When walking the dog the other day I noticed that the elderflower was starting to show itself in the hedgerows. It’s distinctive white blooms can been seen from a distance, peeking out from amongst the greenery of other trees. The scent reminds me of Summer days with my family when we used to go foraging for the flowers in hedgerows, or sitting on the ground between events at school sports days. It is a distinctive scent and I am still undecided if I like it, but the smell brings happy memories. The flowers can be used in many things, from Elderflower cordial to cakes and wine and will impart a sense of summer into a dish with their delicate flavour.
Recently I was sent some Elderflower cordial from Belvoir to try and pouring it into the glass the summer smell instantly took me back to those days long ago. The flavour is gorgeous, delicate with a hint of lemon and it is the perfect drink to enjoy in the garden with ice on a hot summer day.
I wanted to use some of this delicate flavour in a light summer dessert that would have the gentle hint of the flowers in the background to make it slightly special. I simmered some fresh raspberries in the elderflower cordial until they broke into smaller pieces, then layered them into meringue nests. I finished with a topping of cream, which had elderflower cordial whipped into it. Although simple and easy the result looked elegant.
The dessert could also be served in a glass with a layer of raspberry, a layer of meringue and topped with the cream to make a stylish end to a summer dinner party. This was my original idea but when I went to buy meringues they only had the nests. They looked a little bit too pretty to crumble up so I left them as they were. If you have the time and inclination you can make the meringues yourself but I always find whisking egg whites is tedious.
Disclosure: I was sent some elderflower cordial in return for an honest review.