European elderberries (S. nigra)
By Steven Foster
Makes 3 to 4 cups
This spicy sauce can be served hot or cold. Use it as you would applesauce—it’s a delicious topping for poultry, pork, winter squash, ice cream or puddings.
• 1 pound elderberries, rinsed and cleaned
• 1 pound Damson plums, rinsed and pitted
• ½ cup water
• 1 ounce honey
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 2 cloves
• ½ ounce butter, browned
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1. Put fruits in a medium-size pan, along with water, honey, cinnamon and cloves. Bring gently to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until fruit is soft.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan and gently brown at a low temperature.
3. Put fruit through a food mill to remove most of the elderberry seeds. (Some seeds will remain.) Return pureed fruit to pan, add butter and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then cook at a low temperature for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve or bottle and store in refrigerator.
Margie Gibson writes about food, culture, history and natural history. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, where she wrote about wildlife.
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Elderberries: Grow, Cook, Heal with Elder