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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Elderberry Jelly

Elderberry, this lovely looking berry grows profusely here in Bulgaria all along the hedgerows all over the village in fact my derelict house round the corner is over run with the wild bush during the summer. A beautiful looking bush & a must for finding something to make with them. I have no experience with wine making so new I couldn't do anything with them much this year (next will be different) so decided to make some jam & see what happens.
My neighbours were shocked when I gave them a jar of the Jam as they don't make anything from Elderberries. Such a shame as they are abundant & hold the promise of much.  I made this as a jam & quite honestly hated it so I gave a large jar away & was contemplating chucking the rest in the bin when an American FB friend clicked on my lightbulb moment when she said they fix messes with more sugar (Yes Vicki) well I didn't think it needed more sugar but got to wondering just what needed to be done as it had all the promise of a lovely sweet jam then had a bitter taste that took over! Kaboom strain out the berries & try it as a jelly!!!! Well folks now I can blog it as it is now something worth the effort & I will enjoy eating it & using it in cakes & puddings.
 I will find out the name for it as I didn't take any notice because I thought it was rank .....

Firstly please take note; The stalk branches leaves in fact every part of the bush is toxic so only use the berries!!!! Remove the berries from the stalks with the prongs of a fork.

2 kg Elderberries
2ltr Water
3kg Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon, optional
Wash the elderberries first then remove from stalks. Once you have weighed them put them into a large deep pan with the lemon water & bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer then cook them for 30 minutes. Press the berries on the side of pan to soften the fruit & release the juice.
Add the sugar stirring all the time till all the sugar is dissolved then bring it to a rapid boil for about 15 - 30 minuets. test the setting on a plate after 15 minuets if not set test every 5 mins, do not over cook!
When the jam is ready, ladle into a flour sifter over a large mouthed jug & strain the juice through pushing at the berries to get as much juice as poss out, do this part bit by bit, jar by jar. By pouring the jelly into the jar using the jug there is no spillage over the rim!!! Seal jar & leave to cool overnight then store in a cool dark place. Enjoy!!!!
This will make aprox 3 x 1lb jars of Jelly
I use the utensils I have to hand & a flour sifter large jug do the job nicely

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