View Full Version : Elderberry Jelly - no aging required!

Medsen Fey
10-01-2009, 09:55 AM
Having picked a mess of elderberries that I have been using in the "Old Blackie" recipes, I still had a few pounds left over and decided to try something a little different. I essentially followed This Recipe (http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/surejell-elderberry-jelly-60866.aspx).

What you need

3 cups prepared juice (buy about 6 qt. or 3 lb. fully ripe elderberries)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

Make It

BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

REMOVE and discard large stems from elderberries. Crush fruit thoroughly; place in saucepan. Cook on medium heat until juice starts to flow, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 min., stirring occasionally. Place 3 layers of damp cheesecloth or jelly bag in large bowl. Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently. Measure exactly 3 cups prepared juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup water for exact measure.) Stir in lemon juice.

STIR pectin into juice in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

Although I have done other canning in the past, I've never made jelly before so I figured it would be an adventure. I thought I measured out everything just right, but it didn't set as firmly as I would have liked and for any future attempts I'd use a little more pectin. Also, my berries have very little acidity and I think a little more lemon juice would make it even better.

Still, even with those shortcoming, it is a dark red/purple jelly with a strong sweet flavor. My daughter and I both agree that it tastes a lot like grape jelly, though I think it tastes more like a blend of grape and strawberry. It only took me a couple of hours including the clean up, so it wasn't difficult, and it was about 24 hours before it had set fully, but after that it was ready for eating.

For my first crack at a jelly, I can say it went really well on some toast - done in the oven, in case you were wondering Aaron. :)

10-01-2009, 11:12 AM
Jelly making is a tradition in my house. The wife makes many batches, blackberry, black raspberry, wild grape, goose berry and elderberry. Folklore has it that jelly won't set on a rainy day, I don't risk it. If you end up with a batch that is a bit runny, relabel it as pancake syrup, taste great and all your guest will think you are a culinary genious!

10-01-2009, 11:33 AM
I don't think I've ever heard of putting butter in jelly before!

I used to can, but no longer, alas.