After all the hours of picking the elderberries from their stems, making the jelly seemed relatively easy. I used a recipe I found on the Sure-Jell website as follows:
- 3 cups prepared juice (4 – 5 pounds berries)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
Yield: six 8 ounce jars jelly
Wash jars, lids and rims in hot soapy water. Rinse and place in a deep stock pot, or boiling water canner. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, and then remove pot from heat and set aside. Let everything sit in the hot water until you’re ready to pour the jelly into the jars.
Place berries in a large stockpot, and crush thoroughly with a potato masher.
Place pot on stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. When juices start to flow, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place 3 layers of cheesecloth in a large bowl, and pour boiled fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cloth closed, hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops.
Hold bag against side of bowl and press the bag gently with a large spoon to squeeze out the rest of the juice. Discard bag.
Measure 3 cups of the juice and pour back into the pot.
Stir in lemon juice. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Remove jars, lids, and rings from water setting empty jars on a towel on table or counter top. Don’t discard water.
Bring juice mixture to a rolling boil on high heat stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with spoon.
Ladle into jars, filling to about 1/8 inch from the tops.
With a damp paper towel, wipe rims and threads. Apply lids and rings and tighten. Place jars upright into hot water (the same water you used earlier to boil the jars). Water must cover jars by 1 – 2 inches. Add water if necessary. Place pot on stove and bring to a gentle boil.
Reduce heat and boil for 5 minutes if you live at an altitude between 0-1000 feet.
(For 1001 – 3000 feet boil 10 minutes. For 3001 to 6000 feet boil 15 minutes. For 6001 to 8000 feet boil 20 minutes. For 8001 to 10,000 boil 25 minutes.)
Remove pot from heat, and then remove jars setting them onto a towel.
Allow to cool completely.
As I cleaned up the kitchen I could hear the little lids popping, music to a canner’s ears. After jars cool, all the lids should have popped in. Refrigerate any jars that didn’t seal.
This morning I had elderberry jelly on my toast.
Quite tasty, sort of like blackberry.