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Delicious Elderflower Muffins
When I was a child, my mother used to make us elderflower pancakes every year, as soon as the big elder bushes up the street began to burst into bloom.
I've always loved the delicate, sweet and aromatic flavor of elderflowers, so I began experimenting with adding them to different kinds of recipes.
The result? Tasty elderflower muffins!
[If you don't have a convenient elder growing nearby, or you aren't sure how to identify them, then dried flowers are available in most health food stores. They will work just as well.]
Best of all, elderflowers and elderberries are great for boosting the immune system -- if you think you're coming down with something, try a few of these and you might not get sick after all!
Ingredients You Will Need
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup elderflowers, fresh or dried, removed from stems
- Blackberries or other berries [optional]
- Nuts, chopped [optional]
- Preheat oven to 400F
- If you're using fresh elderflowers, remove them from their stems. Do not wash.
- Mix together dry ingredients, then mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Mix together dry and wet ingredients, stirring only briefly [it's important not to over-mix]
- Pour into lightly greased muffin tins, and bake for 25 minutes.
If using fresh elderflowers, remove them from stems
The green stems taste bitter, and can make a person sick if they eat too many, so it's important to remove the flowers from the stems. If you choose the older flower clusters, the flowers will fall off quite easily.
Don't wash the elderflowers while preparing them, because most of the flavor comes from the pollen inside the flowers, and you don't want to wash it all away.
Mix it all up
In one bowl, mix together the oil, egg, and milk. If you're using berries or nuts, add them in too.
In a second bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, flour, baking powder, and elderflowers, stirring well.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix briefly with a large spoon. Try to moisten all the batter, but it is very important to not over-mix! Twenty or so strokes should be enough, and it's all right if there are still a few small dry pieces.
The batter will look lumpy - don't worry, it's supposed to.
Pour into muffin tins
Lightly oil a muffin tin, and spoon the batter into it. You can fill each cup nearly to the top. If you spill any outside the cups, wipe it up with a napkin or paper towel before you bake it, so it doesn't burn.
Put the whole thing into a preheated, 400F oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven
The muffins should be golden-brown on top, and a butter knife inserted into the center should come out clean.
I run the butter knife around the edges of each muffin to loosen it, then just pop them out.
You now have delicious muffins
I like to serve these in a small basket or bowl set in the middle of the table. Best served warm.
Now that you have the basic recipe, experiment with it and tweak it to suit your fancy. You can add different kinds of fruit, or nuts, or anything you like.