September 19, 2012

The Maine Ingredient: Elderberry jelly at home? Yes, you can

By Anne Mahle

(Continued from page 1)


Do not double this recipe, but instead do one batch at a time to ensure proper setting of the jelly. If you are not using Sure-Jell Pectin, follow the instructions on the pectin package for making blackberry jelly.

3 pounds ripe, destemmed, deep purple elderberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 packet Sure-Jell Pectin

4 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon butter

Place the berries in a nonreactive pot and crush with a potato masher to encourage the juice to release from the berries. Heat over medium high heat and continue to crush until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, layer a strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place into a larger bowl. Slowly pour the juice and berries into the cheesecloth and let strain for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

To prepare the jars for canning, cover six 8-ounce Ball jars and their lids with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize everything. Remove carefully from the water with rubber-tipped tongs and place on a clean, dry towel.

Measure 3 3/4 cups of juice for one recipe, adding water if necessary to make up any difference. If you have extra, reserve for making syrup or another recipe. Add the lemon juice, pectin and butter and, stirring with a wooden spoon, bring the juice to a boil. Add sugar quickly and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down and boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into prepared jars leaving 1/4-inch space at the rim of the jars.

Wipe the rims with a damp towel and cover with lids securely. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes and remove to the dry towel again. As the jars begin to cool, you will hear the lids pop as they create a seal with the lids. Refrigerate and use immediately any that do not seal properly.

Makes five to six 8-ounce jars.


Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea." She can be reached at:


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