Elderflowersquash

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Raven348, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Raven348

    Raven348 Active Member

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    This plant grows all over Europe and apparently in western USA. It's rare for people to pick it so there is a lot of it left both in forest and just outside cities. I usually go out with large trash bags during the summer and collect as much as I can.

    40 - 50 clusters of Elderflower (Sambucus nigra)
    3 - 4 lemons
    2 litres of water (0.52 galleys)
    2 kilos of sugar (4.4 pounds)
    30 grams of citric acid (1.05 ounces)

    Pick the flowers. Put the flowers in a big pot (at least 7 litres or 1.75 galleys). Clean and slice the lemons, put them in the pot.

    Boil water in another pot, add the sugar and citric acid. When sugar has been mixed properly (so it's sugar water) pour the boiling water in the pot with the flowers. Put a lid on the pot and let it stand for four days (you could put it in your pantry or something). After four days, remove the flowers and now you have elderflowersquash.

    It should be mixed with water before drinking, like all squash. It should be stored in the freezer unless used within a week.

    ---

    Limonchello

    Clean one lemon. Rub the outside hard so the "pours" get clean and free of lemon acid. Peal of the very top layer with a potato peeler, it should look like this:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lS0BOjZDhVc/SRNb0DHL0UI/AAAAAAAACE4/TB8zRI6TbrI/s400/lemon+peel.jpg

    It's important to not get any of the white stuff that is right underneath the peel.

    When you have all the peels from one lemon, put them in 1 decilitre (3.4 US fluid ounces) drinking alcohol (ethanol 96%, or "192 proof alcohol"). Leave them there for one week. The alcohol should get yellow and get a sweet lemon taste.

    Mix 50/50 (by volume) of sugar and water. Add 2/3 of sugar-water to the mix. This means you should mix 1 decilitre (3.4 US fluid ounces) water + 1 decilitre (3.4 US fluid ounces) sugar and the mix everything together with the alcohol.

    Now you have 32% (64 proof) Limonchello. This recipe is all about the quality of the lemons, so if you have good ones it will taste excellent.
     
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Where do you find 192 proof alchohol?? Would Everclear be sufficient for this process?

    Would using a standard Shot glass be close enough for a measurement (one shot equals one ounce) ...
     

  3. Raven348

    Raven348 Active Member

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    The important thing is that it's 1/3 of everything by volume. You could use a shot glass to measure.

    1/3 sugar, 1/3 lemon peel flavoured alcohol, 1/3 water. The amount of lemon peel you need to flavour the alcohol is around 1 lemon worth of peel per decilitre, it doesn't matter if you use a little more or a little less. For one shot glass per ingredient I would use the peels from 1/2 lemon.

    I've tried the recipe with regular vodka (40%), but it's not as good. You find 96% ethanol for example at Bordershop in Germany, or any well stocked alcohol store (perhaps Walmart?).

    It's just regular ethanol, pure alcohol and nothing else.
     
  4. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Elderflowers? Do you mean the blossoms of an elderberry plant, or is there a different plant called Elderflower?
     
  5. Raven348

    Raven348 Active Member

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  6. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

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    The berries are quite edible when cooked. We here in the States make jelly out of them. I've heard of candied Elderflower before, but never tried it. The scent of the flowers is intensely narcotic, and doesn't make me want to eat them. Elder is one of the most useful plants we have. The berries provide tons of antioxidants and resveratrol, and have been proven to be antiviral and effective against influenza. The flowers are a febrifuge and also wonderful for skin problems. Victorian women used a decoction of elderflower to lighten their skin.
     
  7. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Yup, that's the one. We have 3 domestic bushes in the yard and there are wild ones on the mountains around us.

    Never thought about using the flowers. Like OFM said, the berries make great jelly, and they also make a decent pie.

    If you pick the blossoms, would you then not get berries?

    OFM was also right about the health benefits of Elderberries and Elderberry jucie. It's the main ingredient in an anti-flu remedy that's popular around here.
     
  8. Raven348

    Raven348 Active Member

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    Can you post recipe with the berries? I've always assumed they where inedible.

    For those that wonder about the strong taste, when mixed with water the squash will be as strong as any other squash and will taste better.
     
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    The recipe is the same as for any jelly or pies, at least in my case I don't use a special recipe. For pie I mix 1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. flour, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Mix it up and stir it into about 4 cups of berries (it might depend on the size of your pie pan). I put a few dabs of butter on top of the filling before adding the top crust. I don't know the jelly recipe by heart, but I use the generic one in my canning book.

    First, I would make sure that the berries you have there ARE edible. I've been told here that the berries have to be ripe and they have to be cooked, or they will cause nausea or other ills. The stems, bark, leaves, and roots are poisonous, similar to cyanide (glycosides). Find out if your berries are safe, even when cooked. There may be strains different from our elderberries that are more toxic.
     
  10. Catastrophy

    Catastrophy Catastrophy

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    I use a tablespoonful of elderflower cordial whenever I am making a gooseberry pie, crumble or fool. It's a subtle, but beautiful taste experience.