Elderflowers are by far the most delicious edible flowers, in my opinion. Their smell and taste is intoxicating. When it’s elderflower season, I enjoy making homemade elderflower cordial. I also love to bake cookies and cakes like my Elderflower Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Filling (HERE) or breads like my Elderflower Bread (HERE) with homemade elderfower cordial and freshly picked elderflower blossoms.
I pick my elderflowers in our garden but if you do not have a garden, then you have to go out and look for elderflowers. They are quite common at the side of roads, but for the best flowers, you need to head off into a forest or some other wild spot to find pretty, fresh blossoms. If you find some, pick a few but make sure that they grow far away from traffic. For any recipe that calls for fresh elderflowers, you have to make sure to pick them on the same day that you like to use them as they do not keep well once you have gathered them.
As far as the batter for my recipe is concerned, you need a really light batter or the lacy effect of the flowers is lost. The batter should barely cover them and cook particularly quickly, leaving the fritters to come out light and crisp, the batter clinging to them gently. For a more robust batter, you will have to increase the amount of flour. But I recommend that you do a test fry first, if the batter is too thick, the fritters will puff up into a single mass. Then it’s time to try again with a thinner batter (add a bit more liquid).
Just make sure the flowers are well-coated, but allow a lot of the batter to drip off and shake the flowerhead lightly to get rid of any drips. Then drop it into the hot oil, and, like magic, it will open up and you will be left with the much-anticipated lacy, fluffy looking result, with the batter forming little 'pearls' around the flowers.
Once cooked, I do not like to dredge them in sugar but like to dust them with powdered sugar just before serving – otherwise the powdered sugar might just soak up oil and become mush. But if you prefer to use regular fine sugar, by all means, go for it and then your fritters will have a certain crunch and might sparkle in the summer sun.
Elderflower fritters are quite unusual. You need to like the elderflower flavor (a bit like a muscat grape taste), and you need to be in a position to serve them promptly – you want them to be warm and absolutely crisp. A nice, fun way to finish off an informal lunch or summer supper perhaps. When you bite in, there is a combination of clean, crisp batter with the sweetness of the sugar, and then the aroma and flavor of the elderflowers comes through.
As I mentiones, there are a few elder bushes in our garden. And I like to use elderflowers and, later in fall elderberries, for baking and cooking. Elderflowers are blooming in May and June, only for a couple of weeks and one of my favorite recipes at this time of year is the one for Elderflower Fritters or Gebackene Holunderblüten as we like to refer to them. Their season is short and the flowers are elusive, so make them while you can.
- 50g unsalted butter
- 200g AP (plain) flour
- a pinch of fine sea salt
- 250ml mineral water (sparkling water)
- 2 eggs (L), free range or organic
- 8g pure vanilla sugar (or use homemade)
- 1 tbsp superfine (caster) sugar
- 14 to 16 freshly picked heads of elderflower blossoms
- neutral tasting oil for frying
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Melt the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the flour with the salt and the mineral water.
- Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks and the melted butter to the flour mixture.
- Beat the egg whites in a grease free bowl with the vanilla sugar and the sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter and mix gently until you have a thick batter.
- Gently shake any dirt or insects off your elderflower heads and do not wash them as they will loose a lot of their flavor.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Holding the elderflowers by their stems, dip each elderflower into the batter, then drop them into the pan with the hot oil, flower side down.
- Fry until lightly golden. Remove from the oil and place them on paper kitchen towel.
- Dust the elderflower fritters with powdered sugar and serve straight away – if you would like to keep them warm while preparing the remaining flower heads, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes (about 125°F will do).
- You can serve them simply dusted with powdered sugar.
Gebackene Holunderblüten (Hollerküchle)
- 50g Butter
- 200g Mehl (Type 405)
- eine Prise feines Meersalz
- 250ml Mineralwasser
- 2 Eier (L), Freilandhaltung oder Bio
- 8g Bourbon Vanillezucker
- 1 EL feinster Zucker
- 14 bis 16 frisch gepflückte Holunderblüten mit Stiel
- Öl oder Butterschmalz oder neutrales Öl zum Ausbacken
- Puderzucker zum Bestäuben
- Für den Ausbackteig die Butter schmelzen.
- Das Mehl mit einer Prise Salz und dem Mineralwasser zu einem Teig glatt rühren
- Die Eier trennen. Die Eigelbe und die geschmolzene Butter unter den Teig rühren.
- Die Eiweiße mit dem Vanillezucker und Zucker steif schlagen und unterheben (dickflüssiger Teig).
- Die Holunderblüten verlesen (über einem Küchentuch ausschütteln, nicht waschen).
- Öl oder Butterschmalz in einem flachen Topf erhitzen. Es ist heiß genug, wenn an einem ins Fett getauchten Holzlöffel Bläschen aufsteigen.
- Die Holunderblüten am Stiel anfassen, in den Teig tauchen, gut abtropfen lassen und mit dem Stiel nach oben in das heiße Fett tauchen und goldgelb ausbacken.
- Gebackene Holunderblüten auf Küchenpapier abtropfen lassen und mit Puderzucker bestreut frisch servieren (die fertigen Holunderblüten können bei 52 °C im Backofen warmgehalten werden, ganz frisch aus der Pfanne schmecken sie aber am besten).
For more recipe ideas with elderflowers, have a look at my recipes for:
- Elderflower Bread (Holunderbrot) (HERE)
- Elderflower Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Filling (Holunderblütenkuchen mit Erdbeer-Holunderblütenmarmelade) (HERE)