Elderflower Fritter season arrives in North Carolina in late May or early June and lasts only a week or two. The best time to harvest elderflowers is in the mid morning to mid afternoon on a warm and sunny day. Look for big tight heads of flowers and be sure to leave some of the stem on the flower-head to serve as your “handle” for cooking. Give the flower-heads a good shake after harvest to remove any insects before cooking. Light, aromatic and slightly sweet, Elderflower Fritters are a wonderful early summer treat to share with a friend.
Elderflower Fritter Ingredients:
About 10 elderflower heads
3/4 cup plus 2 T organic white flour, sifted
3/4 cup sparkling water
super fine sugar
1 egg white
Elderflower Fritter Cooking Instructions:
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sparkling water and 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Whisk together until well combined and add one tablespoon of super fine sugar. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to rise and grow light. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whip the egg white on high speed until it forms soft peaks. After the batter has rested, gently fold the egg white into the batter.
Dip the elderflower heads in cold water to clean them, then lightly shake them dry.
Pour some super fine sugar into a large bowl.
Pour about one inch of sunflower oil into a large heavy bottomed cast iron skillet and heat the oil to 180 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer you can test the temperature of the oil by dropping a bread cube into it- it should turn golden within a few seconds when the oil is ready.
Holding the elderflowers by their stem, dip the elderflower heads into the batter, one at a time, and then place straight into the hot oil, flower side down, using the stem as a handle. Fry until lightly golden, remove from the oil and dip into the superfine sugar. Serve the Elderflower Fritters warm with with one of the following:
* a drizzle of honey
* a dusting of powdered sugar
*a compote of fresh fruit.
To eat simply tear the fried flowers from the stem and enjoy!