Thinking Outside the Jar: Elderberry Cream Hearts

Elderberry Cream Hearts

Now that my daughter is 2.5 we’ve been having such fun with holidays. She has a much greater understanding of the activities and rituals behind holidays and looks forward to them with anticipation. From her books and talks with her friends, she now understands Valentine’s is about cards, candy, hearts and “I love you’s”. Since this is her first year of really experiencing these holidays, I’m feeling compelled to really make the most of it and help make her first introduction to them really special.

After watching the Tedx Manhattan video about the effects of eating processed, food colour rich foods, I’m hesitant to let my daughter enjoy much of the candies that may come her way and so this treat was my attempt at using natural ingredients to create something nutritious and fun.  Debating between rhubarb and elderberry syrup as a base, I opted for the antioxidant rich elderberry syrup, mostly for its dramatic colour. When I canned this syrup, I intended to pour it over pancakes or add it to club soda, but I’ve done neither and my syrup is wasting away in the pantry. I like recipes that give preserves a new life!

Elderberry Cream Hearts

2 cups elderberry syrup

1 cup water

3 packets of powdered Knox gelatin

1/2 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)

1. Dissolve the packages of gelatin in a cup of cold water. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

2. Pour syrup into a small pot and bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat and add gelatin.

3. Pour in whipping cream and stir. Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares or shapes.

** While I’m not 100% convinced elderberry syrup was the right choice, there’s something here and with some tinkering, we could  create something really fantastic. Perhaps my rhubarb syrup with orange zest or a mango juice with orange concentrate might taste good? Or, switching agar flakes instead of gelatin? Since this is my first attempt at making homemade gelatin, I welcome your suggestions and feedback!


5 thoughts on “Thinking Outside the Jar: Elderberry Cream Hearts

  1. Okay, so I totally love this post! I *just* dug into my first jar of the elderberry jam I’d made this summer to make some spelt-oat jam bars, and I had no idea what a treat I was in for! I’d been holding off on opening a jar because… well… the elderberries didn’t smell great while I was cooking them, but man, oh man, like black currants, they’re a thing of beauty.

    You could also try doing this recipe with pectin and letting them air dry for a day or two before consuming. I like agar agar too, though it definitely provides a different texture. Maybe throw in some vanilla for depth or some lemon zest for brightness?

  2. Sounds yummy to me! I like the idea of food being naturally rather than artificially coloured- whether in desserts or otherwise. And definitely real cream- none of that nasty Coolwhip or Nutrawhip which is chock full of dubious ingredients which don’t resemble food as most of us know it.

  3. These are so sweet! I’m sure the elderberries were the perfect choice. I’m always surprised at how good the jams, jellies, and syrups have turned out from using elderberries. They’re not the greatest tasting fruit out of hand but they make some of the best treats. I wish I lived closer so I could have a nibble!

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