This Gooseberry And Elderflower Jelly is made with only natural ingredients, making it subtle, light and flowery – a beautifully balanced and wonderful dessert to finish off an evening summer meal with – and harks back to the Victorian period when jelly was all the fashion in the 1800s. Some people serve this jelly with an ice-cream (flavoured or vanilla) but I prefer to serve it with a light pouring cream to let the natural and organic flavours of the jelly shine through.
Elderflower Cordial: When Elderflower is not in season you can make the jelly with a good quality (natural) shop bought Elderflower cordial. However, in the summer, if you live near an elder tree, you can make your own cordial as directed and recommended. Following the recipe you can make enough cordial to use in this jelly, with plenty left over to make diluted batches of cooling summer Elderflower drinks with. Making your own fresh Elderflower cordial is quick and simple, and it brings so much pleasure and satisfaction to serve your own cordial when it is completed.
Gooseberry And Elderflower Jelly Recipe
makes about 600 – 800 ml of jelly
Tip: if you make it the day before it can fully set in the fridge over night.
For the Elderflower Cordial
- 400g fresh blooming elderflower heads (rinsed)
- 750ml water (bottled mineral water)
- 500g caster sugar
For The Gooseberry Jelly
- 450g fresh green gooseberries, topped and tailed
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp Elderflower cordial (made as above or bought if not in season)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 6 sheets of leaf gelatine
- 200ml sweet white wine
- pouring cream (recommended)
- or scoops of your favourite ice-cream
Making the Elderflower Cordial:
Take the fresh Elderflower heads and trim away as much of the stalk as possible on each one, leaving the flower heads bunched together. Rinse these heads under gently running water and then shake off the excess.
In a large saucepan place the rinsed Elderflower heads with the water, stir them in. Bring this saucepan slowly up to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes strain the liquid through some clean muslin cloth folded over and placed in a fine meshed sieve. This will insure that even the small particles are sieved out.
Clean out the saucepan and then return the clear Elderflower infused water. Bring this water slowly up to the boil and add in the sugar. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. When at the boil turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until the cordial is lightly golden and thickened. If it is still a bit thin, continue to boil for another ten minutes to reduce the liquid.
Allow the Elderflower cordial to cool slightly then pour into sterilized bottles, allow to cool fully then seal. Store these bottles in the refrigerator and dilute with water to serve and drink, or use undiluted in the jelly.
Making the Gooseberry And Elderflower Jelly:
Rinse, then top and tail the gooseberries. Place the prepared gooseberries in a saucepan with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring slowly to the boil, stir to dissolve the sugar, then the heat down and cover the saucepan with a lid, simmer like this for 10 minutes until the fruit is soft.
Allow to slightly cool after simmering for 10 minutes and then transfer the fruit and sugar pulp from the saucepan to a blender or food processor – blend until smooth.
Clean the saucepan out, add a few inches of water to it and put on a medium heat.
In a heat-proof bowl break each sheet of leaf gelatine up into pieces and spoon over 4 tablespoons of cold water, leave to soak for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes put the bowl over the saucepan of gently steaming water to melt the gelatine. Once melted leave the bowl to one side and rinse out the saucepan.
Over the now clean saucepan push the blended fruit gooseberries through a fine meshed sieve to make a smooth puree. Warm the puree in the saucepan through on a very low heat and stir in the Elderflower cordial and lemon juice – taste and add in more sugar if you think it needs it, (gooseberries are naturally sharp and you do not want to loose this ‘snap’ entirely).
Stir into the warmed gooseberry puree the sweet white wine and then add in the melted gelatine. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed in the saucepan over a gentle heat.
Pour this liquid gooseberry and elderflower mixture into a 1 litre jelly mould (or smaller individual moulds) to cool. Once cool place the jelly mould in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set properly (over night is recommended).
To serve dip the jelly mould into a bowl of hot water for a few seconds to loosen – then carefully invert the jelly mould onto a plate. Serve the Gooseberry And Elderflower Jelly with pouring cream or ice-cream.