In lieu of maple or other common pancake companions like blueberries, many Europeans harness the sweetness of elderflower for pancakes and crepes. The tiny white flowers of the Elder bush are filled with sweet pollen when fully in bloom. Cordials and syrups are most often made from the flowers, but adding the blooms to crepe batter is a fine highlight for brunch.
Friends of ours joined us for such an occasion yesterday. I made the majority of the crepes in advance so I could enjoy the company. They were just right, served with Imladris Farm jam and Spinning Spider chevre. Of course, the best dish served was that of shared friendship.
Elderflower Crepes: (serves 4)
*1 1/2 cups flour (if you are gluten free, try using Pamela's pancake mix)
*3 fresh eggs
*1/2 tsp sea salt
*3/4 cup fresh milk
*3/4 cup water
*4 Tbsp melted butter
*1/2-3/4 cup elder flowers
Mix all ingredients with the exception of elder flowers. Allow to rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat a 7''-9'' cast iron pan over medium low heat. Coat with butter.
Add flowers to batter, and gently fold in. Using a small ladle or measuring cup, pour about a 1/4-1/2 cup batter in pan. Tilt pan in every direction to evenly coat surface with batter. Cook about 2 minutes before flipping crepe. To do so, loosen edges of crepe with a fork, grab with your fingertips and flip in one fluid motion. For those of you with more flare, flip crepe using the flick of the entire pan. Cook 1 minute on other side.
Slide crepe out of pan onto a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment. Stack each crepe on top of the other as you make them.
Reheat in a warmed oven right before serving. Fold each crepe in half and then fold again to serve. Offer jam and chevre or any additional topping of your choosing.
*The antioxidants in elderberry syrup have been proven to stimulate the immune system, and treat symptoms of flu. Anthocyanins, a compound also present in the extract, have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, easing common aches and pains.