Fragrant elderflower heads are coated in a light, tempura-style batter, and deep-fried until crisp. Dredged with icing sugar and served with lemon wedges to squeeze over, they make a lovely early summer treat.
- 12 freshly picked large elderflower heads, cut with a length of stem attached
- Icing sugar, to dust
- 1 lemon, quartered, to serve
- Sunflower oil, for deep frying
FOR THE BATTER
- 80g plain flour
- 20g cornflour
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 225ml chilled sparkling water
- 1 egg white
- First prepare the batter. Put the flour, cornflour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the sparkling water and mix very briefly and lightly until just combined. Leave to stand for an hour.
- Meanwhile, gently shake any insects out of the elderflower heads but do not wash them. Trim the stems to about 5cm below the flower head – this will provide a ‘handle’ when battering the flowers.
- After the batter has rested for an hour and you’re ready to fry and serve the fritters, beat the egg white to soft peaks. Gently fold into the batter with a metal spoon until evenly combined.
- Prepare the oil for deep frying. If using a deep-fat fryer, preheat the oil to 190˚C. If you’re using a pan, choose a wide, deep one and do not fill it above a third of its depth with oil. Set over a high heat to get hot, and to test if it is ready for frying drop a little batter into the oil – if it immediately rises surrounded in bubbles, the oil is hot enough
- Holding the flower heads upside-down by their stems, gently dip the elderflowers into the batter. Allow any excess to drip off back into the bowl.
Lower the elderflower head into the oil gently – it will spread out and float. Use the stem to push the flower head under the oil a little to ensure that all of the batter gets fried. Fry one flower head at a time, and cook until lightly golden and crisp. Lift the flower head by its stem and sit it on some kitchen paper for a few moments to absorb any excess oil.
- Transfer to a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and serve with a lemon wedge.
Recipe by Wild Food UK; development and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK