**Okay this is a post I wrote last year – and while it is not yet Lime [Lindum] Flower season – I thought I could pop it up here so that it’s ready for when they do come into flower **
This year has been very busy – family wise, so sadly, I have not got round to making much- my cupboards are bare!!!
And sadly I have missed the Elderflower season [ will be picking berries though!]
However, just after the elderflower comes the Lime flower or the Linden flowers.. and they smell divine. Again I have come to this a little late in the season, but there are still a lot of these flowers around and so
I have never made this before, but after looking around the tinterwebt, I realised that the syrup was very much like elderflower syrup.. so I thought I would give it a go.
Now collecting the flowers is easy, well it is if you are taller than I am. I did manage to pick some from lower branches, though I did have to go and get a stool to help me collect some from a little higher.
Be warned it is sticky, the bees love it.** And like elderflower, it is best collected when warm and dry.
**The local Honey- Norfolk Park Honey, is packed with pollen from the trees where I collect my flowers, and is great for Hay fever ! You can get it from Heely City Farm, which keeps Hives close to the park**
Also be aware that some people can have an allergic reaction to the flowers, and that they can cause a rash, and make you sneeze a lot!
Okay so the ingredients –
I managed to collect approx 250-300 grams of lime flower clusters – shake them as you would elderflower to make sure you dont have any insects etc.. or if you prefer given them a quick wash in cold water…
- 250-300grams is approximately a good bowlful of flowers or half a carrier bag.
- Then I used approx 500g sugar – I used everyday sugar not granulated
- 2 un-waxed lemons – or approx 5-10 grams of citric acid
- 1 ltr of boiling water
when you pick the flowers you will see that the grow in clusters, and that they have a pale green, paddle shaped bract attached.
- Now some recipes say remove this and other say that you can keep this paddle shaped bradle leaf.. I removed it this time.
- Then place the flowers into a large enough bowel that you will be able to pour over the boiling water.
- Cover with a cloth – a tea towel will do and leave for at least 8 hrs. I left it overnight.
- The following day strain the liquid using a jam strainer or a piece of muslin cloth.
- Don’t be tempted to squeeze it , as it will make the liquid cloudy, ** like the rose petals in the rose petal jam recipe.**
- I left it to strain for most of the day.
- Then when you think you have all the liquid, pop it in a pan and add the sugar and the juice some of the rind of 2 lemons. you can add more if you want a more lemony taste. ** If you dont want to use lemons you can use citric acid which you get from your local supermarket **
- Bring it to the boil stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Taste and add more lemon juice or citric acid if desired.
I then bottled it into 6 small Kilner bottles, or a 1lb jam jar
It is runny as it is a syrup. I did wonder if I carried on boiling if it would thicken more and become more like a jam. However I dont think that there is enough pectin in it
It is great, so I am told with ice cream and apparently with Prosecco Champagne [and/or other fizzy wine /drink- I had it with Gin and a splash of lemonade ]
I am going to try it later win a gin and tonic, and will let you know how I get on. ** I did try it and it was rather wonderful… it does have a distinct taste though**
**Just a note to say that it last fine for approx 1 month in the fridge, but when bottles using the hot water bath method and in sealed jars , keep out the way, in a cool dark place it is meant to last much longer. **
Also you if you dont fancy making syrup you can add the flowers to alcohol such as gin and /or vodka , add some sugar as you would with sloe and turn every month. keep in a dark place for 3 months or more… strain before uses.
It can also be added to Honey, and left to infuse for a while.
It is also great as a tea.. either with the fresh flowers, or dried flowers… and is great for colds ** it makes you sweat it out**, and also for sleeping. In many European countries including France and Germany, it is recognised and used to aid a number of health issues, including lowing blood pressure, anxiety and digestion. However, I would , as always recommend that if you wish to use it for specific health issues that you speak to a qualified herbalist and also check with your GP if you are on other medication.
*All images my own, or free/stock images – those which are not have been duly credited *
** © Shullie H Porter 2015-2016**