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Ellen’s Sweet Recipes

Why I Don’t Eat Autumn Olive Fruit Whole

I almost always prefer to accentuate the positive, but when I come across a technique that doesn’t work, I feel like it’s my duty to save you the time and aggravation of figuring it out for yourself. After reading several recipes that recommended using whole autumn olive fruit (aka silverberries aka Eleagnus umbellata) I decided to see for myself whether this was a good idea. I was pretty sure it wasn’t, but the authors of those recipes claimed that cooking softened the seeds enough to make them palatable. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t! Don’t waste your autumn olive fruit or your time. (more…)

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Wintergreen Ice Cream: Recipe

Winter isn’t the most productive time to forage where I live. On a February visit to NH, I was able to score some fresh wintergreen, which I brought home and turned into an extract. I love the flavor of wintergreen (think teaberry gum) but it isn’t always easy to use in food and drink. I thought ice cream would be the perfect vehicle for the wintergreen flavor, and I was right, but boy it took a long time to nail this one down. The extract had a strong flavor and fragrance on its own, but my first ice cream attempt was a miserable failure. The eggs in the custard base completely overwhelmed the wintergreen flavor. My second attempt was only slightly more successful. I used a corn starch base, which let the wintergreen flavor come through, but it was far too faint for my taste. Third time was the charm. With triple the original amount of wintergreen extract, I had a delicious, perfectly textured wintergreen ice cream. This recipe is a keeper. (more…)

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Magnificent Meyer Lemon Marmalade: Recipe

I’m always looking for jam and jelly recipes that don’t call for the addition of commercial pectin. Why? Because commercial pectin requires extra sugar to balance its bitterness and I’d just as soon keep my sugar consumption down (within reason!). With marmalades, the citrus pith and seeds give you all the natural pectin you need to get a perfect jell. No worries about ending up with syrup or fruit cheese, just sweet, tart, spreadable marmalade…every time. And since Meyer lemons are pretty much my favorite citrus, Meyer lemon marmalade is pretty much my favorite marmalade.

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Wild-Spiced Pear Butter

As I foraged through the freezer on this snowy morning, I found a bag of pears harvested a few months back. Lots of fruit trees line the streets of my neighborhood, yet no one seems to pick the fruit. I’m not about to let those apples, apricots, plums, and peaches go to waste; I harvest on my morning walks. And this morning, I turned my suburban-foraged pears into a delicious wild-spiced pear butter, using some of my favorite foraged spices. (more…)

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Wild Christmas Cookies: a Recipe Round-Up

With less than two weeks before Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to make some wild Christmas cookies, whether you plan to leave them out for Santa, or to eat them all by your lonesome. Here are some of my favorites, each with a different wild ingredient.

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How to Make Carob Syrup from Whole Pods

Carob powder doesn’t dissolve in water the way cocoa powder does. If you’re baking with carob, that’s fine, but if you’re making a carob-beverage, you might prefer the silky smoothness of carob syrup made by boiling the whole pods. It’s simple to do, and you’ll have the pods leftover to use in other ways. (more…)

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Swedish Pancakes with Berries: Recipe

How did I live this long without Swedish pancakes? (more…)

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Black Raspberry Pudding Cake Recipe

The black raspberries are coming in strong! Crazy strong. So strong there’s no need to ration this delicious fruit. I can eat it every day if I want to, and still have plenty to dip into next winter when fresh foraged fruit isn’t a possibility. Which means I’m experimenting with a whole bunch of recipes, and this black raspberry pudding cake is number one on the runway. It’s not too sweet, very fruity, and has the consistency of a thick clafouti. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between…it’s low sugar, low fat, and comes together quickly and easily. (more…)

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Wild Blueberry Fool Recipe

When you get a last minute dinner invitation and you ask what you can bring, and your host suggests dessert, and you say sure, then wonder what the heck you can throw together quickly that will impress your friends, well, I suggest a wild blueberry fool. (more…)

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Magnolia Blossom Cream Cake: Recipe

Magnolias are glorious. Period. When they’re in bloom, they punctuate the landscape with gigantic bursts of color and fragrance, and some of these flowers are quite wonderfully delicious. This past weekend was a magnolia bonanza, and there will be LOTS OF recipes coming your way. But the very first (and yes, my favorite) is this Magnolia Blossom Cream Cake. It’s a surprisingly simple recipe with a unique flavor that no one will be able to guess without a clue from the cook. (more…)

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