Wild Elderberry Jam Recipe
- 1 quart elderberries
- 2 cups sugar (4 for sweeter jam)
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- Pectin (I use ½ package. Use 1 for a more solid jam.)
- Crush elderberries (I put them in the blender until they are smooth, about 5 seconds).
- Pour into a saucepan then add sugar and lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding (this takes a while, and requires serious patience).
- Add pectin.
- Bring to a roiling boil for 1-2 minutes then can or freeze as you see fit.
Wild Elderberry Pancakes Recipe
- 2 cups Unbleached White Flour
- 1¼ cups Whole Wheat Flour
- ½ cup Wild Buckwheat Flour*
- ¼ cup Toyon Flour
- 3 tablespoons Dried Elderflower Blossoms
- 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
- 4 cups Milk
- 2 Eggs
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a fork or spoon.
- Put eggs and half the milk into a mixer bowl. Setting the mixer on low, blend the eggs into the milk. Next, alternate between gradually adding flour and gradually adding milk (this technique prevents lumps). The final batter should have the thickness of a runny milkshake.
- Lightly oil a medium saucepan and put on the stove over medium heat (if you have griddle, even better, set to medium heat or 325° F). When the pan is hot, use a ¼ c measuring cup to pour the batter into the pan and cook until bubbles just begin to form, then flip. (For bigger pancakes, use a larger measuring cup).
- This recipe will make about 22 pancakes (less if you use a larger measuring cup to pour the batter).
Processing the Buckwheat Flour:
- Wait until the white flowers turn rust colored, then collect the blossoms by rubbing them between your thumb and forefinger, letting the crushed flowers drop into your palm.
- On a white piece of paper, sort out the sticks.
- Grind up the seeds and chaff into a flour using a flour or coffee grinder.
- Add it at a ratio of ¼ cup buckwheat flour plus 1¾ cup of your favorite pancake mix for Wild Buckwheat Pancakes! Adjust ratio if you want more/less buckwheat flavor.
Processing the Elderberries:
To clean your elderberries, you'll need a work surface like a table or open space on the floor and the following items:
- Berries (the more the merrier)
- 3 bowls (they can be different sizes)
- Old newspaper, plastic, or tarp (to protect your work surface)
- Tupperware or quart-sized freezer bags
Now, for the actual cleaning process. I'm a righty, so if you're left handed, you may want to reverse the orientation of everything.
I clean my berries like this:
- Spread the newspaper or plastic over the workspace.
- Set up your bowls. •If they are different sizes, grab the smallest bowl and set it right in front of you. This is where you'll put the cleaned, de-stemmed berries. •Take the next largest bowl and fill it ⅔ full with water - this is the washing station. Set it to the left of the berry bowl, next to your bags of freshly picked berries. •Now, take the largest bowl and set it on the right, opposite of your water bowl. This is where you'll put your empty stems.
- One by one, grab an elderberry bunch by its main stem and dip the bunch into the water. Shake the berries hard enough in the water to dislodge any dirt or bugs (they are wild edibles, after all). Do this for 5-10 seconds, then move on to the center bowl.
- Holding the main stem in your left hand so that the berries hang down, lightly drag and pull your right hand under the berries to remove them from the stem. Think of "tickling" the underside of the berries. Some people recommend forks, but I find they tend to break the skin of the berries and waste the tasty juice.
- Drop the empty stem into the largest bowl and begin the process again.
- Once the berry bowl is ⅔ filled, fill it with water and stir the berries. Let sit for about a minute. Any berries or stems that float to the top, pour off and strain the rest of the water out of the bowl.
- Drain off the water bowl in a similar manner and any berries that remain in the bottom, rinse them and add them to the other cleaned berries.
- Put all the berries into freezer bags or tupperware and freeze them for later. Voila! Cleaned elderberries ready for your favorite recipe! I recommend our homemade pie recipe with the handmade crust. It's my favorite dish.
"Handmade Crust" http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_pie_crust/
And a tip, more sugar = more sweet, but less berry. Less sugar = more berry goodness! Urban Nature Man's Elderberries
Toyon Flour (Christmas Berry Flour):
- To process, just collect the Tyon (Christmas) berries, then rinse in the kitchen sink. Dry them in the sun for a few days or in a dehydrator until they turn brown and you cannot get detect any more moisture in them.
- If you want to make flour, use a coffee grinder set to the finest ground and grind the dried berries into flour. Voila!
- Bring them home and vigorously shake them to get the bugs off. Next, start a small pot of water boiling. Dip the stems, flowers down, into the rapidly boiling water for about 5 seconds to rinse and kill any remaining bugs. Set them on a paper towel to dry and start on the batter.
- At this point, you can also store the blossoms for later by drying them in a dehydrator until brittle. Brush the dried blossoms off the stem lightly with your hand. If adding it to a recipe, grind up the blossoms in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder set to its finest grind (if using the coffee grinder, use half the amount you would use if grinding in a mortar and pestle).
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