Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

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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…

Valentine Profiteroles -- Jump Start Your "Heart" with these Coffee Ice Cream Filled Pastries




Have you ever made homemade cream puffs or eclairs? They're made from a simple dough called "pate choux" that truly couldn't be easier to make.  If you can boil water, it's likely you'll have no trouble making the "pate choux" -- opening up the doors to cream puffs, eclairs, all manner of savory appetizer puff, and the impressive tower of caramelized puffs -- croquembouches! What I like most about making ice-cream profiteroles is that they can be made weeks in advance and kept in the freezer, so you can always have an elegant and delicious dessert on hand!

The pate choux dough requires only five ingredients:  water, sugar, butter, flour and eggs. It comes together on the stove-top in less than five minutes and is ready to be put into a piping bag (or ziploc bag) and can be squeezed in to just about any shape. For Valentines day, I love to pipe the dough into heart shapes.  After baking, the hearts are sliced in half and the top half gets a dunk in a delicious (and easy) chocolate ganache. A scoop of good coffee ice cream sandwiched between the halves completes the delicious ensemble for the perfect romantic Valentine's dessert.

Here's how it's done:


Valentine's Day Profiteroles
Makes 10-12 single serving puffs
Printable Version HERE

Ingredients

For the Pate Choux
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, salted
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs

For the Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (high quality chocolate chips will do as well)

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil the water, butter and sugar.
When butter has melted, remove pan from heat.
Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
Add 1 egg and beat until smooth.
Add the second egg and beat until smooth.

Transfer dough into a pastry bag, or a ziploc bag.  Snip the tip to the desired size (1/2" works well for small pieces like profiteroles).


Pipe the dough into heart shapes on the prepared pan, 2" apart.


Bake in the top half of oven for 15 minutes.
Lower heat to 375 and bake 5 minutes more.
Cut a slash in the lower side of each puff and bake 10 minutes more, or until puffs are firm, dry to the touch, and golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool.

When puffs have cooled, cut in half to form top and bottom halves.

At this point you can sandwich a scoop of your favorite ice cream (I like the combination of coffee ice cream with the pastry and ganache) in the heart halves and freeze in an airtight container until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, prepare ganache and dip the top of each profiterole.

If serving same-day, dip the top of each heart into prepared ganache and set back on the cooled baking sheet to set.  When ready to serve, sandwich a scoop of ice cream between the layers.

For the Ganache:  Heat cream in the microwave or on the stove-top till boiling.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.  Stir until cream and chocolate have thoroughly combined and a shiny, silky sauce has formed.



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