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…

Squirrel Nut Fudge ~ Retro Recipe (1937)

Today's tantalizing treat comes from the 1937 Household Searchlight Recipe Book.  I love the way that so many old cookbooks from this period include an entire chapter devoted to candy! 

This wonderful vintage cookbook has twelve pages full of old-fashioned candy recipes.  The book calls this recipe "Brown Sugar Squares", but it's so much more than just a brown sugar confection.  The toasted almonds and coconut give this unique fudge  a remarkable flavor worthy of a name as memorable as it is -- hence, Squirrel Nut Fudge.

Here's the fudge...

...and here's the squirrel.

 Here's how to  make your own (squirrel not included):

Squirrel Nut Fudge
from the Household Searchlight Recipe Book, 1937
(makes 25 1" x 1" pieces)

For the fudge:
2 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Evaporated Milk
2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Sweetened Flake Coconut
1 Cup Finely chopped blanched almonds (lightly toasted)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the ganache topping:
1/2 cup high quality chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips)
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Step 1:  Line a 6" x 6" pan with foil to make candy easier to remove when it is done.  Butter or spray the foil. Note:  You can use a large pan.  The candy will just be thinner.

Step 2:  Boil sugar, evaporated milk and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly over medium-high heat, until it reaches 234 F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).

Step 3:  Remove from the heat and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Stir in butter and vanilla extract.

Step 4:  Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, or use a hand-mixer and beat until thick and creamy.  Candy will lose its shine and resemble smooth peanut butter when it is ready for the next step (approx. 10 minutes).

Step 5:  Stir in the coconut, nuts, and salt.  Press into prepared pan.

Step 6:  Prepare chocolate ganache by melting chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave or in a small saucepan.  Whisk till smooth and glossy.  Spread evenly over the fudge.

Step 7:  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Remove from pan.  Peel off foil.  Cut into 1" x 1" squares.

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