Elderflower - Elderberry - Sambucus ~ How do you use them?
We had a little detour on the latest What Cookbook Have You Bought thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854932#7413775) about using elderflowers.
While I knew of using the berries for wine, jam and tonics I was not familiar with using the flowers. Now I'm quite intrigued.
A quick look around the internets garnered several interesting reads:
What do you make? What have you tried? Recipes to share?!
reminds me of the Monty Python insult "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries......."
but sorry I haven't cooked with them. Other than to sneak some Sambuca into the black icing for my Halloween sugar cookies....mmmmm.....and then the kids won't eat 'em so they're ALL MINE!
I'd like to learn some practical uses for elderberries because they grow wild all around here. And not to be nitpicking, but the botanical name is sambucus followed by the name of the subspecies which determines the plant characteristics including the color shade of the berries it produces.
I like Sambuca, the anise infused liqueur, but that's a whole different topic.
I've used the flowers to make a summery drink - just steep them in cold water overnight, and they add a subtle, floral flavor. You can then add lemon juice and sugar to turn it into elderflower lemonade, or drink it as is, whatever you prefer.
As for the berries, they make the BEST jelly and pie - my grandmother used to make elderberry jelly every year, and it was the only jelly I would eat. Elderberry pie is one of my favorites too - second only to sour cherry. Their tart flavor is just SO good in pie! They are a huge pain to pick and clean, but WORTH IT!