Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…


Today the girls and I dug back to our Pennsylvania roots and baked up a batch of delicious Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!  Max mixed the batter.  Maddie made the filling.  And Bessie, our beloved family cow, kept time with her tail to the tune that Pa played on the fiddle.  I'll leave it to you to figure out where I've embellishmed my story (just a little). 

They're very simple to make and as Bessie will tell you, are "udderly" delicious.  Still with me?  Well, bless your heart! Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Whoopie (!) Pies
with Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Filling
Makes 9

For the “Pies”
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Lightly butter each sheet of parchment.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix eggs and sugar on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color (about 1 minute). On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Stir in the flour mixture to combine.

Using a regular ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart. Scoops should be level, not heaping.  

Bake the “pies” one sheet at a time on the middle rack of the oven, until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry( about 16 minutes).  Allow to cool completely before filling.

For the Whoopie (!)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and vanilla bean scrapings.   

Mix until incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase the speed, continuing to mix until light and fluffy. 

Chill until pies have cooled and are ready to fill.

To fill, simply scoop a heaping Tablespoon of filling on to one “pie”.  Top with another and gently press.  Finish by dusting with powdered sugar.

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