Elder trees Sambucus nigra are common across Europe as well as much of the US and Canada. It can be found growing in parks and gardens, at the edge of forests and in hedgerows.
The flowers and berries of the elder tree grow in an umbrella like pattern and both can be used to make edible treats. The berries contain cyanide so must be cooked before they can be eaten. They can be used to make jams, baked good and elderflower cordial.
The small white flowers of the elder are in bloom around mid-May to June and have a sweet fragrance.
- Elderflowers 2 tbsp, fresh
- Butter 100g
- Granulated sugar 50g
- All-purpose flour 150g
Dave Hamilton is an author, freelance writer, tutor, photographer, forager and explorer of historic sites and natural places. As a freelance nature writer, he’s contributed to BBC Wildlife, BBC Countryfile, Walk Magazine and the Guardian. He’s authored six books, including Amazon top ten best-seller, Wild Ruins and the comprehensive foraging guide, Where the Wild Things Grow. His books have been translated into five different languages selling over 75,000 copies worldwide. Dave has taught foraging to Ben Fogle and Mary Berry and led Guardian Masterclasses on the subject. In his spare time, he walks, cycles and occasionally performs as a stand-up comic.
This is a recipe from Family Foraging by David Hamilton, published by White Lion Publishing.