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…

Lemon Cake Recipe Glow-up: Ricotta Lemon Cake Brûlée

Back in the going-out-to-restaurants days, I had the sheer delight of experiencing this little slice of heaven -- a light and tender lemon ricotta cake, griddled with sugar on each side to create a crackly caramelized crust -- at a local bakery.  I've been possessed by a desired to recreate this phenomenon at home ever since.

This lemon cake is excellent enough to be served on its own.  It's perfect for the breakfast table, dessert, potluck, tea party, or as an anytime snack.  It's simply lovely in every way.  Garnish with a little powdered sugar and you're good to go.  Add a few raspberries to the presentation for a pop of color.   And if you're feeling extra decadent, take the extra minute to brûlée each slice.  You deserve it.

Lemon Ricotta Cake Brûlée

Lemon Ricotta Cake Brûlée

Yield: 12
Author: Jenn Erickson
Prep time: 20 MCook time: 40 MTotal time: 60 M
Light, fluffy, tender cake is elevated with a caramelized sugar crust. It's easy to make and such a treat!


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (224 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (198 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, salted
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 15-oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar (or granulated) for the brûlée


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease and flour a tube/bundt pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  6. Add ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract on medium high until well blended.
  7. Sift in the flour mixture. Mix on low, just until batter is smooth.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake on center rack of preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  10. Cool in the pan, on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting on a plate to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  11. For the brûlée, cut cake into 12 even slices.  Put the sugar on a shallow plate.  Dip each cut end of each slice into the sugar.
  12. Preheat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat.  Gently arrange three slices around the center of the pan.  Allow sugar to melt and begin to caramelize.  Flip and repeat on other size.  Watch your heat carefully.  Depending on the power of your stove, caramelization may take only a few seconds or up to 30.  Slower is better to avoid burning.
  13. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries (optional).  


Adapted from Allrecipes
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