Elderflowers are one of the delights of early summer as they have an aromatic fragrance second to none. One of the advantages of this flower is that you will find elderflower trees all over the countryside and it can be gathered free. Jeanette looks for older trees that are not close to a busy road and usually picks them early in the morning when they are at their best, giving the heads a little shake as she goes to remove any roaming insects.

YOU WILL NEED Sterile jam jars 4lb (1,800g) cooking apples 20 elderflower heads, stalks removed 1lb (450g) granulated sugar for every pint of liquid obtained from jelly bag Juice of three lemons.

METHOD Chop the apples into chunks and place them in a large preserving pan, skin and pips included.

Add the elderflower heads to the apples and cover with water.

Cook slowly to a soft pulp.

Mash the pulp when it is cool enough to handle.

Place the mix into a jelly bag which you have suspended over a bowl and leave to drip overnight. Do not push or squeeze the bag or it will go cloudy!

Next day measure the liquid you have obtained — for every pint you will need 1lb granulated sugar.

Pour liquid and sugar into large preserving pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then let the mix boil hard for approximately 40 minutes, until set (don’t stir at this stage — it won’t set if you do).

To test that it has set, gently take a teaspoon of the jelly, place on a saucer. If it is set it will wrinkle when you draw a spoon across the surface.

Remove from the heat, gently taking off the scum on the surface with a slotted spoon, stirring in a small knob of butter to remove the rest and obtain a clear jelly.

Carefully pour into warmed sterile jars put the lids on and don’t move until set.