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…

Recipe: Heavenly Fresh Peach Fritters


Well, isn't this peachy? Finally -- a post that's not a throwback project or made from squid!  Right?

Summer is definitely my favorite time of year for fruit.  In a word, PEACHES!  I'd be hard-pressed to find anything more ambrosial than a perfect summer peach.  When the peaches are at the peak of their season, I become a sticky-fingered, nectar-chinned, peach-perfumed glutton.  Those few fuzzy Venus of botanica that make it past my greedy grasp are reborn in cobblers, pies and cocktails.  This year, on National Doughnut Day, I decided to pay homage to the fairest of fruits by making peach fritters.

These fritters are ethereally light.  The nectar of the peaches intensifies inside the pillow of cinnamon kissed dough as it develops a golden, crispy exterior in the hot oil.  The warm fritters are blanketed in a buttery glaze that will have you lusting after a second before finishing your first.

 

Heavenly Peach Fritters

(Yield 8-10)
(adapted from About.com)

  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 cup Cake Flour (this is important because it helps keep the dough light)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups diced peaches (approximately 2 large, ripe peaches, peeled and diced small)
  • Nonstick spray
  • Non-flavored oil for frying such as vegetable or sunflower
  • Glaze (3 Tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk)

Recommended hardware:
  • 1 3-quart saucepan
  • 1 Candy thermometer
  • 1 sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil (for easy cleanup)
  • Long-handled tongs

Step 1:  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, milk and melted butter.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in the wet ingredients.  Bring together with a whisk or rubber scraper until just combined.  

Step 3:  Gently stir in the peaches.

Step 4:  Heat 3-4" of oil in a 3-quart saucepan to 375°F.  I recommend using a candy thermometer to help regulate the temperature of the oil.  You want to keep it as constant as possible.
Using a portion scoop or a ladle sprayed with nonstick spray, portion 3 scoops of batter (approx. 1/4 cup each) into the hot oil.  

Step 5:  When fritters are golden brown on one side, flip over with long-handled tongs and cook until golden brown on the opposite side.

Step 6:  Remove from hot oil and place on a cooling rack set over a pan lined with parchment or foil.  Repeat with remaining fritters.

Step 7:  While fritters are frying, prepare the glaze.  In a small bowl, melt butter.  Whisk in powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  I like to microwave the glaze for 20-30 seconds and then whisk again to help smooth it out.  Drizzle glaze over the warm fritters and serve.  I tried dunking the fritters in glaze the first time, but found that the glaze was too overpowering.  A drizzle on one side strikes the perfect balance.

 

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