Friday, February 12, 2010

Easy Elderberry Jelly

One of the best ways to enjoy the elderberry fruit is in a jam or jelly. It's really good on just about anything that you want to add a jolt of fruitiness to. It's wonderful on biscuits or toast. I recently made some shortbread cookies and added a little dollop of elderberry jelly. Mmmmm...they didn't last long I can tell you.

Anytime you cook with elderberries, make sure you either get them from a reliable source or pick them yoursel. A later post will will offer suggestions and hints for gathering elderberries in the wild.

Here's what you're going to need to make this jelly:

3 quarts of elderberries
2 cups of water
5 cups of sugar, preferably unrefined
2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1 pkg of pectin
1 tbsp of butter, unsalted

Pour the elderberries into a large stock pot and pour the water over the top of the berries. Use a potato masher to cruch them thoroughly. When the berries come to a boil, remove from heat.

Place a seive layered with cheesecloth over a heat proof bowl and pour the elderberries into the seive to drain the juice. Take the berry juice and pour it back into the pot and add the pectin and lemon juice. Turn on the heat and when it comes to boil, add the sugar, stir and boil for one more minute. Add the butter, stir and remove from heat.

Divide the mixture up into 4 pint jars and pour about a half inch of paraffin over the top of the mixture in each jar and then seal the jars. Let them sit for a few days and then enjoy your homemade elderberry jelly.