gooseberry and elderflower syrupsrating:
recipe by Jane Grigson
dissolve 1.5 kilos (3lbs) sugar in a litre (13/4 pints) water over low heat. Bring to boil and simmer 3 minutes, then add 2 kilos (4lbs) young, sharp gooseberries. bring back to a murmuring simmer and leave 5 minutes. Put in a dozen large heads of elderflower and simmer another 5 minutes or longer is the gooseberries will stand it. If at any point they seem to be bursting to any degree, turn off heat. Leave elderflowers to infuse in the liquid, but keep tasting for flavour, and when it is strongly muscatel, strain off. A tightly closed bottle will keep for a while in the fridge, but it is prudent to freeze most of it unless you bottle and sterilize.
to make a heavier syrup, reduce the quantity of water to 600ml (1 pt). Use these syrups to flavour ices, fruit salads, creams, to soak sponge cakes slightly before filling with fruit and cream or fruit butters or more heavily for a trifle or whim-wham [Who he? Ed]. You can also use them with drinks or as a cordial, to moisten gooseberries in a pie. Diluted slightly they can be set with gelatine, sharpened with lemon they provide the basis for delicious sorbets. NB dipped in a light batter, elderflowers made good fritters. Serve with sugar and lemon quarters.