The flowers and berries of the elder tree grow in an umbrella like pattern and both can be used to make edible treats. The berries contain cyanide so must be cooked before they can be eaten. They can be used to make jams, baked good and elderflower cordial.
The small white flowers of the elder are in bloom around mid-May to June and have a sweet fragrance.
You Will Need
Fresh elderflowers (2tbsp)
Granulated sugar (50g)
All-purpose flour (150g)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Meanwhile, remove the flowers from their stems making sure to take away as much of the stem as you can.
Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Use your fingers to rub everything together until they become like breadcrumbs, then add the elderflowers and roughly mix everything together.
Push the crumbs mix together with your hands so it forms a dough, then push this down into a greased baking tin and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
David Hamilton is an avid forager, horticulturist and magazine journalist, writing for titles such as the Guardian, BBC Gardener’s World, BBC Countryfile and Grow Your Own. He is also the author of numerous books, including the Wild Ruins series of travel books and the Self-Sufficient-ish Bible. He began teaching foraging courses in 2007 after years of experimenting with wild foods.
This is a recipe from Family Foraging, published by White Lion Publishing.