Recipe: Spiced Elderberry Jam
I’m just going to say it; this is a weird jam. It’s very good, but you have to be open minded and a bit adventurous with your concept of jam for this one to work for you. The elderberries have a unique flavor, but it’s their crunchy little seeds that may throw you. I personally don’t find them much more obnoxious than raspberry seeds, but others that I’ve let try this jam were put off by the crunch. Couple this with the star anise and orange zest, and we have a very different little jam. However, it is truly exceptional spread on fine buttery shortbread cookies, and the combination of the two makes me wish I was a Brit so I could enjoy this everyday for tea.
How to Make Elderberry Jam
- 8 cups Elderberries
- 6 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 8 star anise pods
- zest of a large orange
Place all ingredients in a large saucepot and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
Once the berries have come to a full boil, they will begin to foam and expand up. Continue stirring. The jam will begin to reduce back down after about 2 minutes.
Reaching the Gelling Point when Making Elderberry Jam
After the foaming expansion has reduced back down, continue stirring constantly until the gelling point is reached, roughly 10 minutes. Remove from heat and test the gelling point by placing a small amount on a plate that has been chilled in the freezer, and then placing in the freezer for about 2 minutes. Run your finger through the jam on the plate to see if your desired gelling point has been reached. If not, return the pot of jam back to the heat and cook for another couple of minutes, removing from heat and repeating the plate test until your desired consistency is reached. You want thick but slightly runny.
How to Can Elderberry Jam
Once your desired consistency is reached, remove completely from heat and ladle into sterilized hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Sterilize your jars by boiling/steaming them in water.
Wipe the rims and threads clean with a damp cloth before adjusting two-piece caps.
Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting appropriately for elevation. Makes about 6 half-pints.
Recipe by Jothan Yeager, October 2011
The Bald Gourmet loves making unique and delicious homemade jams.
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