Serve these delicious fritters hot with gooseberry purée.

Elderflower fritters with gooseberry sauce (serves 4)

Elderflowers are creamily buttoning the hedgerows now. They have a delicate muscat flavour and go well with gooseberries.

Fritters
4 elderflower heads
75g or  3oz flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 tbspn olive oil
6 tbspns dry white wine

Purée
1 elderflower sprig
About 2 tbspns honey, just to taste
450gm or 1lb gooseberries
6 tbspns dry white wine

Method

To make the batter, put the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle and beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the oil and then the wine, making a fairly thick batter.  Leave it to stand while you make the gooseberry purée.

Put the whole gooseberries into a pan with the wine and elderflower sprig. Cover, put on very low heat for 15 minutes until they are very soft. Rub them through a sieve. Return to the pan and stir in the honey, stirring on a low heat to dissolve. Keep it warm.

Heat a pan of deep oil to 170˚C/325˚F. Hold the stalk of the elderflower sprigs (have kitchen gloves on, or use tongs if the stalk isn’t long enough) and dip the whole flower head into the batter. Deep fry until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve hot with the gooseberry purée.

Taken from The Countryside Cook Book by Gail Duff (Prism Press, 1982)