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…

St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Shamrock Style Irish Sausage Rolls


For our St. Patrick's day celebration this year, I decided to put a holiday spin on the classic Irish bakery savorie -- The Irish Sausage Roll.   Like the classic, my shamrock-shaped pasties consist of hand-blended Irish sausage enveloped by buttery, flaky puff pastry.  These were such a hit with my family that I felt lucky to grab a few decent photos before they all disappeared.


My daughter absconded with the last two to tuck into her lunchbox for school tomorrow.
 

Not having a drop of Irish blood in my body, I consulted an expert to help get this party started:  Irish American Mom.  I adapted her recipe for Irish Sausage Rolls to suit my plans for the Shamrock pasties.  


Shamrock Style Irish Sausage Rolls

Yield:  18 Shamrock Pasties
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Baking Time:  20 minutes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon each of the following dried herbs:  marjoram, basil, rosemary, sage, fennel seed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 pound ground pork (you can use turkey or chicken if you prefer)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Large egg, beaten

4 sheets puff pastry
1 Large egg + 1 teaspoon of water, beaten
flour for dusting

Hardware
Pastry brush
Shamrock cookie cutter*
spice mill, grinder or mortar & pestle
rolling pin
2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper


Step 1:  In a spice mill, grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, grind the spices, salt and pepper together.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, combine ground spices, minced garlic and breadcrumbs.

Step 3:  Using your fingers, combine the pork and dry ingredients in the medium bowl.  Add 1 Tablespoon of the beaten egg (discard the rest).  Mix thoroughly with your hands until the mixture comes together.

Step 4:  Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Arrange oven racks to the two middle positions.

Step 5:  Roll one thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface.  Roll, with a floured rolling pin, just enough to smooth out any creases and to allow enough room to cut 9 shamrocks from the sheet.

Step 6:  Use cookie cutter to cut 9 shamrocks from the puff pastry. Set the scraps aside (you can use them later to make mini sausage rolls with any remaining sausage filling).


Step 7:  Brush each pastry shamrock with the egg wash.

Step 8:  Use your fingers to portion small balls of sausage and place on the pastry as shown below.


Step 9: Roll out the second sheet of pastry.  Cut another 9 shamrocks.  Brush those shamrocks with the egg wash.  Place one pastry shamrock, egg wash side down, on top of one with filling.  Repeat with remaining pastry.  Use fingers to seal the edges of the two pastry sides together.  

 

Brush tops of pastries with the egg wash.  Arrange all 9 filled, sealed and egg washed pastries on one of the prepared baking sheets.  Use a small knife to make a small cross in the center of each shamrock to allow for steam to vent.  Set sheet aside in a cool place.


Step 10:  Repeat with remaining two sheets of puff pastry to complete the second tray of shamrocks.

Step 11:  Put baking sheets in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, switch the position of the racks.  When finished, pastries should be puffed and golden brown.


Serve warm or cold.

*I used the Wilton Comfort Grip Shamrock Cookie Cutter which I purchased from Amazon.

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