Huckleberry Hand Pies
‘Huckleberries are one of my favourite summer treats,’ DL Acken writes in Cedar + Salt, the cookbook she created with fellow author Emily Lycopolus. Their focus? ‘Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea.’
Acken, a recipe developer who also took the gorgeous photos in this 2019 tome continues: ‘There’s just something so delicious about strolling through a cool forest, hidden from the sun by the giant fir trees, and coming upon a bounty of bright pink, super-tart berries. They’re not the easiest fruits to collect. In fact, some people even craft rakes to harvest them more easily. I prefer to pick them handful by handful and tuck them away in the freezer until I have a decent quantity. The problem is, I can never wait long enough to have enough for a full pie. Thus, the huckleberry hand pie was born.’
The Cedar + Salt Huckleberry Hand Pie doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but the results begged to be paired with ice cream.
The recipes and photos throughout feature plenty of ingredients that can be sourced organically in BC. As Emily Lycopolus says: ‘Here you can stroll through farmers markets in the summer, learn from passionate growers about their multicoloured carrots and purple peppers and find classified ads that invite people to pick overly abundant apple or fig trees…We are incredible blessed to live here, and my heart’s desire is to share with you the meaning of living, cooking, and eating on Canada’s Vancouver Island.’
Across Forest, Farm, Field, and Sea, you’ll find ingredients like Red Fife wheat, Yellow Point cranberries, foraged mushrooms, juniper berries, Caraway Jill cheese from Qualicum Cheeseworks, blue algae. The offerings span breakfast to dinner, hors d’oeuvres through meaty mains.
But we, of course, focus on the sweet and sparkly. To that end, Acken and Lycopolus create recipes for goodies like Roasted Sour Cherry Galette, Shortbread Sandwiches, Easy Elderflower Champagne, Dark Chocolate Blackcurrant Swirl Ice Cream, Sidney Spiced Spirit and Homemade Eggnog, Lilac Celebration Cake, Tayberry and Basil Mojito, Green Tea and Blue Algae Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Nori Bark, Spiced Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly.
Pictured in our header you’ll find Lilac Vodka Syrup. ‘The day that I realized lilacs were edible was a really great day,’ writes Emily Lycopolus. ‘Their scent is one of my favourites, so when I discovered that they taste the way they smell and that their scent and flavour can be captured in a simple syrup, life became forever better.’
Cedar + Salt is punctuated with Acken’s stunning photos of Vancouver Island – from Metchosin to Tofino, Coombs to Port Renfrew. We bought our copy at a local bookstore – go Hager Books! – but Cedar + Salt is also available online.
Bon Appetit as you bring the eye candy from between the covers to your plate.
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Photos by DL Acken.