I’ll be the last person to admit summer is over, I love it so. I’ll miss the long evenings, the warm weather and no need to bring a coat everywhere you go.
However, one great thing autumn does bring along with it is delicious comfort foods, hot, spiced and often foragable – nope, I think I may have made that word up too, but hey ho, lets roll with it shall we?
High in vitamin C, I’ve often used them to make syrups to ward off colds, but never thought of using them as I would other berries.
Until I came across Merritt Robinson’s recipe on feedfeed.
I loved the idea of using these berries for more, so made a few adaptations & even made my own sweet short crust pastry for the first time – much easier than expected!
Here’s what you’ll need to serve 8-10:
Short crust pastry
5 oz butter
7 oz flour
4 Tbsp icing sugar
2 Tbsp water
400g Elderberries (approx. 2 cups)
100g caster sugar
4 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tsp vanilla paste
1. We’ll start with the pastry. Combine the butter, half the flour, icing sugar and cream together – this reduced the amount of heat incorporated and prevents the butter from melting.
2. Add the rest of the butter and knead together. Once all flour is incorporated, wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge.
3. Now for the Elderberries. These bad boys ain’t nothing special when eaten raw, in fact don’t they’re horrid and their stems are poisonous until cooked.
Remove berries from stems and wash. If they’re perfectly ripe they should ome off easily.
4. Place washed berries into a large pan and place on a medium high heat with the sugar, honey, flour and lemon juice. Bring to a light simmer and allow to reduce to a syrupy consistency.
5. Remove from heat when it is thick and syrupy and add the vanilla paste. Place to one side.
6. Preheat the over to 210°C. Remove pastry from the fridge and cut two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. The larger piece shall be the base, roll out to approximately the thickness of a pound coin and place in your pie tin. Pour in your elderberry filling and smooth evenly across the pie case. Roll out the second smaller piece of dough to the same thickness. If you want to get jazzy with a design, lattice, cut outs, do so now or forever hold your peace.
7. Brush the edges of the pie crust with milk to allow the pie top to stick on & add additional pastry decorations you fancy.
8. Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. The syrupy insides may bubble over a little, but that will just add to the flavour. Plus, you want people to believe that you’ve made it yourself!