Monday, May 04, 2009

Ground-Elder and Vanilla Muffins

From the recipe archives, updated in May 2009, orignally posted in May 2008.

Ground-elder, you may wonder? Well, I wrote more about that healthy wild green a while ago (check out my It's a Wild Thing: Hortapita or Greek Pie with Wild Greens post). Here's a recipe for delicious and unusual ground-elder muffins, adapted from a recipe seen in a local food magazine in early 2008. I must admit I first thought 'ground-elder muffins' are savoury ones, so seeing sugar and vanilla in the list of ingredients suprised me a little. However, I did follow the list of ingredients, changing the proportions and instructions as I went along, and was extremely pleased with the end result. The muffins were sweet, very slightly green-tasting, and very pleasant indeed.

Should you come across young and bright green ground-elder leaves in your garden, you should really try this recipe.

Ground-Elder and Vanilla Muffins
(Kevadised naadimuffinid vaniljega)
Ready in 30 minutes
Makes 12

30 g young ground-elder leaves (just over a cup when lightly pressed)
3 large eggs
150 ml caster sugar
100 g unsalted butter, melted
50 g sour cream
300 ml plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tsp salt

Pour some boiling water over ground elder leaves and leave to stand for a few minutes.
Whisk eggs with sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the cooled melted butter, vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt, then fold into the batter.
Drain the ground-elder and squeeze dry. Chop finely, then stir into the batter.
Divide into prepared muffin cups* and bake in the middle of 220 C oven for 12-15 minutes, until muffins are lovely light golden brown.

* Either lined with paper muffin cases or generously buttered and dusted with flour. 


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've not seen any elder in any of the markets I shop but do look for it. I thought these might be spinach when I saw the photo. Great looking muffins.

tanita✿davis said...

On the West Coast of the United States this ground-elder thing is not something ever heard of -- so I Googled it, and it's treated as an invasive weed on the East Coast. I guess nematodes and whatever else in the soil aren't equipped to keep it in check, and it takes over as a pernicious weed and harbors harmful insects -- which is a shame, since apparently in medieval times it was used to cure gout and sciatica!

Now that we're here in the UK, I'm going to see if I can find some - I like the idea of wild herbs and picking them - we really enjoy our mustard and dandelion greens picked fresh and wild in California. And the muffins look tasty! Thanks for sharing this.

maybelles mom said...

Is ground eleder related to elderberry? I have never tasted this and would love to hear how these tasted...

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

I'll have to keep my eye out on ground elder...especially since I live on the East Coast of the US. These do sound delicious and look beautiful.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Ilva said...

What an interesting recipe, will you save some for me for the day I finally manage to get to Estonia?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I've never heard of elder before.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pille,
My flatmate and I just laid down some vanilla-extract-to-be using organic Madagascar pods and a good recipe off instructables. I'll need your postal address.. in about six months!


Jeanne said...

How interesting - have never even heard of ground elder! I would have guessed these were savoury spinach or zucchini muffins - now I'm intrigued...

Anonymous said...

I love the earthy color of these muffins! They sound delicious and healthy. Cute plate! :D

Anonymous said...

i just stumbled upon your blog and i really like what i see. such lovely recipes and so much to read! :) will be coming back for more. love the way these muffins look. was thinking of creeping out into the kitchen to make something. think i'd just rather stay here and ogle.


Y said...

How interesting. What is the flavour like?

Elizabeth said...

This is one of the things I really like about Kalyn's WHB event! I've not heard of ground-elder before.

But judging from the photo in wikipedia, it looks remarkably like the plant that is spreading all over my neighbour's front garden!

If it is the same thing, I wonder if she'd notice a few leaves missing...


Laura said...

Wow, these look great. And how unique!

Kalyn Denny said...

Ah, yes I remember when you wrote about this plant before. I think it's called Bishop's Weed in North America. Still have not tasted it though. Interesting that it's used in a sweet muffin here.

ScienceMel said...

Seems ground elder was all the rave when I was recently in Athens. I wasn't adventurous enough then, having sampled many new and lovely dishes, but will tuck this new recipe into the files for next year. What does it taste like?

Pille said...

Tanna – your best bet to find ground-elder is probably in your back yard :)

TadMack – you’re right. That’s the ground-elder I’m talking about. Another name for it is bishop’s weed or goutweed – exactly for its medicinal properties!

Maybelles Mom – no, these two are not related!! But it’s tastes green and fresh and slightly carrot-like (just remember to use only the tiniest of leaves, not big weeds!)

Sheltie Girl – hope you’ll find some!

Ilva – of course I will :)

Paz – ground-elder is not well known in the culinary world, but it sure makes tasty soups and pies and muffins!

James – I’m counting on that!!!

Jeanne – nope, these are sweet muffins. And ground-elder was consumed for food in England in the past – you just need to rediscover it :)

Sophie – they were tasty indeed. And the plate is a gift from an Estonian foodblogger Kajakas – she’s a talented artist!

Diva – welcome to Nami-nami and hope to see you again soon!

Ejm – I’ve learnt about lots of different plants thanks to Kalyn’s WHB – it’s great to offer something in return! Re: your neighbour – I bet she’d be thankful if you help her to get rid of the ground-elder (young leaves only, remember!)

Y – the muffins taste green, refreshing, vanilla-y!

Laura – thank you!

Kalyn – I was intrigued to. When I was told there’s a ground-elder muffin recipe in the mag, I assumed it was a savoury one..

ScienceMel – Greeks are very fond of bitter wild leaves. They sure know what's good for us!

Anonymous said...

Just to note that ground elder and elder not only are quite different: elder leaves are poisonous . . . so don't try to substitute one for another!

demon squeaker said...

I am so glad that I decided to check online for some inspiration instead of going for the same old ground elder soup recipes. I would never have thought of doing muffins... but as I have all the ingredients (and a new group of people to surprise with this great plant/weed) I'm gonna do this with the leaves I picked 10 mins ago. Thanks so much.

Pene said...

So that is what is growing in my garden among the ferns. I tried some fiddle heads yesterday - nearly like asparagus.