Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Elderberry Pie

Ott, A and I had so much fun during Canning Week, we just didn't want it to end! Every Tuesday, we'll be featuring recipes that use items we canned.

Some of our fellow canners are sharing some recipes as well this week. Be sure to check out what they are making with their canning creations!

I was able to pick some elderberries this year that were growing in my aunt's backyard. I didn't know a lot about them, but did some research. Here's what I found:

  • Elderberry extract has been found to be effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu  (Zakay-Rones et al 1995)
  • Elderberry extract contains a unique compound called Antivirin® that can help protect healthy cells and inactivate  infectious viruses
  • When given to patients, scientists have found the elderberry extract, has the ability to ward off flu infections quickly  (Zakay-Rones 2004)
  • Elderberries are rich in anthocyanins which are a type of flavonoid –  anthocyanins are antioxidants that may protect cells from free radicals and support your body’s immune system.
  • Elderberries have almost 5 times as many anthocyanins as Blueberries and twice the overall antioxidant capability of cranberries 
  • Elderberry has a more potent antiviral effect than Echinacea
I also found that making a simple extract with elderberries has been shown to stop a cold, if taken within the first two days of symptoms. So, I decided to can some to keep around for this winter so I can make extract when Cold Season hits. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work. Then I go back to DayQuil. Can't hurt, right?

Anyway, I have so many jars of elderberries I knew I would never make this much "cold/flu medicine". I decided to make pie. I'm not a big fruit pie person, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

What you'll need:

2 9-inch pie crusts
4 c elderberries
3 cups sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 T lemon juice


To begin, rinse and drain elderberries

In a medium size pan, combine berries, sugar and cornstarch. Simmer until berries are tender.

When berries are tender and sauce is thick, remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir well. 
Pour into pie crust and add a few pats of butter

Top with other pie crust and bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes. Cool and serve

As this was the first time I tried elderberries, I have to say I'm not overly impressed. It received a mixed reaction overall. It certainly was not overly sweet. Personally, I didn't think the berry had much taste. But, I do like trying new things, and my goal this year has been to try one new food a week. Since I've historically been a picky eater, it wasn't that hard to continuously find "new to me" foods. 

Be sure to come back next Tuesday for more of our series "I Canned A LOTT, Now I'm Baking In My Bistro"!


zentmrs said...

I haven't had elderberries since I was a kid growing up in Minnesota! My grandma had them in her yard and would make jam (yum!) and a kind of elderberry crisp thing that was fabulous. I wonder if any of my aunts have that recipe... I'd love to try it again.

Thanks for the memories!

Cranberry Morning said...

I have a friend who's been bugging her husband to cut down those elderberry bushes that are growing wild all over their property!! I just sent her your list of their positive attributes. She will hate me for it. :-) Anyway, if you hadn't told me the pie wasn't so great, I'd never have known. The picture makes it look delicious!!!

even-star said...

there are so many elderberries in my area but I have been a bit shy of trying them in jams and things. Which is a shame because they are like FREE FOOD. I had no idea they were so beneficial to one's health. The season is almost over here but I might pick a handful just to try out.

wacki04 said...

They looks great!

I'd love for you to stop by What's Cooking Wednesday each week to share a great recipe!! Hope to see you there!