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How to make delicious elderflower Turkish delight

How to make delicious elderflower Turkish delight
Fern Freud shares a delicious recipe for elderflower Turkish delight from her new book, Wild Magic
I first tried elderflower Turkish delight after reading the lovely John Wright’s recipe and haven’t stopped making it since. My recipe is made in the traditional way, so doesn’t include any gelatine. It’s soft, squishy and delightfully summery! Once you’ve got the hang of it, why not try this recipe with lilacs or lavender flowers instead?


Makes approximately 40 pieces
  • 20 elderflower heads
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 750g white sugar
  • 100g cornflour (cornstarch) plus 2 tbsp, for dusting
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting
Elderflower Turkish delight recipe


  1. First, snip the flowers from the elderflower sprays from their stalks and put the loose flowers into the centre of a clean muslin cloth. Gather the sides of the cloth and tie with food safe string, so the flowers are contained. Make sure you leave a long piece of fabric or string to hold them while they’re suspended in the pan. Put to the side for later.
  2. In a large pan put 300ml water, the lemon juice and white sugar and heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Place a thermometer into the pan and bring the syrup to 250˚F/120˚C. This should take 15–30 minutes depending on your hob.
  3. In a slightly smaller pan, mix the cornflour with 100ml water and mix until smooth. Now, over a low heat, add your cornflour mixture to the lemon syrup little by little, mixing all the time until combined.
  4. Bring the mixture very slowly to the boil (slow simmering is key here, so use the smallest ring on your hob) and simmer for ten minutes. Make sure you stir constantly. Now suspend the muslin bag with the flowers in the liquid and continue to simmer on a very low heat for another 20 minutes. Squeeze the bag with the back of your spoon to impart the most elderflower flavour possible.
  5. The mixture will become very thick and almost clear. You will know it’s ready when you can run your spoon through it, and the line drawn through the mixture holds its shape. When it’s done, leave to cool slightly, for ten minutes.
  6. Line a square/rectangular cake tin with cling film and rub a little melted coconut oil over the film. Now pour in your Turkish delight mixture and leave to set overnight. In the morning put it in the fridge for a few hours before you cut it. When you’re ready, cover a chopping board with the two tablespoons of cornflour mixed with the icing sugar. Turn out your Turkish delight on to the powdered board, cut into cubes and roll in the powder. The Turkish delight will last up to a month in an airtight container.
Wild Magic by Fern Freud book jacket
Extracted from Wild Magic by Fern Freud (Ebury Press, £16.99)
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