Gorse flower cordial

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Gorse flower cordial

It’s time to get out there people. The winter foraging fast is over. The first signs of free edible food are starting to spring up.

There’s something exciting about the first foraging of the year. It brings our ever rushing pace of life under control. Connecting with the seasons reminds us we’re not in charge and we can only follow creation’s pace. Seaweed bread made from foraged gutweed (great name eh?) was the first foraging of the Tŷ Paned year and was delicious. Turns out seaweed bread is an acquired taste. As a Welshman I’ve acquired it but not everybody who had some has!

It’s a while until June when the elderflower cordial production kicks in so I need something to keep me going. Gorse flower cordial fits that bill. It’s very floral in its taste, a little bit of a cross between rose and elderflower. Picking gorse flowers is a hazardous occupation and all precautions should be taken to avoid being savaged by these menacing bushes. I prefer the one glove technique because it’s a bit fiddely picking in gloves when your fingers feel like sausages. One of the great advantages of gorse flower is that it’s available for most of the year. It is better in April when the hedgerows are yellow and as you walk past, the fragrance of, not coconut, but coconut sun cream fills your nostrils. There is something special about being able to drink some gorse flower cordial on Christmas day or New Year’s Day.

So how do you make it?
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Boil 1100ml of water, 600g sugar, 2 handfuls (about 50g or 500ml in a pyrex) gorse flowers, zest of an orange, juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of citric acid until the sugar dissolves (about 15 mins). This gets lots of the flavour out of the flowers.
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When it’s cooled a little add 2 more handfuls of gorse flowers which adds the subtler flavours which can get boiled away. Leave for 24 hours and then strain. Dilute to taste. I say the more the better. About 1:3 works well.

If you decide that gorse flower cordial isn’t your thing then try turning it into jelly. Liquid + gelatine = jelly is the simple formula. See the post on the gingerbread house earlier in the blog for how we used our gorse flower jelly!

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