My season of floral flavours continues: cherry plum blossom with its intensely sweet fragrance, picked in muted spring morning sunshine with much buzzing of busy bees who clearly love the blossoms as much as I do, captured in a bottle (or in a thermal flask first…) – on site in the orchard.
Most of my harvesting of whatever sort takes place by bicycle and to ensure maximum cherry plum blossom freshness I prepared my simple syrup
(sugar to water 1:1, in this case 300 ml water to 300 g sugar for about 3 good handfuls of cherry plum blossoms stripped from the twigs)
before setting out, poured it boiling hot into the thermos flask and took it with me to the orchard. I left the syrup – lid off – to cool down to lukewarm while I picked the blossoms (strip them off the twigs into a bowl and leave the blossoms to stand a while to give the bugs a chance to crawl away – give them a helping hand out of the bowl to spend things up).
Once bug-free, I tipped the blossoms (within half an hour of picking) into the now lukewarm syrup, lid on and left it in my bike basket.
Twenty four hours later it I opened the flask: an intense floral almond essence was my reward!
(through a sieve lined with a disposable, bio-degradable cloth nappy liner that never got used – honestly – they make brilliant filters!)
into bottles to be savoured.
And what am I going to do with it?
Anything that would otherwise require almond essence for starters… first up is going to be Bakewell Tart with cherry plum jam and cherry plum blossom syrup…