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…

My Favorite Strawberry & Chocolate Tartlets


I owe much gratitude to my mom for initiating so many wonderful family traditions when my brothers and I were growing up. One of my favorites involves visiting a local farm every year for berry-picking. I am happy to say that this is one (of many) traditions that we've continued and now includes three generations. Because we can always count on a bounty of fresh strawberries every summer, I enjoy creating new recipes that will perfectly complement their natural sweetness.


This year, I revamped an old family classic for Strawberry and Chocolate Pie to make these delightful two-bite tartlets. The buttery little tart shells and the not-too-sweet chocolate filling are the perfect match for the berries.




While strawberry season is at its peak, visit a local farm, farmer's market or grocer -- pick up a bushel of berries, and give this recipe a try:


Strawberry & Chocolate Tartlets
(makes 4 dozen)
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1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

6 oz. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tablespoons honey

4 dozen small strawberries, caps, or quarters

FOR THE TART SHELLS
Step 1:  In a medium bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in flour, just to combine.



Step 2:  Roll dough into 1" balls and place in a lightly greased mini-muffin tin.  Using a wooden tamper or small shot glass dipped in flour, press dough balls down to form a cup shape.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  Preheat oven to 350 F

Step 3:  Bake shells for 10 minutes.  Tart shells will puff slightly during baking.  Using the tamper or small shot glass, gently press down the centers of each shell, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Set on a rack to cool for 10 minutes then gently remove shells and allow to cool completely.


FOR THE CHOCOLATE FILLING
Step 1:  In a small saucepan or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips over medium-low heat.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually beat in the melted chocolate and honey.  

Step 3:  Transfer to a pastry bag, or a ziploc bag with the tip snipped and pipe chocolate filling in to the cooled tart shells.

Step 4:  Garnish with a fresh strawberry and top with a dash of powdered sugar.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  These can be made up to two days in advance of serving.


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