97 - Glorious Gorse

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It has felt like the longest of winters this year. Trees stripped bare for what seems like an eternity, the moors turned to that golden brown that signifies a lack of anything much going on for an epic amount of time (I'm talking fairytale princess nap length of time). The first signs of new growth and spring, even just a flicker of that squishy kind of fresh green, feel like oxygen to my soul.

When we were walking recently we stumbled upon an area covered in gorse. All those yellow flowers felt like an explosion of life, the beginnings of a Jackson Pollock on a blank canvas. I've since found that it flowers all year round (particularly prevalent from around January to June in the most common variety) but I'm not going to let that spoil my delight.

Seeing the abundance of flowers turned my thought to picking and preserving (have you clapped eyes on DO Preserve yet? It's full of simple but good recipes, we use ours A LOT - you can buy it here) and I remembered having seen a recipe for gorse cordial some time last year. I didn't pick any flowers to try it out this time as we were away from home for a few days and I didn't think the flowers would keep but here is that recipe, both for safe keeping for me and for you to have a go...


As many gorse petals as you can pick! Ideally, at least a litre jugful.



Juice & zest of two oranges


Pick the gorse flowers on a dry sunny day, ideally when you can smell the coconut fragrance as this will give a more flavoursome cordial.

Put the blossoms in a pan and cover with boiling water. You want to add just enough water to submerge the flowers. Leave to steep overnight.

Strain through a jelly bag or piece of muslin. Add the zest and juice from the oranges.

Measure out the liquid and pour back into the pan.

Add 700g of sugar per litre of liquid and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Pour into hot sterilised bottles if you want to keep it for a few months, otherwise bottle into clean containers and keep in the fridge.

Recipe found at the Fforest site here. A side note - I found a different recipe that substituted one of the oranges for a lemon, perhaps give both versions a go.

We'll be trying it out as soon as we can. We'd love to see the results of your efforts, you can post on our new community board here or tag us on social media (@alfiesstudio).

Heres to many months of happy foraging, finding and preserving and hoping the birds don't eat everything in our strawberry patch this year!

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