Each year in late summer, my husband and I spend some time together foraging for elderberries. This year we hit the mother load and found a gargantuan new patch. Last Friday I was extremely busy in the shop, so my well meaning hubby decided to help me out. He had a HUGE plastic storage tote full of elderberries waiting for me when I finished work. I spent Friday evening, and just about all of Saturday stripping berries from the stems. Of course, my husband had a major job going over the weekend and had to be on the site, leaving me to deal with 35 pounds of elderberries all by myself! I started out on my front porch, but after several hours I moved my operation indoors and watched / listened to chick flicks while I worked. The fruit of my labor (pun intended) was 30 pints of rich elderberry juice sweetened with honey from a local beekeeper. I also added some lemon juice for tartness and a chunk of ginger in the bottom of each jar.
Elderberry is part of my winter regimen for preventing and treating colds and flu. Elderberry has been used in folk herbalism for eons, and modern medical studies are now confirming it’s effectiveness. Last year I used elderberry tincture and tea. A friend of mine gave me a jar of her canned juice when I picked up a rare cold, and I found it to be very soothing to my sore throat. As a result, I promised myself that I would can my own juice in the future.
With such a glut of elderberries I’ve been able to experiment with recipes a little more. My friend Tina has quite the collection of recipes going on her blog, and I’d like to offer one of my own for elderberry sherbet.
Place elderberry juice, lemon juice, honey, and ginger slices in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once completely cooled, remove ginger slices and add cream. Refrigerate mixture several hours to chill thoroughly. Place chilled elderberry mixture in an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. This is a soft sherbet, so you will need to transfer it to a container and place it in the freezer overnight to firm up.
I have a human powered Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker that I store in my deep freeze at all times. Whenever I make ice cream, sherbet, or sorbet, I sit and churn in the evening while I watch TV. Then I pop the frozen treat in the freezer and it’s ready for dessert after dinner the following evening.