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Elderberry Jelly

Elderberry has so many healing properties so this makes for a recipe that not only tastes good, but is really really good for you particularly to stave off colds, and flu.  (any excuse to eat good food I say!)  This will make 5-8 ounce jars and you must go by the recipe, rather than doing double batches in one go.  This will take several hours, so expect down time as the juice strains.  Here is the recipe:


3-4 lbs ripe (not green or even partially green) elderberries (after de-stemming)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 packet MCP pectin*
4 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter

*If using a different brand of pectin, follow ratios on package instructions for making blackberry jelly.

1 Rinse only elderberry clusters that are blue or black thoroughly. If de-stemming rinse again.

2 Place berries in a large pot and crush to get the juices going. Turn up the heat and keep crushing as the mixture heats up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

3 Strain the mashed berries slowly into a pot – if you use a mesh this could take several hours.

4 Prepare 5-6 8-ounce canning jars and lids for canning as usual.

5 Measure out the juice. As a guide, you will need 3 cups of juice to make one batch of jelly if using MCP pectin, and 3 3/4 cups of juice if using SureJell pectin.  If you have more left over, then use it for syrup, or make another batch for jelly.  Place 3 cups of juice into a large, wide pot (8-quart) and add the lemon juice and pectin.

6 Bring to a boil. Add 4 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of butter and stir with a wooden spoon as it comes to a boil once more.  Keep a watch on this as the foam will suddenly appear and get larger.  Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil that you cannot reduce by stirring, get the timer onto 2 minutes, remove from heat and pour mixture into canning jars to 1/4-inch of headspace.

7 Wipe rims as usual and place rims and lids on.  You can process the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes.

Let cool. As the jelly cools you should hear a popping sound as the lids seal.

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