canning elderberries fruit syrup

Elderberry Syrup

Yo! It’s me, and I’m back with another canning recipe. This time, it’s elderberry syrup! Because I just can’t resist this end-of-the-summer goodness at the moment.

Last time I was home visiting my family, I went up to gather some elderberries for a few hours. Elderberries have really become a treasure to me. The first time I gathered them with my dad was a few years ago. Since then, I’ve come to really appreciate these little beauties.

For weeks, I was pestering my parents with phone calls, “Are the elderberries ready?” They were probably praying for the season to be over.

Why do I love these little things so much?

Elderberries are widely known for being high in antioxidants, but they’re probably most popular for their ability to help people fight the cold and the flu. I’m a mom, which means that when winter rolls around, I’ll pretty much do anything to get my kids from getting a cold every other week (on top of frequent lectures about handwashing, ha!). Last year, I was giving my kiddos elderberry supplements. Then one day, I ran out of them. It also happened to be a horrible flu year. No biggie, I thought. I’ll just get another bottle.

Except I couldn’t find another bottle of elderberry gummies. Like, anywhere. I checked online and found a few, but they were being sold for at least three times the amount that they normally were. No way I was paying that much. Nope!

I decided I wasn’t going to play any games this year, so I went to go snag some elderberries for some syrup. It’s obviously easier to feed the kids the gummies but syrup is also easier to make and have on hand. I have been playing around with some elderberry gummy recipes, too, and I will keep you updated on that. So this year, my kids will have elderberry syrup as their supplement, and I will no longer fall prey to Amazon’s price gouging. Hooray!

Now, let’s talk about where you can find elderberries.

Here is an elderberry bush. The ones in your neck of the woods may look a little different, but they all have similarities. For example, in the early summer, they have bunches of white flowers. Those white flowers turn to little green berries, then to dark purple/whitish berries. The berries are ripe when they are are a white bluish color and the stem is purple, like below.

I live in Utah, and as I was driving around in the canyons throughout the summer, I could spot many from behind the steering wheel. If you’re interested in finding them, just keep your peepers open as you drive around and you’ll probably see them. A call to your local university botanist or extension agent couldn’t hurt, too.

Bring several gallon buckets and some kitchen shears to gather the berries. Clip the bunches off and put them into your bucket. Don’t worry about stems and leaves at this point.

Now, it’s time to extract the juice.

When you get home, grab a large bowl and clip the stems as close to the berries as possible. It is okay to have the small stems attached to the berries (as illustrated in my first picture). Rinse them several times and, working in batches of one to one and a half gallons at a time, place them in a pot. Add enough water so the berries are just barely covered. This process is similar to the one I used for my chokecherry syrup. Also, you can check out out my Instagram for the “Elderberry Syrup” highlight to watch the action!

Bring the pot to a boil, and reduce to low, cover, and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. You’ll notice the juice is a very dark color and the berries will be broken down. Using a strainer set over a bowl, strain the juice from the berries. Mash down the berries in the strainer to get most of the juice. For every gallon to a gallon and a half of berries, you should get eight cups of juice. However, this can vary based on your harvest.

Time to make the liquid gold, AKA elderberry syrup.

First, clean seven pint cars and place them in a warm oven, heated to 180 F. Gather seven rings and lids for the jars. Place the lids in a small saucepan with water and let it slowly simmer while you work on the syrup.

Using another clean stockpot, add eight cups of the elderberry juice. Hopefully, it is still a little warm from being extracted. If not, let it get a little warm on the stove. Slowly pour in one package of pectin (I like MCP pectin), stirring so it dissolves. Bring to a boil then immediately add the sugar while you keep stirring. Bring it back to a boil and stir, while it boils, for one minute. Remove from the heat and let it cool off for a second. Remove any foam with a spoon and discard.

Pour into warm, sterilized jars and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool. Check to make sure the lids are sealed by gently tapping on the middle of the lids. If they press down, they haven’t sealed. In this case, just place the jar in the fridge and eat the elderberry syrup in a month.

I hope you enjoy your elderberry syrup, and stay healthy my friends!

Elderberry Syrup

Make your own elderberry syrup at home in just a few steps. 

Servings 7 pints

Ingredients

  • 8 cups elderberry juice (extracted from about 1 1/2 gallons of elderberries)
  • 1 package pectin
  • 10 cups sugar
  • 7 pint jars, lids, and rings

Instructions

  1. Clip the elderberries off the stems as close to the berries as possible. It is okay if the small stems remain. Rinse them several times and, working in batches of one to one and a half gallons of berries at a time, place them in a pot. Add enough water so the berries are just barely covered. 

  2. Bring the pot to a boil, and reduce to low, cover, let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. You'll notice the juice is a very dark color and the berries will be broken down. Using a strainer set over a bowl, strain the juice from the berries. Mash down the berries in the strainer to get most of the juice. For every gallon to a gallon and a half of berries, you should get eight cups of juice. However, this can vary based on your harvest.

  3. First, clean seven pint cars and place them in a warm oven, heated to 180 F. Gather seven rings and lids for the jars. Place the lids in a small saucepan with water and let it slowly simmer while you work on the syrup.

  4. Using another clean stockpot, add eight cups of the elderberry juice. Hopefully, it is still a little warm from being extracted. If not, let it get a little warm on the stove. Slowly pour in one package of pectin, stirring so it dissolves. Bring to a boil then immediately add the sugar while you keep stirring. Bring it back to a boil and stir, while it boils, for one minute. Remove from the heat and let it cool off for a second. Remove any foam with a spoon and discard. 

  5. Pour into warm, sterilized jars and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool. Check to make sure the lids are sealed by gently tapping on the middle of the lids. If they press down, they haven't sealed. In this case, just place the jar in the fridge and eat the elderberry syrup in a month. Enjoy!

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *