Elderflower Buttermilk Puddings

The hedgerows are foaming with elderflowers and the strawberries are ripening in the kitchen garden. It makes sense, then, to put the two together in these light, delicate elderflower buttermilk puddings.

They’re a less rich cousin of a pannacotta, with a slight tang from the buttermilk. I used Fen Farm Dairy’s, which is local to me, but the widely available supermarket cartons will work too. I’ve topped the puddings here with a strawberry coulis and fresh strawberries, but you can use the fruit of your choice.

You can turn the puddings out like a pannacotta if you use a straight-sided ramekin. They have a similarly delightful wobble when set.

Elderflower Buttermilk Puddings

Image of elderflower buttermilk puddings, topped with strawberry coulis and fresh strawberries, on a silver tray with a head of elderflower.


100ml double cream 

60g caster sugar

500ml buttermilk

4 leaves of gelatine (but check your packet for ratios)

5 or 6 heads of elderflower

Zest of half a lemon

2 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the coulis:

200g fresh strawberries, roughly chopped

1 tbsp icing sugar

Squeeze of lemon juice

Plus fresh strawberries and mint sprigs to garnish


Put the cream and sugar in a saucepan, add the elderflower heads and enough buttermilk to cover (about 100ml). Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has melted.

Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for at least half an hour to allow the flavours to meld. Strain out the elderflowers using a fine sieve, pressing gently to get as much liquid out as possible.

Cover the gelatine with cold water and leave to soak for five minutes. Re-warm the elderflower cream mixture. 

Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin and add it to the cream mixture. Whisk gently until the gelatin has dissolved. Don’t let it boil. Put the remaining buttermilk into another bowl and slowly stir in the elderflower cream. Pour into small bowls or ramekins – glass looks prettiest – and chill in the fridge for at least three hours or overnight.

To make the coulis, put 200g of strawberries in a saucepan with 1 tbsp icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Heat until the strawberries start to collapse and give off their juice. Whizz with a stick blender and for the smoothest coulis, push through a fine sieve. Taste and adjust sweetness as required. Cover, cool and place in the fridge until needed. 

When the buttermilk puddings have set, top with the coulis, a few fresh strawberries and a sprig of mint. If you have any leftover coulis it’s good swirled through a fruit fool or simply spooned over vanilla ice cream. 

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