Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When life gives you elderberries then make some ....

Elderberry jam.

I kept putting it off, every day I'd see quite a few bunches of ripe elderberries and next day most would be gone, probably eaten by birds.

This weekend, I decided to try and make something out of them as there were more ripe bunches than usual. So, I picked a plastic grocery bag full, sat next to my wife watching tv and took all these berries off the stems using another plastic bag - these berries pack a beautifull purple colour, so best not to use your uncovered hands. This is the worst part, getting those thousands of little berries dislodged and removing all the small pieces of stem.

Then I just put it in a small pot (probably 1 quart), the berries filing it about 1/2 way, added very little boiling water, turned the heat up until it started to boil, then added about 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and kept on boiling it, tasting it every now and again. At first I thought it would be a complete waiste as it tasted bitter and not edible at all, but the longer I cooked it, the better it started tasting. After aobut 20 minutes or so, it started to become sticky, so I let it cool and put the sticky mess into a small jam jar I had my wife keep and wash.

This stuff is delicious ! Unlike anything I've ever tasted, with the skin and many seeds, it has a crunchy texture and is quite chewy. The colour is unbelieveable, dark burgundy, must be loaded with anti-oxidants. Try it on toasted sour dough bread with butter, then add some brie or sharp cheddar on top ... hmm heaven.


  1. Whoa! This sounds absolutely wonderful!!! I want some!!!! LOL. I love the look of it...all seedy and purple! The purple color has to mean it is packed with health benefits!!!

  2. This looks positively delightful!!

  3. Yeah, the purple color definitely must mean anti-oxidants !

    It turned out to be such a hit, my 11 year old daughter loves it so much, she almost finished the jar last week. Sharp cheddar cheese slathered with elderberry jam !

    These grow like weeds, you are sure to find them, especially in disturbed sites.

    So why are you waiting, go elderberry hunting !

    My daughter bugged me today : "Common daddy, please make me some more elderberry jam !".

  4. I've never eaten elderberry before. It looks amazing. Love the color.

  5. The jam is totally awesome - lot of work to make a little, but worth it. Its my daughters ultimate favorite.