A new treat for your kitchen.
- 1 kg elderberries (taken from the stalks with a fork)
- 1 kg pectin sugar (or jam sugar as it is known)
- As elderberries have no pectin, is it advisable to use the pectin sugar. If you want you can use the juice of a lemon instead, but I find that to get it to set you have to boil it until you get a set (ice cold plate) and sometimes it can spoil the flavour.
- For the jars, make sure that they are washed in warm, soapy water, rinsed and then put into a moderate oven to sterilise. I put mine in upside down so as to leave the water drain out. Also, wash the lids and leave to one side. If the lids are put into the oven the heat can destroy the seal.
- Put the elderberries into a stainless steel pan and cover with water. Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until the berries have softened.
- To strain the berry juice you can use a jelly bag or what I use is an upturned stool with a clean cotton cloth tied onto the four upturned legs. I use a pillowcase for this purpose as I find it is just the right size. The pillow case is new and I find that when washed it can be used over and over again. When the cloth is tied in place, pour the berries and leave them to strain for a couple of hours or until the juice has stopped.
- Measure the juice and for every 1l use 1kg of pectin sugar.
- Or if it's more like for example 1125ml of juice, use the same weight in pectin sugar: 1.125kg of pectin sugar.
- Pour the juice of the elderberries back into the pot and bring to the boil. When it has come to the boil add the sugar and stir until the sugar has melted. Bring it back to the boil and when it has reached boiling point, time it for 4 minutes.
- When the time is up turn off the heat. Ladle the juice into a measuring jug and pour into the jars. If using the lids, put them on straight away. As the jelly will cool a vacuum will occur between the jam and the lid. This will create a seal and so the jam will keep for a long time if not opened.
Happy jelly making!