A glance out of the window and all I can see is a grey sky and the rain still hasn’t stopped. But I can’t wait any longer for the weather to improve. For what do we have rainwear anyway? So I step into my wellies, slip into to my rain jacket and head off for a forest hike.
Once I’m outdoors, the rain doesn’t matter at all. I really enjoy the fresh damp air. Oh yes, what I forgot to mention – I’m actually looking for elderberries, as I want to try out my Mum’s elderberry recipe. This mission doesn’t seem to be easy at all. As I already made an elderflower cordial and tea from the flowers of the elderberry bush in spring and now “my“ elderflower bush doesn’t have any berries, or at least the few berries it had have been pecked away by the birds already. But I’m sure I’ll find something.
After about half an hour I meet an old man by chance, who looks at me strangely and asks: “So girl, what are you searching for with your bucket in hand?” I tell him of my plan and my search for an elderberry bush. He answers: “Carry on straight ahead and then turn right, and after about 200 m you’ll find your bush.” “Perfect, super, thanks!” I reply and head off on my way. And indeed there stands an elderberry bush with lots of berries just waiting for me to pick them.
When I get home, I treat myself to a cup of elderflower tea and start with my elderberry compote production.
If you fancy making an elderberry compote, here’s the recipe:
For elderberry compote:
250 g elderberries
125 ml water
3 ripe plums
juice of ½ lemon (untreated)
1 cinnamon stick
½ packet of vanilla pudding powder
Wash and hull the elderberries and put them in a pan with the water. Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves and simmer for approx. 20 minutes. Peel the apple and chop into small pieces. Remove the stones from the plums and cut into small pieces. Add the apple and plums to the other ingredients and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
In the meantime mix the vanilla powder with some water. Take the elderberry compote from the stove and take out the cinnamon stick and the cloves. Mix in the pudding powder and leave to cool. Sweeten to taste (e.g. with honey).
If you fill the elderberry compote into jam pots and freeze, then you can enjoy it in winter too, tastes best together with a good “Kaiserschmarrn“ (chopped pancake dish)
By the way: Elderberries are healthy and have a hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant effect and are used to boost the immune system. However, take care – elderberries are only edible after cooking.
Photo credit: Andrea Zuljan, Katja Eggenhofer