Elderflower Tempura

Elderflower Tempura

When the elders pop into bloom it can be a mad dash to capture their delicate flavor. Elderflower syrups and champagnes are always a treat, but elderflower tempura (or fritters) is a quick and easy way to enjoy the elderflower season. This recipe is also fantastic because it can lean savory or sweet, so use whatever you have in the pantry and play around with enhancing the dish. Or keep it basic yet classic with some honey or powdered sugar. 

Click here for instructional video.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 or 5 elderflower heads cut into smaller clusters (Sambucus canadensis or S. nigra)
  • 5 oz. cake flour
  • 5 oz. rice flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1½ cups ice cold seltzer
  • ½ cup chilled vodka
  • Frying oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat frying oil to 365F.
  2. Prepare the batter by mixing the cake flour and rice flour in a wide shallow bowl. Add egg, vodka, and seltzer. Whisk well but gently to combine.
  3. Dip each flower cluster in the batter and shake off any excess.  Work quickly to maximize the chilled, bubbly batter.
  4. Drop the flowers in the oil, one by one, and fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes). Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Serve immediately. 

Notes

- Flowers and berries are the only edible part of the plant and these must be cooked to reduce toxicity. Some people choose to fully discard the flower stem, but I've not had any issues as long as it gets cooked. 

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