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…

Recipe: Whipped Lemon Olive Oil Butter with Fresh Thyme

 My husband and I had the most wonderful housemade butter at a local restaurant this weekend.  It was made with goat cheese, butter, and lemon olive oil.

I had some heavy cream in the fridge, leftover from making truffles.
It's just been sitting there, getting older by the day.  It was time to use it or lose it.

So after enjoying that amazing butter, I decided to whip up a homemade version of my own, without goat cheese. Homemade butter is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is heavy cream, an electric mixer (stand or hand-held) and cheese cloth.


The beauty of this gourmet whipped butter is that it's made with both cream and olive oil.  The texture is smooth and silky and the flavor is light and fresh.  Because the lemon flavor comes from an infused oil, you don't get the pithy tastes that often comes from using fresh zest.

If you're looking for a way to cut down on butter in favor of healthier fats, forget those processed grocery store blends.  You can make your own in less than 15 minutes.

Here's how:

Whipped Lemon Olive Oil Butter with Fresh Thyme

Yield:  2/3 cup fresh butter
Time:  12 minutes

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lemon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Cheesecloth

Step 1:  In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream on high speed until it breaks (5-6 minutes).  The solids will completely separate and will be standing in liquid.  

Step 2:  Line a small bowl with the cheesecloth.  Pour the butter liquid and solids into the cheesecloth, then gather to strain.  Gather up the cheesecloth and gently squeeze to remove the remaining liquid.  You'll be left with a solid ball of butter.

Step 3:  Return the butter to the mixing bowl.  Add the salt, lemon olive oil and fresh thyme.  Whip on high speed for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is light and smooth.  Use immediately, or refrigerate for a firmer consistency.

Serving ideas:  Spread onto your favorite bread, or use as a sauce for vegetables like artichokes, squash, or boiled potatoes.

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