The elderberry bush — a valuable wayside product
by Florence Taft Eaton
Delectable dishes made from elderberries are a leftover from old-time housekeeping, when table luxuries were not so varied and abundant as now. At the present time, however, when automobiles and trolley cars have brought the resources of the countryside to everybody having a fondness for the open road, everything holding a promise of conserved future delectability is eagerly sought for. The rich, purple clusters of the elderberry, seen in such abundance everywhere along country byways, tempt the ambitious housewife who is not afraid of novel combinations.
The culinary possibilities and delicate flavor of this wayside product, which some think resembles that of the blackberry, are not generally known. Tasted au naturel, the fruit seems slightly bitter. This quality seems to disappear entirely when cooked, and the dishes in which elderberries are used seem not unlike those ordinarily made of blueberries and huckleberries, these latter often expensive and difficult to obtain. The abundant purple clusters of the elderberry may be piled in a large basket when one is “tripping,” and stripped from the stem later on.
Try these recipes. Muffins and griddle cakes may be made, using them just as you would blueberries or even the smaller huckleberries.
Elderberry pie recipe
Line a fairly deep pie plate with pastry; wet a half-inch strip of the paste and lay around the edge; fill with elderberries which have been washed; sift over them a teaspoonful or so of flour; add half a cupful — three-fourths if you like very sweet pies — of sugar, and two tablespoonfuls of water to start steam. Cover with the paste and pinch down well. Bake as a blueberry pie, in a hot oven.
Elderberry Betty recipe
Butter a glass baking dish and fill with alternate layers of thin, buttered bread and elderberries, sprinkling each layer of the fruit with one to two tablespoonfuls of sugar. Plan to have the bread for the top layer, add dots of butter, pour half a cupful of hot water over and bake slowly, covered, about one and oone-halfhours, or until well cooked and rich; uncover the last half hour to brown. Serve with snowdrift sauce.
Elderberry breakfast jam recipe
This is delicious used on cereal with cream.
Boil required amount of elderberries with enough water to keep from sticking and to make sufficient juice; add about one-third of the quantity in sugar, and cook, stirring until like a thin jam. This requires about half an hour.
Thicken slightly with a little cornstarch dissolved in cold water, so that the jam will just pour like a thick blackberry jam. Serve a spoonful on cereal before adding cream. This may be made and canned for winter use by omitting the cornstarch, which you can add before using.
Elderberry juice recipe
Cook elderberries in the proportion of one quart of berries to one cup of water, until soft and broken, mashing and stirring to thoroughly break. If it seems too thick to yield juice freely, double the quantity of water. Let drip in a jelly bag overnight.
Next morning, pour the juice very carefully so as not to disturb the sediment through three thicknesses of wet cheesecloth and bring to a boil, add one-third of a cup of sugar to each quart of juice, boil a moment and can, boiling hot, in pint jars. The amount of sugar may be varied according to taste. The juice should be sweet enough so that, when added to water and chipped ice in desired proportions when used, no more sugar is necessary.
Elderberry jelly recipe
Elderberries are not rich in pectin and should be used, when making jelly, in combination with apples. The berries should be picked when just underripe. Use about two parts of berries to one part of fruit or half and half.
Strip the berries from the stems and cut the apples in small pieces, add enough water so that it may be just seen through the fruit when pressed closely down. Mash and stir well while cooking and boil until all is a mush. Drain through a jelly bag, boil the juice rapidly twenty minutes, add an equal measure of sugar, boil five minutes or until it sheets from a spoon, and pour into hot, sterilized glasses.
Pick sprays of elderflower blossoms before they begin to fall. Dip in an ordinary frying batter: one egg yolk and white beaten separately, one-fourth of a cupful of milk, pinch of salt, one teaspoonful of olive oil, one teaspoonful of sugar, one-half cupful of flour, or enough to make almost a drop batter before the egg white is added, which should be last. Fry an instant in smoking hot fat until crisp and brown. Pile lightly on a hot serving dish.