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: Apple Pie Tacos

Nothing says The Ides of March are nearly upon us like an Apple Pie Taco toting Triceratops.  Am I right?  Well, maybe Shakespeare and Julius Caesar, but I digress.

Pi day snuck up on us this year. And, by March 14 things in the world were already pretty sketchy. There was no time to make prep pie crusts with my students for honest to goodness pi-shaped pies. Not knowing if we'd be returning to school the following week, I figured we'd lighten up the mood with something fun and easy -- Apple Pie Tacos. If you have some apples and flour tortillas sitting around, you're more than half-way there!

Start by making an easy apple pie filling. This filling can be frozen or canned for future use.

Apple Pie Filling

4-6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into bite-sized chunks (or however you like your pie apples)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if you only have table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Step 1: In a large bowl, toss the cut apples with lemon juice and set aside. 

Step 2: Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Step 3: Bring water to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Step 4: Stir sugar mixture into the water.  Bring to a boil

Step 5:  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 

Step 6: Add the apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your apples).

Step 7:  Set aside to cool while you heat the oil and fry the shells.

Cinnamon Sugar "Taco" Shells
Small Flour Tortillas (4-6)
Cinnamon sugar - 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon mixed in a pie plate or shallow bowl (at least the diameter of the tortillas)
1 large saute pan with at least 1/4" of neutral oil (vegetable, canola, corn)

Set up a frying station with a pan or plate lined with paper towels for you fried tortillas, tongs, the cinnamon sugar mixture, and a plate or dish on which to put the finished product.

Step 1:  Heat oil over high heat.  When oil is hot (about 360 degrees F if yo have a thermometer), fry a single flour tortilla till golden brown on one side.  Flip over with tongs till golden brown on the other side.  The tortilla should not be so crisp that it can't be folded with out cracking.

Step 2:  Place fried tortilla in cinnamon sugar, coat both sides. Fold tortilla in half to make a taco.  Set aside and repeat with remaining tortillas.

Apple Pie Tacos

Apple Pie Filling
Cinnamon Sugar Taco Shells
Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream
Optional:  Caramel sauce and fine flake sea salt (like Maldon or Fleur de Sel)

Put a small scoop of warm apple pie filling into the taco.
Add a few small scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Put another small scoop of apple pie filling on top.
Finish with whipped cream, caramel sauce and finishing salt

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