karen
Looks amazing, I can smell the floras from here, stunning colours too. x
Thanks Sue…..was such an easy recipe and yet it worked on the taste and scent front! Karen
Wow this is luscious. I still have some elderflower cordial left from the for mans hamper so am making this tonight. GREAT idea and beautifully written post x
Thanks Nazima, it was a simple and yet fabulous recipe.
Karen Booth says
Thanks! 🙂 Karen
christina brown says
Oh wow this looks delicious!
I especially like the elderflower and strawberry combination 🙂
anthony harrington says
have never used elderflower, what a fab idea!
Maya Russell says
A lovely summer recipe – roll on summer I say!
Fiona Matters says
Wonderful idea. I love the idea of using elderflowers.
melanie stirling says
These are beautiful and look so tasty and sweet 🙂
Tracy Nixon says
Roll on the Summer and the tennis season! This sounds fabulous! Shared via G+!