Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Delicious and crispy elderflower fritters

Elderflower fritters / Frititud leedripuuõisikudrNAMI

We're in the mood for fritters over here - which is weird, considering the heat-wave we've been having for the umpteenth day now. Last Friday I made deep-fried crispy stuffed courgette flowers, few days before that we all enjoyed these delicious elderflower fritters.

Elderflower as such is not new to Nami-Nami household. I've been using elderflower cordial to lend some floral notes and delicate flavour to a number of dishes - cold buttermilk soup 'koldskål', quick elderflower mousse, elderflower curd, strawberries with elderflower zabaglione, to name just a few that have made it to this food blog. We've been drinking elderflower fizz at home a lot. But I've always used a shop-bought cordial, as we didn't have an elderflower (Sambucus nigra) bush growing in our garden (they grow wild pretty much only on the Western isles). Two years ago, when we had to finalize the list of plants we wanted to have in our garden, elderflower was at the top of the list (alongside a proper quince tree and an Egremont Russet apple tree). Last year the elderflower was still too young to bear any blossoms, but this year was different.

When I first spotted this tiny promise back in late June, I was very, very excited, to say the least:
So much promise - our first black elderflower :)

Some patience was needed, but eventually our black elder gave us these:

elderflower

Like with all other fritters and donuts, these are best right after frying, doused with plenty of icing/confectioner's sugar that you can season with some vanilla powder or ground cinnamon.

Crispy elderflower fritters
(Frititud leedripuuõisikud)
Makes about 20-30 small fritters, enough for 5-6 hungry eaters

about 20-30 small elderflower clusters

Batter:
200 g plain flour (330 ml)
a pinch of salt
1 large egg
300 ml soda water or light beer or milk
a generous splash of grappa, Limoncello or rum

mild-tasting oil for deep-frying (I used rapeseed oil)

icing sugar/confectioner's sugar to serve

Sift the flour into a bowl, add salt and mix. Make a hole in the middle, break the egg into the hole. Whisk until combined, adding the liquid (water, beer or milk) gradually and finally mixing in the alcohol. Put into the fridge for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, clean the elderflower clusters from various critters and bugs (if you cannot see any, you can place the flowers into the freezer for 10 minutes or so - apparently this "scares" them out. To keep as much of the precious pollen, it's advisable not to rinse the blossoms). Cut the stem end as short as possible.
Heat about 4-5 cm (about 2 inches) of oil in a small saucepan. The temperature is about right when a little peeled potato cube or bread cube begins to sizzle and turns into nice golden brown when you drop it into the oil.

Dipping the elderflower clusters / Kastan leedripuuõisikuid taina sisse

Now, working with couple of elderflowers at the time, dip them into the batter, then lower them into hot oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then gently turn them over and let them brown on the other side as well. (I loved how they puffed up so nicely when lowered into the hot oil).
Using a slotted spoon, transfer them into a double layer of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.
Fry the rest of the batter-dipped elderflower blossoms in a similar fashion.

Dust with plenty of icing sugar/confectioner's sugar that you can season with vanilla powder or cinnamon first.

Elderflower fritters / Frititud leedripuuõisikud

More elderflower fritters:
Delicious Days
Nigel Slater
Lottie + Doof
Georgia Pellegrini
Hunter. Hanger. Gardener. Cook.
Doves Farm

8 comments:

Alanna Kellogg said...

This may sound crazy but I love it that there are some things which just haven't yet become easily available across the world -- even if they're wonderful, which you've long ago persuaded me is true about elderflowers. :-)

Zarah said...

Wow!! I would never have thought of making fritters from them, but this looks delicious! :D

Gitte said...

Elderflower fritters - what a wonderful post. It seems to be the season right now for Elderflowers. I've been reading a lot about Elderflower juices on Danish food blogs and now I wish I had access to Elderflowers.

Sandy Leonard Snaps said...

I love your blog.
Greetings from Boston.

ChichaJo said...

They look so delicate and pretty Pille! Wish I could have a taste :) I have never tasted elderflower before, not even the cordial!

misa said...

Wow, what the pretty fritters! I've never seen elderflower fritters, it looks amazing. I'd love to give it a try! And I love your blog, very beautiful photos.

Sarah said...

I am from Canada, and have been reading your blog for a little while now. Here we call this Queen Annes Lace, and most consider it a annoying weed, not everyone here knows it edible. And those that do, never even bother with them. I love this flower, one of my favorites. I have done many pieces of artwork with them in mind. Anyways - so incredibly interesting! I would have never dreamed of this.

Angela said...

What a great idea! I have 3 large bushes in my backyard here in Canada, covered in blossoms every June. I am reading this too late this year but wondering if you have ideas for the berries?....