This year was the first time I was able to forage a large amount of elderberries, they were early but I was ready and I managed to pick over 1.6kg! There was a bumper crop this year and I was so pleased, a few months ago now I had helped myself to the flowers to make champagne and cordial with but I made sure to leave some to turn into berries. In fact there were so many berries there that I actually left quite a few bundles for the birds and the insects to feast on. That way everyone is happy and I had more than enough to make my elderberry syrup with the extra bonus of having spare berries to try and make my very first elderberry jam!
I’m quite a big jam lover and absolutely love making my own at home with both homegrown and foraged harvests. I do however, prefer smooth jam… I’m not keen on lumpy jam’s which have huge bits of fruit in them so for this recipe I strained the mixture to make it extra smooth. Therefore the jam look’s sticky and tar like but it tastes delicious, believe me! So if you like jam with bits in then feel free to leave the straining part out of the instructions and last but not least, enjoy!
Makes: roughly 2 jars of jam
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 1kg elderberries
- 500g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon (just the peel)
Remove the berries from the branches making sure to remove as many as the stems as possible as these can be poisonous in large quantities. Clean the berries and then place in a pan with roughly 2 cups of water. Add the lemon peel and cinnamon stick then boil for around 10 minutes until the berries start to burst.
Strain through a muslin cloth and squeeze to get all the elderberry juices out, be careful as it will be hot! Return the seedless liquid to the clean pan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Leave at a rolling boil for roughly 10-15 minutes until it reaches the setting point, remember to stir. Take off the heat and do a wrinkle test.
Pour into sterilised jars and label, once opened store in the fridge.