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Bilberry Recipes

Bilberry Wine

Bilberry WineAdapted from The Penguin Book of Home Brewing and Wine-Making, by W.H.T. Tayleur

8 oz. dried bilberries
1 lb. raisins
1/8 oz. dried elderflowers
2 lbs. finely granulated sugar
2/3 tsp. acid blend
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 tsp. pectic enzyme
Bordeaux wine yeast
1 gallon water

Place the first six ingredients in a large vessel. Bring the water to a boil water and pour over these ingredients, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to cool. When the solution is lukewarm, add the pectic enzyme, cover and set aside 12 hours or overnight. Add the yeast and recover. Stir twice a day for the next 7 days.

Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, squeezing gently to express all the liquid. Set aside for another 12 hours; then strain the liquid once more into a clean container with a fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 30 days and again after 60 days. Age the wine under airlock an additional 4-6 months. Stabilize, wait 10 days, rack, sweeten to taste, and bottle. Allow 9-12 months to mature.

Bilberry Tea Blend

Bilberry Tea2 tsp. dried bilberries
2 tsp. dried elderberry flowers

Place the ingredients in a tea ball and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 3-5 minutes, then remove the tea ball and enjoy. You may garnish with a slice of lemon or orange, if you wish.

Suggested Adaptations:

While this tea is delicious as it is, the addition of amaretto and/or Grand Marnier is particularly satisfying.

Bilberry Hair Rinse

Bilberry is good for your tresses too!

1 tablespoon dried bilberry leaf
1 teaspoon dried bilberries
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
6 cups water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let the herb mixture steep for 20 minutes; then strain off the liquid into a bowl. When completely cooled, funnel the liquid into a clean container (a recycled shampoo bottle works well). To use, dispense a small amount onto clean hair and work into the scalp with your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

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