Must be Jelly cause jam don't jiggle like that

99% of the time I'm a jam all the way kinda girl, bring on the bits and pieces of fruit I say! But when it comes to elderberry... jelly is preferred (too many hard seeds!!!). Have you ever picked elderberries? They are super tiny and take forever to destem so getting them prepared is a HUGE pain in the bum.

I swore I'd never make jam/jelly out of these things again, but a good friend of mine asked me to come over and help her make some jam. Of course I said yes! It wasn't until after the date was set she told me what kind we were making... elderberry... NOOOOO!! *cue scary foreboding music*


It all turned out well though, she did all of the destemming grunt work before I even walked in the door, so it was a total walk in the park! We used bal low sugar pectine to make this batch and although at first we didn't think it was going to set... it all turned out beautiful :)

Have you have had elderberries? Do you think they are worth the hassle?

Elderberry Jelly
recipe adapted from ball low sugar pectine
makes 6 (12 pint jars)

4 cups prepared elderberry juice
2/3 cup grape juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 Tbs ball low sugar pectin
1 cup sugar

PREPARE waterbath canner, jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions, if preserving. Prepare and measure ingredients for recipe.
COMBINE prepared juice in an 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in Ball® RealFruit™ Pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
ADD sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
PACK based on steps below.

1. LADLE hot jelly/jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.

2. PLACE filled jars in canner, ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.

3. PROCESS jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitute. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes.

4. REMOVE jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Clean and store jars according to manufacturer's instructions.

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23 chews:

Jeanne said...

I've never tried elderberry jam. Is it very sweet?

No really, which is why this low sugar recipe had us worried that it will be super tart... neither of us has cracked a jar yet so the results are TBD!! :)

Yum! I've never got the American jam/jelly thing. I thought you guys called jam, jelly? What's the difference between jam and jelly then? Is jelly jam but smooth and jam has fruit pieces in it?

I'm a confused Brit even more now. LOL.

LOL no worries being confused! Jelly is made from fruit juice, so you strain out all the bits of fruit so it's smooth with no lumps. Jam is made with the whole fruit so you get all the chunks and bits and fibery goodness!

Tracy said...

I've never had eldberries; I was looking for them like crazy this year to make some jelly but couldn't find them anywhere. I'd love to know where your friend got some! The jelly looks delicious!!

I've seen them at the public market before but whenever I've made jelly it's from a friends tree. I can hook you up with my across the street neighbor next year if you like :D

Lisa M said...

Ha!!! Was just perusing to catch up on your site and ran across this :). My sister and I picked Elderberries a few weeks back ~ my first time. As we were finishing picking, I said Don't you think we should get another couple boxes? ( we were way WAY up n the mountains so wanted to make worth while). She looks at me strangely and says, er, no, I think were good. Needless to say, I have never ever had a berry almost best me. All I can say is a huge HUGE thank you to my Mama who helped me de-stem the millions of berries:). They do make a beautiful jam, jelly and liqueur. So, yes, I will likely be crazy lady and do again next year:). PS. Thank you for another wonderful jam exchange this year. My partner was fab!!!

Elderberries are good for one thing only in my book -- WINE!!

They are such the hardest things to work with!! At least you know for next time now :) And so glad you enjoyed the exchange again! Thanks for taking part!

Sue Dupre said...

Last fall I planted two elderberry bushes in my yard for the sake of nostalgia. When I was a little girl, my mom and aunts used to drive along country roads in Ohio and snip clusters of elderberries. When we got home, I'd be given bunches of elderberry clusters which I'd destem into a metal colander. I loved the tactile sense of the little berries coming off the stems and sliding through my fingers and the little pings of the berries hitting the metal colander. I loved it so much that I planted bushes just to recreate that memory. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I harvested my berries for the first time this summer. I've got three bags of berries in the freezer, and I'm going to make jelly out of them. No jam or pie for me, 'cause I hate eating the little seeds.

Albert Sweitzer said...

Never had elderberries. I know they grow here but havent found a bush yet was thinking of planting a couple around the house cause they keep down flies and we live in cattle country
I will join next years exchange I just found your sight yesterday while looking up recipes

Albert Sweitzer said...

Im lazy when it comes to making juice for jelly i throw berries leaves stems and all in the pot cook with a little water then strain it no picking for me

Albert Sweitzer said...

use cheesecloth to strain the pieces out when I lived in Alaska we would go out after salmon berries and wild Northern low-bush Blueberries them babies a lot of work but this is how we made or jelly cause my mom dont like jam.

Albert Sweitzer said...

Anyone ever have spruce tip jelly its a springtime jelly haven't had since I left Alaska the first time. You cook the fresh tips down in water strain then make your jelly from the flavored water its awesome.

I had thought about doing this but elderberry leaves/bark has arsenic in it, no idea what levels, but just knowing that was enough to scare me into desteming them! :)

This sounds so cool! I've never even heard of it before, do you happen to have a recipe? How much sugar/to tree? :)

AlbertSweitzer said... the tips must be noobs bright green in color

AlbertSweitzer said...

Well I researched it the bark has Alkaloids yes but so does Cherry leaves and Blueberry leaves if you put in boiling water the berries will quickly soften and you can strain without the Alkaloides leaching.. Quick note on Arsenic its in our food supply big time its fed to Cattle/Swine/Poultry as a fattener it helps the animal gain massive weights on less feed even dairy cattle is fed arsenic cause many dairy cattle are not Pastured. I got really sick a couple of years back and had to take meat off my diet for a while I now eat home raised meat and poultry and Venison any fish I eat is wild not farmed this change increased my overall health dramatically I lost 45lbs dropped cholesteral by 31 points and lowered blood pressure in less than 3 months

AlbertSweitzer said...

Sarah Daeuber said...

I just got some fresh grapes from someone at work and picked a bunch of elderberries to this is the prefect recipe. I am curious why the added grape juice on this one though. It sounds delicious, just looking for the process as you were developing the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Hello! The grape juice is used due to the low sugar pectin it calls for it on the box.

The only thing I would caution you is when I've used agave the preserve doesn't last a full year. It tends to go bad faster then when you use sugar.

Sarah said...

Very interesting! Thanks for the tip!

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