Simple Elderflower Tempura
this is a quick recipe, that makes for a crisp hot light fritter infused with the delicate sweetness of elderflower - a truly seasonal delight.
a Japanese-style batter would typically feature cornflour, rice flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, but this one uses self-raising flour for ease. if you have no self-raising flour, you can use plain white flour with a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of bicarbonate to help give lightness to the batter.
when cooked, the heads should be light brown, and, most importantly, crispy.
the stems of elderflower are not so good to eat, so use them like lollipop sticks, and just enjoy the battered blossoms, promptly, while still hot, and enjoy the summer magic!
Greens of Devon Fresh Elderflower Heads
approximately 100g self-raising flour
1 large free-range egg
1 cold can lager beer or fizzy water
icing sugar for dusting
neutral oil for frying, e.g. light sunflower or groundnut
mixing bowl and whisk to make batter
medium size saucepan for frying
kitchen roll to soak off oil from the fritters
whisk together the flour, egg and beer in to a batter. add the beer gradually until a texture of single cream is reached. this may only take half the can, what you do with the rest is the cooks prerogative :)
pour oil into the saucepan for a "shallow" deep fry - 3-4cm depth will suffice. heat the oil until it is hot enough to brown a small piece of bread dropped into it.
shake the elderflower heads to dislodge any insects or leafy bits, dip them thoroughly into the batter, and then allow excess batter to drip off. we find that too much batter will overpower the elderflower taste and is harder to fry to an even crispiness.
fry the heads in groups of 3 or 4, turning once, gently. when they are light brown, (probably no more than 30 seconds in the oil) lift out on to kitchen roll and dust lightly with icing sugar. serve immediately.