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…

Sing a Song of Sixpence - Painted Bird Pie Plate DIY

*No birds were harmed in the making of this pie*

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie. 

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?

~ 18th Century English Nursery Rhyme

Did you know that in 16th Century Europe,
it was de rigeur for the nobility
to serve an "animated pye" filled with live birds,
beneath a domed pastry lid as an entremet (dinner entertainment)?   

Well, You won't find any live birds in this tutorial.  In fact, what goes inside your pie is entirely up to you.  What I'm happy to share is a quick and easy little project for making silkscreened pie plates that are not only charming and lovely, but functional too.

The inspiration:  While at my local Michael's store working on my Mothers Day project for Plaid (Personalized Etched Glass Pie Plates), I happened upon this set of "Birds and Branches" Adhesive Silkscreens from Martha Stewart Crafts.  I knew right away that I'd be silkscreening those little birds all over my nest.  When I spotted a set of 10 mini glass pie plates from Libbey, I knew exactly where I'd start.  While I have several sets of mini pie and cake tins at home, they tend to rust after a while.  I like how evenly pies bake in glass, and was happy to see that these minis are dishwasher safe.

 My concerns:
  • Would the silkscreens and paint be easy to use and yield professional-looking results? (YES)
  • Is this a project that my girls could do with me? (YES)
  • Would the silkscreens hold up to multiple uses?(YES)
  • Would the paint hold up to baking on a metal sheet and wire racks?(YES)
  • Would the paint hold up in the dishwasher?(YES)
If little birdies aren't your style, there are lots of other adhesive silkscreens to choose from.  Your palette isn't limited to pie plates either -- any oven-safe glass surface will do.

I loved this project and hope it will inspire you too!

 Silkscreen Painted Pie Plates
  • Martha Stewart Crafts "Birds and Branches" Adhesive Stencils (I used only the smallest bird)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts High Gloss Glass Paint, black
  • Libbey mini pie plates
  • Small foam pouncer or small paint brush
  • Thin paint brush for detailing
  • Q-tips for wiping away smudges
  • A bowl of warm water and a towel (for cleaning the silkscreen between impressions)

Step 1:  Position stencil on the bottom of pie plate (as shown above).  Press adhesive flush with the glass and press out any air bubbles.  Flip pie plate over to confirm positioning.  If necessary, reposition.

Step 2: Use small brush or pouncer to apply a small amount of glass paint to the silkscreen. I chose not to fill in the area of the feet, since the feet on the smallest bird screen are meant to be perched on a branch (when placed alone, it looks like the bird has a broken leg). Immediately remove silkscreen and place it in warm water.  

Step 3: (optional) Use a thin paint rush to add feet to the bird.

Step 4:  Rinse silkscreen in the bowl of warm water, then dry on the towel.  Place dry silkscreen on the next pie plate and repeat the process.

Step 5:  When all of the pie plates have been silkscreened, allow to air dry for 1 hour.  Then, place, paint-side up in a cool oven.  Heat the oven to 350When temperature reaches 350, bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off.  Plates should remain in oven until completely cool.  The instructions from Martha Stewart Crafts said to wait 72 hours before using the pie plates.  I missed that part of the directions and used my set after just a few hours.  The pies came out beautifully, and the silkscreened images came through both the cooking process and dishwasher without a scratch.

Pie Crust Tips:  Roll out a batch of your favorite pie dough.   Line pie plate and brush with egg white (helps to keep the crust from getting soggy)Fill and bake the pies on a preheated baking sheet (also helps to keep the bottom crust crisp).  

P.S.  This is NOT a sponsored post.  I have not been compensated in any way.  This project was purely a personal inspiration that I am happy to share.

This post has been linked-up with
The Scoop at Lolly Jane
The Inspiration Link Party @ Carolyn's HOMEWORK 
Home{WORK} Wednesday 
Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits @ Stone Gable 

Popular posts from this blog

CAMP CUPCAKE: An Elmer's Kids Craft Camp Party + Giveaway

Recipe: New World German Brown Bread -- "Squaw Bread"

Lemon Cake Recipe Glow-up: Ricotta Lemon Cake Brûlée