ELDERBERRY SYRUP

A basic syrup using fresh (or frozen) elderberries – spices optional – to make a delicious, immune boosting syrup! Suitable for drizzling onto pancakes, waffles or as a cheaper alternative to store bought syrup (which contains about 38% elderberry juice, and much more sugar than this recipe).    
   
Ingredients for  ELDERBERRY SYRUP

Yield: 4-4.5 cups
Yield: 8-9 cups
Elderberries, Ripe
1kg (2.2 pounds)
2kg (2.4 pounds)
Water
1 cup
2 cups
Sugar
3 cups (approximately)
6 cups (approximately)
   
METHOD: 
1.  Clean jars (or bottles) and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
2.  If using fresh elderberries: rinse elderberries in water and drain carefully. Discard branches, bark, leaves and any berries that are not fully ripe (ripe berries are dark in colour all over). 
    If using frozen elderberries: thaw overnight in the refrigerator in a bowl. Any juice collected will be added to the recipe.
3.  Measure prepared elderberries into a large pan, adding 1 cup of water for every kilogram (2 pounds or so) of fruit. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until elderberries are very soft, stirring every now and then (TIP: mash gently to separate juice from the berries). Remove from heat.
4.  Place jars/bottles into a pot lined with a cloth. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
5.  Place lids into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
6.  Strain fruit through a colander or sieve, into a bowl, to separate juice from the pulp. DO NOT PRESS OR SQUEEZE. Strain a second time through finely woven muslin (or a clean pillow case) to remove any remaining residue, if you prefer. Refrigerate juice overnight in airtight containers (if required). Compost the pulp, or dehydrate it to make elderberry powder!
7. For every 2 1/2 cups of juice add 3 cups of sugar, adding both to a large pan. Whisk well and heat on medium until the sugar has dissolved. Bring syrup to a boil.
8.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface. Immediately pour the hot elderberry syrup into the hot jars to 0.5cm from the rim (TIP: use a jug to fill jars).
9.  Wipe rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any syrup residue.
10.  Remove lids from hot water and twist to secure “fingertip tight” onto the jars.
11.  Return jars of syrup into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
12.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
13.  The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
14.  Store jars of elderberry syrup in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed. 
15.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 14 days.
    
Processing Time for ELDERBERRY SYRUP  in a Boiling Water Canner
Jar
Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 1 Litre
(quarts)
10 minutes
15 minutes
15 minutes
20 minutes
   
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
Add a little of one (or more) of these ingredients (at Step 3) to add flavour to your syrup!
o 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger;
o 1 cinnamon stick;
o 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves.
   
NOTES:
o Uncooked elderberries contain toxic substances, which are removed during the cooking process. Only use elderberries that are fully ripe, plump, slightly soft and dark in colour – discarding any unripe berries, branches, bark and leaves before cooking.
o Collecting elderberries yourself? Check with local experts to ensure you are using berries from an American or European elderberry – other types of elderberry may be more toxic. Refer to your local nursery for advice on growing your own elderberry tree/s.
o This syrup is suitable for use in flavouring kombucha and water kefir soda!
 


 
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image credit: Megan Radaich           
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

   
LEARN MORE: FOOD PRESERVING GUIDES

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