A few weeks ago my daughter and I foraged elder flowers in the meadows and forest close to our village. It was our first time spotting herbs I learned about in my herb walk which leads the creation of Herb and Nature Bags. My daughter and I ventured to find elder flowers, yarrow, st. johns worth, and nettles. The elder flowers were going to be bade into jelly and syrup.
We recently had a taste of elderberry jelly when my mom mailed a jar a few weeks ago and decided to make our own. The syrup is available year round at stores in Germany but making our own was a must this year.
What you need for this recipe:
- Large size mason jar (approx.. 8 cups to top)
- Cheesecloth or paper towel
- Jars & Bottles for Syrup
- Elder flowers (enough to fill the jar approx. 15 flowerheads)
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 organic orange
- citric acid (12 grams)
- 500 grams of sugar (I used an organic mix with pectin) – for jam
- 500 grams of sugar – for syrup
First enjoy gathering the elderberry flowers with your children. Forage away from streets to get healthy flowers. You can talk about the plants stages from flower to berry and how both have great healing properties.
Both flowers and berries have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties but many people know elderberries for its usage with colds and flu. A quick internet search can help you find more information.
Once you return:
Your children can help during these first steps but because it was my first time making it I opted to make the jelly without them during the evening
- Lay all flowers on a paper towel and search for bugs
- I didn’t wash my flowers but checked for dirt and bugs
- I foraged only the flower heads and cut away all larger stems
- Wash your organic orange and lemon with warm water
- Slice both and start filling and stacking your jar with flowers then lemon and orange and again flowers orange lemon until the top
- Once your jar is full, fill it with water to the top, place lid
Leave your flower, orange, lemon, water mixture sit in a cool and dark place (I had mine in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (stir daily)
- Now sieve the water using cheesecloth or a paper towel in two containers
- One container will have ¾ liter (for the jam) and one ½ liter for syrup
- Boil all of your jars and lids to sterilize them
- In a clean pot combine ¾ liter of elder flower water with the sugar (I used an organic brand which had added pectin) – follow your usual jelly instructions
- Bring it to a boil and let boil for 2-3 minutes
- Transfer to sterilized jars close tightly
- Clean your pot and transfer the remaining ½ liter elderberry flower water to the pot
- mix it with 500 grams of sugar and 12 grams of citric acid
- cook slowly until boiling then fill into a sterilized jar or bottle
- shelf life in cool and dry place is about 1 year
Now, enjoy the jam and syrup with them and talk about your nature walks and how nature in front of your house provides for us.
I sent some to a friend and decorated both the jar and bottle for her.
We like the jam in oatmeal or fresh bread with butter and the syrup in sparkling water.
Mahalo for visiting,