While walking with my mom, I noticed a lot of tiny berries along the road by their house. My mom told me they were elderberries, which happen to be my Uncle George’s favorite pie, although my aunt doesn’t make it very often. I don’t think I heard of elderberries before, at least not that I can remember. After some research, I found that elderberries are very popular for making wine and jam. More interest, the berries are actually mildly poisonous if eaten raw. My curiosity got the best of me, so I had my mom pick a bagful of elderberries.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to make pie, even though it’s an easy recipe to find. After a lot of searching, I found an elderberry cobbler recipe that I thought would highlight the berries. >> The first challenge of this recipe was to have one cup of elderberries. With most berries, that would be simple, but those who have seen elderberries know why it’s difficult. Elderberries are tiny – about the size of an apple seed. Picking the berries off the stems is really difficult as well because the stems are very delicate and tend to break off. The berries also stain anything they touch, including my hands. I definitely understand why my aunt doesn’t make elderberry pie very often. After 45 minutes, I finally had a cup of elderberries. I cooked them with water, sugar, and corn starch (instead of the clear gel) for about 10 minutes until the sauce was thickened. Then I poured the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish that I had melted a stick of butter in. For the topping, I mixed together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and then added milk and vanilla to moisten. I dropped spoonfuls of the flour mixture on top of the berry mixture, and then baked in a 350 degree oven. The dish was really full, so I put a cookie sheet on the rack under the cobbler, which turned out to be an excellent idea. The cobbler cooked over a lot! After about 30 minutes, the topping was browned and the filling was bubbly, so I removed it from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes. To serve, I dished the cobbler into a dish and topped it with vanilla ice cream.
After all the work I put into this dish, I was really disappointed with the way it turned out. The filling of the cobbler was very runny. It would have made a great sauce for ice cream or pancakes, but it didn’t make a nice cobbler filling. The topping of the cobbler was unbearably sweet and overpowered the taste of the elderberries. Plus, it made a huge mess. I froze the extra elderberries, so hopefully I can revamp the recipe and try again.