Friday, September 11, 2009

El Der Berry!

To date, I have spent hours and hours working with the elderberries this year. In the spring, I saved lots of the blossoms, and this past month I have tinctured, syruped, dried, frozen and candied what seems to be tons of them - and yet there are about 1/2 of them out there still on the trees. Only a few days until the next magazine deadline, so we need to wrap this up soon.

It's time to start cooking now that most of the medicinal preparations are out of the way. I've looked around and found some interesting recipes. First up for us will be the pie. The rest - who knows? They sure look like they might be fun to try. Oh - our usual cobbler was a consideration, but I've read that it comes out too runny. Maybe a little cornstarch? 

Elderberry Pie (
3- 1/4 c elderberries
1/4 t salt
1- 1/8 c sugar
3-3/4 T lemon juice
2-1/4 T cornstarch
Combine above and cook until thick.
Place in 9" unbaked pie shell.
Dot with butter and cover with top crust.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

German Chilled Elderberry Soup (
Makes: About 2 quarts
Field Guide to Herbs & Spices , by Aliza Green
Exotic elderberries and tart apples become a unique dessert.
3 c fresh (or 1 cup dried) elderberries (stems removed)
6 c water
3/4 c sugar
1 T cornstarch
2 T water
2 c tart apples, peeled and diced
1 T grated lemon zest
gingersnap cookies
sour cream
Wash 3 c of fresh (or 1 cup dried) elderberries (stems removed) and place in a large nonaluminum soup pot.
Add 6 c of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until the elderberries are soft.
Blend and then strain through a sieve.
Return the strained liquid to the cleaned pot over medium heat, and add 3/4 c of sugar.
In a separate bowl, make a slurry by combining 1 T of cornstarch with 2 T of water. Whisk the slurry into the pot and bring back to a boil, whisking often.
Add 2 c peeled and diced tart apples and 1 T grated lemon zest, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the soup is thickened, smooth, and clear.
Cool the soup and refrigerate to chill. Serve cold topped with crumbled gingersnap cookies and dollops of sour cream.

Elderberry Catsup (
2 qt Elderberries Vinegar to cover
1 c Sugar
1 T Allspice
1 T Cloves
1/4 t Cayenne pepper
1 t Salt
1 t Cinnamon
Cook elderberries in vinegar until berries burst.
Put berries through a food press or sieve, add sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and pepper.
Simmer until thickens. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.  

Elderberry Chutney (
2 c. vinegar
2 qt. elderberries
2 lg. onions
2 apples
2 c. brown sugar
2 t salt
1 t ground ginger
1 T cloves
1 t mustard seed
1 clove garlic
1 t cayenne pepper
Bruise berries, chop onions.
Add all ingredients, place over moderate heat, bring to boil, stirring until it thickens

Dark Chocolate-Elderberry Truffles
Makes 20 (1-ounce) truffles (Erna's Elderberry House in the San Francisco Bee)
For the ganache:
1 pound dark chocolate
8 ounces fresh or frozen elderberries
6 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces heavy whipping cream
1 ounce dark rum
For the chocolate coating:
1/4 pound dark coating chocolate
1 teaspoon dark rum
To make the ganache:
Place chocolate in a stainless-steel pan or bowl. Set aside.
Place elderberries and sugar in a 1-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until elderberries have formed a syrup thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in heavy whipping cream and rum, then increase heat and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate.
Let stand 1 minute.
Stir together until smooth.
Let cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator until solid (2 to 4 hours).
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Using a 1-ounce ice-cream scoop, form balls with the ganache and place on a baking sheet.
To make the chocolate coating:
Melt dark coating chocolate according to directions.
Add rum and stir to combine.
To finish the truffles: Dip ganache balls, one at a time, in coating chocolate, roll to coat.
Return to baking sheet and allow to harden at room temperature.
Repeat, then serve.  

Elderflower-Champagne Vinaigrette: 4 ounces champagne or sparkling wine 2 tablespoons elderflower syrup 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 1 teaspoon fresh chocolate mint, chopped Salt Freshly ground black pepper also from Erna's There. That ought to keep me busy....if the rain slows down so I can get to the berries before the canes snap.


Annie said...

Beautiful pie and those truffles have my mouth watering!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Every thing looks delicious, I saved a couple of recipes for persimmons...Thanks, Ginny

Anonymous said...

Could you post a couple pictures of the trees in bloom, and full of berries? I would love to make that pie!

Tina Sams said...

If you go to the very top of the blog, on the left-hand side you'll see a place where you can put in a word or words to search. Try elderflowers and elderberries and you'll find several places where I have posted pictures of those things :-)