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…

Toast the New Year with Homemade Almond Liqueur ~ Liquore Alle Mandorle

Homemade almond liqueur -- so delicious and so, so easy to make!  This classic Italian liqueur, with its hints of orange, vanilla, and spice, makes a wonderful after-dinner aperitif, or the basis for any cocktail calling for amaretto.  Decanted in a lovely little bottle, it makes a wonderful gift!

While preparation takes under 20 minutes, the flavors needs some time to develop and blend (4-6 weeks), so you'll want to start yours right away to have it done in time for New Years!

Homemade Almond Liqueur
Liquore Alle Mandorle
(makes 2 liters)

  • 10 ounces raw almonds (approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove 
  • 2 liters vodka
  • zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

2.5 - 3 liter glass jar

1.  Blanch the almonds by bringing 4 cups water to boil on the stovetop.  Add almonds, then immediately remove from heat.  Let sit for two minutes.  Drain, then rinse with cool water.  Squeeze almonds out of their skins, then pat dry and set aside.

2.  With a spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind the coriander, star anise and clove.

3.  In a 2 1/2 -3 liter glass jar, combine vodka, blanched almonds, ground spices, orange zest and split vanilla bean.  Stir to combine.  Cover tightly, then store in a cool, dark place for 1 week, shaking or mixing periodically.

4.  In a medium saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

5.  Strain the alcohol mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth.  Return the strained alcohol to the jar.  Stir in the simple syrup.  Separate the strained almonds and vanilla bean from the spices.  Return only the vanilla bean and the almonds to the alcohol mixture. 

6.  Cover and store in a cool, dark place (shaking or mixing periodically) for 4-8 weeks to allow flavors to mingle and blend.

7.  Strain finished liqueur and decant in individual bottles.  

I've linked-up this post with:
A Crafty Soiree

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