Blackberry and Elderberry Jelly

Sep 16, 2014 by

I was determined to have a lazy Sunday recently and not spend it in a whirlwind of cooking, baking, cleaning, listening to Lyric Fm and trying to read Saturday’s paper. I decided to go for a walk instead with the dogs and just happened to look up.

I mean what do you do? Leave all those luscious black elderberries for the birds not to mention probably the best crop of blackberries for the second year in a row?
So out came my plastic bag and I started picking. I always have a bag in my pocket these days. Not for the dogs but for what I might find out and about.
I picked just over 900g of blackberries and 100g of elderberries, as once you strip the actual berries off you don’t have very much weight.
So to the jelly.
I bought this jam pot in Aldi recently. I sometimes think I am mad with the stuff I buy in there. But this is absolutely fantastic. It has a very heavy bottom which allows you to have the heat really low and it keeps bubbling away. It is also really well designed for lifting and pouring. And best of all it was only €25!
My recipe
900g blackberries
100g elderberries
150ml water
Juice of one lemon
1 tart apple (I used a cider apple variety which is midway between a cooker and an eater)
Put everything in the pot except the sugar. Simmer until everything is pulpy and soft. It took over an hour. Use a potato masher and give the whole thing a good mash.
Allow it to cool slightly and then pour into a sieve lined with muslin over a clean basin and leave to sit overnight. Don’t push the juice through or your jelly will be cloudy. Allow the weight and gravity to do the work. 
Next day measure the juice. I had just under 600ml. I added 350g sugar and stirred and simmered it until it was dissolved. When it reaches setting point, 105 deg, on a jam thermometer turn off the heat. Alternatively test for a set after about 15 minutes by spooning some onto a small plate and putting on your kitchen window or in your fridge for a few minutes.  Then run your finger through and if it wrinkles, it’s set. Turn off the heat under your pot while you do this.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and pour carefully into warmed, sterilised jam jars. 
When completely cold, put lids on tightly. 
I used a lot less sugar than normally advised in similar recipes so this would be good with cheese, in gravies/sauces or on bread.

Note: You do not need to follow the above quantities. If you have more elderberries that is fine. What is important that when you measure the syrup produced you add at least half the quantity in sugar for it to set.

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