If Elder (Sambucus nigra) grows in your part of the world you may be seeing the frothy white flowers this week or even enjoying a whiff of the heady fragrance. For us the elderflowers are a little earlier than usual. Time to make cordial, perhaps some sorbet, and definitely pancakes. ‘Hollerkiachl’ as they are called in Bavaria. 😃
We are lucky and have several trees/shrubs directly on our doorstep and in our lane, away from traffic and foraging passers-by!
First I made the pancake batter. Here is my recipe for about 8 small pancakes:
- 200g (1 3/5 cups) flour
- Pinch of baking powder
- 2tsps sugar
- 425 ml (1 4/5 cups) almond milk (unsweetened)
- 2 ‘veg eggs’ or 1 large tbsp soya flour mixed with a little water
Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand while you cut your elderflowers.
The best time here to cut elderflowers is late morning on a still and sunny day. The aroma seems to be at its peak then. You will need about 8 -10 flowerheads, one for each pancake. (It depends on their size so cut a few extra if you aren‘t sure.) Shake off any flies and beetles. Bring them indoors and shake again over the sink, then place on a yellow surface. This attracts any remaining tiny flies to crawl out.
Heat a little sunflower oil in a pancake pan. Dip an elderflower head in the batter, holding it by the stalk, and drop it in the pan with an extra tablespoon or two of batter.
You can now cut off as much of the stalk as possible so you can turn the pancake once you see little bubbles forming. Fry until golden brown on both sides, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Continue until you have used up all the batter.