Mother Earth Living

4 Delicious Elderberry Recipes

The elderberry bush bears its fruit in the mid-summer, but the berries can be enjoyed all year round in the form of pies, wines and more. Try these amazing elderberry recipes to get started today.
By Jo Ann Gardner
November 2012
Add to My MSN

In this updated and full-color edition of “The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden,” author Jo Ann Gardner takes you back to the basics.
Cover Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing


Content Tools

Related Content

Vegan Pie Crust: Oat Pastry

This simple vegan piecrust can be assembled in minutes.

Food Wise: Fruit as a Reward

Giving fruit as a reward for potty training was successful with my niece and healthier than candy, e...

Herbal Tips for Healthy Traveling

Prevent jet lag, motion sickness, colds and the flu while traveling with these herbal remedies.

Fairy Gardening: Making Mud Pies and More

Discover delightful garden projects for kids. The author of the Fairy House Handbook shows you how t...

Whether an old hand or a novice, you’ll find The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012) by Jo Ann Gardner enlightening and informative, not to mention enjoyable. Get back to the basics and learn how to grow, cook and preserve small fruits. In this excerpt from the aptly titled section “Elderberries,” Gardner discusses her experience with elderberries and shares some of her favorite elderberry recipes.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden.

Delicious Elderberry Recipes 

Spiced Elderberry Jelly recipe
Elderberry Wine recipe 
Elderflower Fritters recipe 
Elderberry Pie recipe 

Grow This Fruit-Garden Favorite

The elderberry often occupied a favored spot in the old-fashioned fruit garden—perhaps a corner where it could grow undisturbed, its branches spreading to 8 feet when laden with fruit, the plant itself growing about 12 feet under good conditions. In early July, the glorious elderblossoms, or elderblow, were picked for wine and jelly making. The buds were pickled, the florets were shaken into pancake and muffin batters to lighten and sweeten them. Later in the season, before the first frosts of autumn, the clusters of shiny purple-black fruit were picked mainly for wine making, although elderberry jelly and pie were also looked on with great favor. The experienced cook knew just where to find the hard sour green apples that, when combined with elderberries, made a firm, flavorful jelly. (Unlike many other small fruits, elderberries do not contain much natural pectin.) Large trays of ripe elderberries were set out in the sun to dry so that elderberry pie could be enjoyed throughout the winter.

When the creamy white umbels of elderflowers bloom, as giant saucers, they seem to embody the characteristics of summer—long sweet-scented sunny days. Then later, some time before the first frost, the ripening clusters of dark berries remind us that shorter days, cold nights, and the end of the growing season are close at hand. Even If you never harvest a single flower or berry, you may enjoy growing the elderberry bush just to look at it. Sambuccus canadensis, the elderberry of the old-fashioned fruit garden, grows wild in thickets all across Canada and the United States. Beware, though. If you gather elderberries in the wild, do not confuse the purple-black berry with the red variety, S. pubens, which blossoms and fruits earlier. The red berries, reputedly, are inedible, though birds do enjoy them. Luckily, cultivated elderberries, including European varieties (S. nigra) and ornamental types that bear significantly, are widely available from plant nurseries. There are several ornamental varieties in my garden that are wonderful landscaping shrubs, including Black Lace (with pink flowers) and golden elderberry, a heavy bearer. Modern breeding has made elderberries even more attractive for preserving by enlarging the berries and shortening the ripening time of some varieties—Nova, for example. Elderberries are hardy, easy to grow, and adaptable to a wide range of soils and growing conditions. If you have the space, they certainly deserve to be grown in your fruit garden. High in vitamin C, the berries’ reputed health benefits are similar to black currants.

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden, by Jo Ann Gardner, published by Skyhorse Publishing, 2012. Buy this book from our store: The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.