Monday, 21 June 2010

How To Make Elderflower Champagne

With Summer now well under way it is the perfect time to go foraging for some Elderflower heads to use in a very special Elderflower champagne recipe.

By following this recipe you will be able to produce a clear, sparkling drink which is not too strong yet which is still alcoholic.

From start to finish you should have your Elderflower champagne ready to drink within about 14 days, not bad going considering some alcoholic drinks will take several months before they are ready.

The white flowers of the Elder tree should be very distinctive and will have a very recognisable smell (hopefully you have tasted Elderflower before, as some sort of drink).

elderflower champagne

Elderflower Champagne Recipe
This recipe will produce around 6 litres of Elderflower Champagne


16 Elderflower heads (roughly)
4 litres of hot water
650g sugar
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A pinch of dried yeast (not essential)

Instructions For Making Elderflower Champagne:

1. Pour the hot water into a clean bucket and add in the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 litres of cold water to the mixture.

2. Add the white wine vinegar, lemon juize and zest, and then add the Elderflower heads. Stir the mix gently to combine the ingredients.

3. Place a section of muslin over the bucket and move to a cool and airy place to allow it to ferment for a couple of days. Check the bucket to see if fermentation has taken place (the liquid will become foamy and a little frothy). If no fermentation has begun to take place then add a pinch of dry yeast to the mixture.

4. Check the mixture again in 4 days when it should have fermented as much as possible. It should now be ready to bottle. To do this, strain the mixture through a sieve lined with muslin and into a sterilised container. It is best to use something strong as the build up of Carbon Dioxide can cause the bottles to explode. It is also recommended that you use champagne stoppers, or sterilised screw-top plastic bottles, to keep the container sealed throughout the extra fermentation period.

5. Make sure the bottles are properly sealed and leave them for at least 7days before drinking. Elderflower champagne is best served chilled after this length of time, and should be kept in a cool and dry place. It should keep in the bottles for about 5 months. Enjoy!

elderflower champagne recipe

Thursday, 22 April 2010

How To Make Acorn Coffee

Heres another really simple recipe for you to bear in mind for Autumn time when acorns are out in their numbers. Although a recipe for acorn coffee this drink doesn't really resemble a taste anything like coffee, but it is still a very warming and nutritious, comforting drink to have on a cold winters evening.

If eaten raw acorns have a really bitter taste and will leave a funny astringent feeling in the mouth, some people presumed that they were poisonous to eat but they just don't taste that good - and so its best to process them before making use of them.

acorn coffee

Acorns are a plentiful food usually, especially after a wet year, and there is rarely an acorn shortage in the UK. For this acorn coffee recipe you won't need a set amount of acorns, but a couple of handfuls should provide you with several servings of this drink.

Boil the acorns, shell included, for about 20 minutes. After this time you should let the acorns cool before trying to peel them from their hard outer shell. By boiling them you make peeling them easier and reduce their bitterness slightly. After removing the shell, peel off their outer skin.

Next you need to split the acorns, which you can do with a knife or pestle and morter type implement. Put the split acorns in a warm area to dry for about 24 hours. An airing cupboard or warm kitchen worktop is an ideal place to remove moisture from the acorns.

Finally you need to grind the split acorns up, if you can use a coffee grinder then use one, if not then just try to grind them as finely as possible. Place the grounded acorns onto a baking sheet and either place under a grill or in an oven to roast them until dark brown. You need to pay close attention to stop them from burning.

Place around 3 tablespoons of the ground acorns in a cup of boiling water, like you would usually do with coffee beans. Add some milk and a small amount of sugar, and the acorn coffee is ready to drink.

Wild Food Books