My white elder bush is finally big enough for me to harvest the flowers. I am still waiting for the black elder to grow larger for the berries. It seems to struggle and break easily with any storm. Both bushes were hard to get established. I had failures in years past. Once it gets going Elder can easily take over. I saw them “groomed” in a Japanese garden. I am pruning them regularly into more attractive shapes. I did not grow up with elder. I am just recently using it as an herbalist. There is a quite a bit of “drama” around Elder which I discussed in the previous post. I had so many flowers this year, a lot of ideas, and as always too little time. I managed to dry a jars worth of flowers. A dehydrator is crucial for this as they go off and start to ferment quickly. I infused my first honey using fresh plants, I made a tincture and a syrup. I did not get to the fritters.
Elder Flower Muffins
Preheat your oven to 350
1/3 cup of walnut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup of sugar
1 TBSP of dried orange peel
10 drops of orange or tangerine essential oil
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup of yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup sorghum flour
2/4 cup of almond four
1 cup of white rice flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of dried elder flowers
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the orange peel and tangerine oil. Stir in the egg, yogurt and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large bowl , mix together the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
Fold in the dried elder flowers.
Line your muffin tins with paper cups
Fill 3/4 full
Bake for 20 minutes or until just brown and fragrant
Serve with butter and elder flower honey or strawberry jam.
Fresh Elder Flower Infused Honey
This was my first infused honey. I had reason to fear the flowers would ferment but they did not. I only let them infuse for 2 days. That was enough to provide the distinct flavor. Fill 1/4-1/2 of a clean jar with fresh flowers (best to choose a jar with a wide mouth and straight sides. Pour in enough honey to just cover the flowers. Let the air bubbles escape. Add more honey and allow bubbles to escape. Keep filling and repeating the process until the jar is full. Tap the jar gently to release more bubbles. Let sit 24 hours. Top off with more honey the next day if need be. The fresh flowers will have floated to the top. You can push them back under the honey and release any bubbles with a knife or chopstick. Strain out the flowers after 2 days. Store in an attractive jar in a cool , dark place. This is a culinary honey to get the volatile oils and flavor. For a medicinal honey I prefer to grind dry herbs and whip them into my product. There is no straining of plant material and they store a long time. An infused honey can be served over ice cream or fresh fruit.
Have you ever made anything with elder flowers?