Elderberry jelly is one of the easiest of the wild fruit jellies to make. There is however a neat trick involved. How many of you have made an elderberry syrup, elderberry wine or elderberry jelly recipe and found to your disappointment that it has dried your mouth up when you tasted it. It gives you that feeling that your teeth have grown a fur over-coat and your tongue has turned into a an old suede boot!
Ok here’s the trick, its dead simple and it will work for all things elderberry not just this elderberry jelly recipe. Collect your elderberries and remove them from their stalks. Give them a good wash and then place them in a ziplock freezer bag. Don’t worry about drying them as you are going to add water to them anyway. Now put them in the freezer for a week – hey presto all that dryness has disappeared. The fruit also tends to be a bit mushy which is good for any elderberry jelly recipe, as it renders down more easily when boiled.
Ingredients for the Elderberry Jelly Recipe
- 2kg or 4lb Elderberries
- 575ml or 1 pint Water
- 1 tsp Citric Acid
- 350g or 12oz Sugar per 575ml or 1 pint of Juice
- 250ml Certo
To Prepare the Elderberry Jelly Recipe
- Add the elderberries, water and citric acid to a large saucepan and boil with the lid on for 10 minutes or until the fruit has turned to a total mush. To extract the last of the flavour squeeze the mush with a potato masher against the bottom of the saucepan.
- Sieve the juice into a measuring jug through either two layers of muslin if you want “horticultural show” quality jelly or alternatively through a kitchen sieve if you just want to eat it and don’t want to wait around all night for it to strain.
- Having measured the quantity of juice you have, place it in a jam kettle and add 350g or 12 oz of sugar to every pint or 575ml of juice. Bring to the boil rapidly and boil for 5 minutes. If you see no sign of foaming at all add 100g more sugar for every 575ml of juice and bring to the boil again for another few minutes.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the Certo and redissolve any scum from the surface by stirring it in.
- Decant into pre-sterilised jars. Fill to the top and seal tight. leave to cool.
You will notice with this elderberry jelly recipe there is no messing about testing for set on a saucer or testing for pectin or anything like that. When you use Certo in these quantities there is no need to do so; the jelly is guaranteed to set. Some people consider it cheating, but I don’t. The simple fact is this; I would rather have a jelly which I set using Certo, which after all is only apple pectin, than have a jelly that has been boiled to death to try and get it to set “naturally” and in the process lost all its flavour.