Elderberry Recipes from The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd
Elderberry’s are an important part of The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd. They’re even on the cover! I thought I’d share some recipes and please share your own.
The most common use of elderberries is for jelly-making. Their juice produces a clear, ruby-red jewel-like delicacy with a sparkling flavor to match.
3 pounds elderberries
juice of 1 lemon
1 box fruit pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar
Heat the berries over a low fire until the juice starts to flow and then simmer the fruit for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid through a double layer of cheesecloth (easier if you cook the fruit in the evening and let it drain overnight). Mix the elderberry and lemon juices along with just enough water to make three cups of fluid. Add the pectin, bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the sugar. Bring the jelly to a full boil again for one minute, pour it into sterilized glasses and cover the jars with paraffin.
10 cups ripe elderberries
5 cups sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup vinegar
Cook the berries about 20 minutes, until they’re slightly soft. (Stir very frequently while cooking.) Add the other ingredients and heat the mixture until it has barely thickened. (Test the consistency by dripping some of the solution from a spoon … the juice should divide into drops instead of flowing off in a stream.) When that stage is reached, pour the fruit into hot, sterilized jars and seal the tops.
2 cups berries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs flour
2 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup water
Combine all the ingredients, heat gently, and keep them warm while you make the dumplings.
3/4 cup flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon peel, grated
1/4 cup milk
Add the other dry ingredients to the sifted and measured flour. Mix the milk and the egg in a small bowl and stir them into the flour combination until the dough is just blended. Now pour the hot berry mixture into a casserole and drop in small spoonfuls of the dumpling batter. Bake the dish at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry balls are lightly browned. Serve the dessert warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.
Grandmother’s Favorite Elderberry Pie
Use whatever method you prefer to make pastry for a double-crust pie. Line a nine-inch pie tin with dough and reserve the top crust. Then, in a large bowl, mix:
3 1/2 cups elderberries
1 cup sugar (more if you have a sweet tooth)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs cornstarch or tapioca
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs butter
Mix the ingredients and pour them into the pie shell. Top the creation with the reserved upper crust and cut vents in the lid to let the steam escape. Bake the pie in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 40 to 45 minutes and serve it warm or cold with cream or vanilla ice cream.
Another neat pie trick is to add about one cup of elderberries to your favorite apple filling for bright color and a fresh tang. (Not everyone enjoys the characteristic taste of this fruit “as is,” however, and some foragers prefer to dry the berries before popping them into the pastry or using them for other purposes. — MOTHER)
And here, for lovers of fine wine, is a recipe for a beverage made from elderberry flowers.
1 quart firmly packed blossoms, separated from the stems
3 gallons water
9 pounds sugar
3 pounds seedless raisins, chopped
1/2 cup strained lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 cake compressed yeast
Combine the sugar and the water and boil them about five minutes to make a thin syrup. Pour in the blossoms and mix them well. Then cool the liquid to lukewarm and add the raisins, lemon juice, and yeast. Put the mixture into a large crock and let it stand for six days, stirring three times daily. Then strain the wine and put it aside to age for several months. Finally, pour the liquid into bottles or fruit jars and cap the containers. The result is a light, delicate drink.
And finally Elderberry Tea as featured in The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd
Fill a teapot with water and bring to a boil. Place one tablespoon of dried flowers and berries into a teacup, then pour in the boiling water. Let the mixture rest, or steep, for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the dried flowers and berries with a spoon or pour the tea through a strainer to remove all of the particles. Drink while the tea is still warm for the best flavor.