We’ve arrived back in Munich to gorgeous early summer weather. It’s warm, sunny, the whole city seems to have decamped to the riverside and the smell of barbecue hangs in the air. Truly, this is when Munich comes alive.
This is also the time of year when the parks are full of the billowy white blossoms of elderflower – Holunderblüten, or Holler as it is locally known. I’m somewhat of an elderflower addict, and the first warm, sunny day after the blossoms have arrived will see me with basket and scissors raiding the local parks for blossoms. Every year I love to make elderflower cordial or even delicious deep-fried elderflowers, but this year I was in the mood for something different.
One of the most beloved summer cocktails in Germany is the Hugo – a light and refreshing combination of prosecco, elderflower syrup and mint with a spritz of lemon or lime. Served cold over ice it is heaven on a sunny day. As I’ve been in the mood to make jam the last few weeks, I suddenly thought what a deliciously different jam this flavour combination could make, swirled through yoghurt, sandwiched in a cake, or just spread thickly on toast – yum!
The trick to making this jam quickly and easily is to use a 2:1 jam setting sugar – available all over Germany, and easy to find online. By reducing the amount of sugar the jam doesn’t end up sickly sweet and the quick cooking time means it keeps its heavenly floral aroma. Here’s how you make it:
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 20-25 fresh elderflower blossoms
- 500 ml unsweetened apple juice
- 300 ml prosecco or sekt
- juice of 1 lemon, ca. 50ml
- 500 g 2:1 jam sugar
- Give your elderflowers a gentle shake and a check over to make sure there aren't any unsuspecting insects hiding among the blossoms, then put them all into a large bowl or pot.
- Pour over the apple juice, prosecco and lemon juice, then slice up the lemon skin and add it to the pot too. Place a plate on to to make sure everything is weighed down, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- The following day, put 2-3 small saucers in the freezer, and sterilise 6 or 7 x 200ml jars. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, (squeezing the flowers to make sure you get all the liquid out) into a large saucepan - big enough that the liquid comes no more than halfway up the sides. Pour in the jam sugar and place the pan over a medium high heat.
- Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. When the liquid is boiling vigorously, set a timer for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, turn off the heat, take one of the saucers from the freezer and put 1 tsp of the jam onto it. Return the saucer to the freezer for two minutes. When the time is up, push the jam on the saucer with your finger - if it wrinkles, the jam will set. If it doesn't don't worry, simply bring the jam to the boil for another 2 minutes and try again.
- Divide the hot jam between the warm jars and seal immediately. Leave in a cool place (not the fridge) to set - this will take several hours. When set, label and store in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate once opened.
Note: It is best to gather the elderflowers on a warm, sunny day, and to use them as quickly as possible for the best flavour. It is easiest to pour the jam into a heat proof jug (e.g. Pyrex) and use a jam funnel to get everything into the jars nice and cleanly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a jam setting sugar?
Jam setting sugar is sugar with added pectin. If it is not available where you are, it can be found online. Alternatively, you can add powdered or liquid pectin to the mixture following packet directions.
What else can I make with elderflowers?
Of course, if there are any elderflowers left over, it would be a shame not to deep fry them in batter and serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream – wouldn’t it?