Everyone that I know loves Elderflower Cordial. It is something that I make year in year out. However lots of people just drink it when it can be used to flavour other dishes like a fruit salad, used as a sauce on vanilla ice cream, to make a sorbet, make a version of Elderflower Turkish Delight etc.
A lot of people will not attempt to preserve things because they don't really know how to use the finished product. Really there are not many wrong ways to use a preserve and sometimes it is a question of experimentation and finding what works for you. Like Mint sauce or Mint jelly; my OH eats this with absolutely anything. We are brought up with a rule book of what goes with what but sometimes rules were meant to be broken and its a matter of finding out what goes with what.
The recipe comes from a series of books by Dick and James Strawbridge entitled "Made at Home Preserves". I have given the ISBN number previously.
During the autumn months there are usually a lot of pears about and elderflower cordial with poached pears and syllabub makes a lovely light pudding which has hints of summer about it which for me is what a preserve is about because you are saving preserves from different seasons of the year.
POACHED PEARS AND ELDERFLOWERS WITH SYLLABUB
For the Poached Pears:
4 Conference or other firm pears
8 fl oz/250ml elderflower cordial
8 fl oz/250ml water
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
4 mint sprigs to decorate
For the Syllabub
8 fl oz/250ml Double Cream
3 tablespoons of elderflower liqueur (you can substitute the cordial if you want to)
Peel the pears leaving their stalks on and position them into a saucepan cover with the cordial. They should fit quite closely/tightly in the pan. Cover with the cordial and lemon juice. Pop on a lid and simmer for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until the pears go soft. Turning them a couple of times during the cooking so that they are cooked evenly but be careful not to dent or damage them.
When the pears are cooked transfer them to a plate and keep them in a warm place. Boil the liquor and reduce it to a thin syrup
To make the Syllabub:
Whip the cream into soft peaks and fold in the elderflower liqueur/cordial. Put into a small bowl and drizzle a little of the pear syrup on the top of the syllabub.
place each pear on a plate glazed with a little of the syrup top with a mint sprig and serve with a spoonful of the syllabub.