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…

Sunshine Lemon Hand Pies ~
An easy treat for Pi Day!


Being short on both sunshine and time, I put together these sweet, tart and tasty little lemon pies last night after being convinced (it didn't take much) by my daughters that it would be shame to let Pi Day (3/14) pass by without making pie.

Hand pies are the perfect dessert to make in a pinch.  Keep your freezer stocked with some ready-made pie crusts (homemade or store bought) and you'll be ready to roll (pun intended).  You can use store bough pie filling (or some you've canned yourself) or your favorite preserves.

I love the way lemon curd tastes with the salty, buttery pie crust!


Sunshine Lemon Hand Pies
(Makes approx. 1 dozen)

2 prepared rolled pie crusts (thawed, but still cold)
1 cup Lemon Curd
1 egg, beaten
Flour for dusting
2 TB granulated or turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425 F
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Step 1:  Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured board.  Cut in to 3.5" rounds.  Repeat with second pie crust.  You'll need two rounds of dough for each hand pie.


Step 2:  Arrange 6 dough rounds on each prepared baking sheet. With a finger dipped in a small bowl of water, moisten a 1/4" border around each circle of dough (to form a "glue" to seal the two crusts together).

Step 3:  Place a tablespoon of lemon curd (or filling of your choice) in the center of each circle.


Step 4:  Place another round of dough on top and press to seal the edges.  With the tip of a tooothpick or skewer, poke a small hole in the center of the pie to allow air to escape.


Step 5:  Dip a dowel or chopstick in flour (to prevent sticking), then dimple the edges of each pie as demonstrated in the photo below.



Step 6:  Use a finger to press down each "petal" or "ray".  This helps to seal the pie and gives it its sunny shape.


Step 7:  With a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg on top of each pie.  Sprinkle with sugar.


Step 8:  Bake at 425 for 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 12 minutes.

Step 9:  Cool on an elevated rack, then enjoy!

Just for fun, I added the Pi symbol with an edible food-grade pen.


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