Elderberry jam/preserves

morehead, KY(Zone 6a)

Hello all!
I am blessed with tons of elderberry. I even have a large 15 foot tree/bush in my back yard with a seating area and water feature under it. I just love the look of the plants with the flowers then the fruit. I usually just pick the fruit and give it to the chickens. They really love it! Now I got to thinking maybe I should think about using the fruit myself. Does anyone have a good recipe for jam/preserves? Also does it have a good taste? Like does it taste like something else or does it have a flavor all its own. The ball canning book has a recipe in it, but it calls for vinegar and no pectin. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
George

Thumbnail by daylilydaddy
Mena, AR(Zone 7a)

A friend of mine gave me a jar of elderberry jelly/jam a few weeks ago. It was delcious and the taste is different but in a good way kind of like a real sweet grape. Her son and his wife picked the berry clumps off the plant and then put them into boiling water and then pulled the clumps back out and the berries released. I don't know the recipe but will check with her and get it. I didn't know what they looked like but she told me they are getting ripe about this time all along the hiway between us. I live in western Arkansas about 3 miles from the OK state line. She lives about 30 miles into OK. Thanks for sending the picture of the bush/tree. I would love to get the recipe also. I will be looking for them now.
Marionr

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

You are blessed! This thread had some recipes and ideas... might find some info you can use. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/867825/#new Good Luck!

Reynoldsville, PA(Zone 6a)

when u buy pectin(at least here) it has a recipe pamplet in it for jams, jellies and wines.

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

We do Elderberry at least every other year....syrup & jelly....I just processed in the steamer enough berries to have 2 gallons of juice....wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!! We have been doing this since the 1970's in California and now in Idaho....you can do fritters with them, too....We just love them!!!...Deb

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Oh yes, great thread LOL. I missed my opportunity to pick elderberries this year. So much going on that they passed us right on by. boo hoo. I don't think I could have gottenany made anyways. I hope you get to make some daylily daddy

Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

I LOVE elderberry jelly! Here is a good recipe for that.

3lbs ripe berries
6 cups sugar
1/2 c lemon juice
6 oz liquid pectin

Wash and stem berries and cook over moderate heat for 15 minutes. Crush with a masher. Run through a jelly bag and recover 3 cups of juice.
Place juice in pan and add lemon juice and mix. Add sugar and mix thoroughly and boil til dissolved.

Add liquid pectin, bring to a boil for 1 full minute, stirring constantly. Skim foam and pour into hot sterile jars.

Recipe didn't say how much it made, but a friend made it and got 3 pints of jelly. She didn't even have enough elderberries and used water to make the final 3 cups of juice, and it still came out wonderful.

I so wish I had elderberries here. I can't get them to grow. They do grow in this area, but whenever I buy new trees and plant them, they die. We have terrible rocky clay soil, so that's probably why. You are so lucky!

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

About 4 years ago I planted native elderberries near our house and this fall I picked and processed them into juice which we canned for later use to make into jelly. It was slow and took time getting the small berries picked and processed. The juice looked absolutely luscious and smelled great. Each year they grow more and get bigger too. I love elderberry jelly but have a hard time describing the unique taste.
Cuckoo

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

creekwalker your elderberry jelly recipe looks good. Sounds delicious on a buttered biscuit or roll!! Cuckoo

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Cuckoo ~ I am interested in your planting native elderberries. Did you start them from seed or dig them up or order them? What type of location, soil did you choose to plant in? How long before they delivered the "goods" ? LOL

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

podster Hi there! I ordered them from our state nursery. I planted them on a somewhat sandy loam soil right on one of the wing walls to our home so if needed I can water if we have super dry weather. They are growing great and faster than I thought they would. They are a beautiful shrub too. Many catalogs have elderberries too. You will like growing elderberries I'm sure!

Cuckoo

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the info. I always intend to harvest and watch the blooms on the ditch plants but by the time they are ripe, it slips my mind till the birds beat me to them. If they were under my nose, I might have better luck. Elderly folks here say elderberry jelly is THE best! I may find out someday. LOL When you say "state nursery", it is native plants or run by your state?

Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

Podster, our Missouri dept of Conservation has a state nursery that we can order bulk native trees. I'm sure that's what cuckoo is talking about, but maybe not. We can buy them in bundles of 25 for pretty cheap. That's where I got my last ones. But I still haven't had any success with them. It's just not the right kind of soil here. Way too much clay I think. I'm going to keep trying though. ;-)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

That is a very good deal your state offers. I have some clay but topped with sand so maybe they would do for me. Thanks for that info. pod

Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

Yes, it really is a good program. :-) They have a lot of different trees available too. So far, only the Chokecherry trees have survived though. They aren't real big, maybe from a foot tall to two feet or so, but still. Maybe your state does something similar?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I've not heard of TX doing that but will check into it. Thanks... pod

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

My elderberries are just beginning to leaf out and they have a few new sucker plants coming up in new spots too. I want to control the grass better this year but not sure how I will do it.

Cuckoo

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

Creekwalker...... I don't know much about chokecherries. Edible?or what?

Podster.......I see several kinds of elderberries in different garden catalogs but have no idea which are good ones to try. Some I would imagine would possibly out produce the native elderberries I'm growing. What do you think?

Cuckoo

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I wouldn't know which one to try. What is the type that your state nursery supplies? pod

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

Honestly I don't know. You will enjoy growing elderberries because there isn't anything you have to do to care for them. The birds I'm sure would eat the ripe ones but mine near the house seemed to be o.k. or else I was just lucky! We squished them in a colander like thing we have and canned the juice. Creekwalkers recipe above looks good. 3 pounds I wonder would be about what in cups of liquid? My wife makes lots of jams and jellies and prefers the liquid pectin best although it is higher in price than boxed pectin.

Cuckoo

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

All right you got me hooked. Elderberries offer the best of all worlds, being ornamental, medicinal, edible and attract wildlife. I've got a suitable spot for the plants and am shopping! LOL

Y'all have a great nursery site and I love the Mobot site too. Missouri really has it together for the plant people.

I hadn't caught that in the recipe above as I just skimmed it but yes, I wonder how much liquid it made.



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Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

OHDARN, Pod, I wish I'd seen these posts before I sent the book....I have tons & tons of elderberry jelly, just made from 2008 berries...we've made elderberry jelly while living in CA & now here in Idaho they grow like weeds everywhere...we harvest ice chests full, then juice & freeze 'til I get to start jellying once the weather cools down. I will get acouple of jars in the mail to you...I think I have syrup also...Deb

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

Deb...... he will love your elderberry jelly I'm sure! Cuckoo

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

Thanks Cuckoo, Growing up in North Dakota & now here in Idaho I especially love chokecherry but elderberry comes in a close second for sure....and now with the new juicer it isn't so difficult to get the berries juiced. Deb

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

Deb tell me about chokecherries? Do they taste like a pie(sour cherry such as montmorency cherry trees) cherry or what? Are they a shrub? Growth rate, etc.?

Cuckoo

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

we had the starts available from our county extension tree people...like $2.50 for 2 ft trees....we bought bunches of lilacs and they are looking wonderful....The chockcherries are a shrubby tree which sucker, sorta like lilacs I would describe them...the berries are acidic, make you mouth pucker until they are near black in color....if I was to say how they taste I would say they are similiar to elderberries...as for growth, I couldn't say...we've been here 4 yrs and the bushes are pretty much the same size except for more growth around the bottom....when we were in Montana last year we came across ones that were pretty good size just loaded with berries...we plan on going back over this year to pick...we weren't prepared last year....I will enclose a picture....

Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

chokecherries

Thumbnail by Depsi
Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

Most of the berry is pit....

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

Great looking picture of chokecherries. Thanks for the info. on them. They sound like neat plants too. Cuckoo

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Deb ~ not to worry about sending jelly. I want to try some plants but please, if you don't mind, share your recipe for the elderberry jelly? Thanks pod

Benton County, MO(Zone 5a)

Cuckoo, the 3 pounds of elderberries is supposed to make 3 cups of juice which is what the recipe calls for. I'm sorry I didn't see your post sooner. But a friend of mine used that recipe, didn't have that many elderberries to make 3 cups, so she substituted water for the remaining juice and the jelly was great. :-)

I haven't tried chokecherries yet and mine are too young to fruit. But I do hear that the jelly from them is very good. :-) I hope someday I will get to try it. I have some black cherry trees, but in the 4 years we've been here, they haven't produced any fruit. They try. They start out with cherries growing, then they disappear. Maybe birds or bugs?

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

creekwater your right..... you know in Mo. it could be anything. Bug, bird, etc.
Cuckoo

Talihina, OK

Marionr I hardly ever get any elderberries as the birds get first crack at them I have them all around my yard .I like that idea about putting the clumps into the boiling water and the berries falling off ..Looks to be a bumper crop this year I am in Talihina around 50 or so miles from you ..I once found elderberries growing at 6,500 feet in a pile of solid rock so this plant ROCKS..

Talihina, OK

Creekwalker Try a raised bed planter I have a rather large one for some of my Day Lillies and last year had an Elderberry come up in it from what could only have been the deposit of a friendly bird ..It grew from seed to bloom in one year ....

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I bought some chokecherry trees this year from Gurney's. Buy 5 for $10 and get 5 free. They were supposed to be 12" - 18" but when they came, all were over 4' tall! I planted several, and gave away several. I'm hoping when they grow up and fruit, they will attract the birds to leave my other fruits alone. Hey, I can hope, can't I??

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Depsi, I was wondering if you'd post how you make your elderberry jelly. We're about to go pick elderberries and your cooking them in the steamer? sounds like something I'd want to try.

would love your recipe.

kathy

I have never been able to successfully make elderberry jel. it's always syrupy and it also turns a brownish color, for some weird reason. I'd love to get it right this time.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Do elderberries grow wild anywhere?

Talihina, OK

Cajun I don't know of anyplace they don't grow wild ..Of course I haven't been everywhere but know for sure they grow wild in Oregon,California,Oklahoma,Arkansas,Louisiana,and Mississippi also scarsely in Nevada Sending along a pic of some that grow next to my house

Thumbnail by grits74571
Orofino, ID(Zone 6a)

they are everywhere in northern Idaho....Deb

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

WE're watching them like a hawk here, not quite ready, all along the road ditches everywhere.

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