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Article: Harvesting and Using Elderberries: Elderberries

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Forum: Article: Harvesting and Using ElderberriesReplies: 7, Views: 110
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Plattsmouth, NE

August 19, 2007
4:51 PM

Post #3874427

Hello, I just joined Daves Garden this morning, and how funny that the first entry I read was about Elderberries. My plan has been all along to pick Elderberries this weekend. I have been making Elderberry Jelly for many years, and I am so lucky that I only have to drive a few miles to find more Elderberries than I can possibly use. If you haven't made Elderberry syrup at all, you should give it a try. The flavor is similar to Blueberry syrup, only better. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.


Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)

August 19, 2007
6:37 PM

Post #3874763

Welcome to DG..(as we lovingly call this place) Glad that the story touched you...and hope that you grow to love this community as much as we all do.

Again, welcome!
Sumner, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 19, 2007
8:10 PM

Post #3875056

I also am glad to see this post! I went out and picked a bunch of elderberries and cooked them down. Because I have been so busy, I froze the raw juice. (35 cups) I had a little left over (4C) that didn't make it to the freezer so I made my first batch. It turned out terrible! Can you please give me a recipe? i looked in the Certo and Sure jell pkgs. and can't find one specific for elderberries! I don't think I added enough sugar and it also didn't set up.?
Taft, TX
(Zone 9a)

August 19, 2007
8:43 PM

Post #3875212

I can't help you with elderberries, but I love this story. When we were children we always took that long trip every summer with Grandma and Grandpa to the farm in Pecos, Texas where we would bring back a truck full of cantaloupes...
No one was allowed to eat one without saving the seeds for Grandma's garden back here at home.
Today, my grandchildren are so busy with athletics, etc. during the summer they don't have time for those wonderful lazy crazy days.
We also had a great grandfather who only lived 30 minutes away and he grew grapes for wine (LOL)...we though it was so much fun to get to stomp them in a giant big bucket barrel thing...
Thanks for the memories...
Glendale, AZ

August 20, 2007
2:56 AM

Post #3876439

Great memories from growing up in Ohio. No one mentioned elderberry pie. That was my favorite as made by my mother. She would make several every year for our local village homecoming festival and they were gone in a wink. Some people bought a piece and then asked to buy an entire pie.
We are going to Ohio this fall and that is one thing on our shopping list - elderberry jelly. Can't buy it out here.
Have to tell you a story. On one side of our property there was a slight rise that couldn't be plowed. But it was covered with elderberry and blackberry bushes. My mother kept her eyes on those waiting for them to get ripe. One day some kids knocked at the door and wanted to know if we wanted to buy some blackberries. Mom told them no, not really. But just as she was closing the door, she called out to them - "Where did you pick those berries?" You guessed it - from our patch! She was beside herself, but then calmed down because there were plenty more there, and we could always go out to her parents farm if we wanted more.
There used to be elderberry TREES along the Salt River bank here in Phoenix in the 60's. We'd go down there and pick all we wanted. Mom threw some stems in a flower bed one time and had a tree of her own for years. But birds got most of the fruit so I think she took it out. Harold


Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)

August 20, 2007
4:34 PM

Post #3878104

Recipe for Elderberry Jelly...compliments of Sure-Jell...(it's where mine came from)
I had about 6 cups of juice and added the juice of 2 big least 1/2 cup
Don't scrimp on the sugar either...I'm afraid that Elderberry Jelly turns into elderberry syrup if you don't use the recommended amount...although the syrup is quite grand in itself..and delightful on pancakes or ice cream...just make sure you get the end result you are aiming for.


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

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.)
Sumner, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 20, 2007
10:33 PM

Post #3879382

thank you! I don't think the recipe I was using called for lemon juice and I had 4C juice to 4C sugar. That could be why it didn't set up and doesn't taste very sweet!

thank you soooo much!

My SureJell box didn't have Elderberry jelly on it! I wonder why?


Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)

August 20, 2007
10:43 PM

Post #3879435

I got it from Sure-Jell's website. Mine didn't either.

I knew that I needed to boost the pectin content by adding lemon juice, but didn't know how I went searching.

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