Vegetables and Fruit forum: Elderberry syrup

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 6, 2013 7:46 PM CST

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We went down into the bottomland and along the creek we harvested maybe 5 pounds of beautiful, big fat and juicy elderberry fruit! It was a real chore to clean them all off and pick out the green fruits and the bits of stems (and bugs!) But we did and have a nice pan of berries.

Now, Trish wants to make syrup with it so that we can have it over the winter for cold and flu prevention. All the online recipes I could find only talk about using dried elderberries. Has anyone every made elderberry syrup using fresh berries? If so, please share your tips with us!
Name: Tom
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tveguy3
Aug 7, 2013 7:06 AM CST
I have made Elderberry jam. First off, I think there are a couple kinds of elderberries, black and red. The red are not very good to eat. I would think that to make syrup you would cook the berries with a bit of water, much like you would for jam. This makes a very nice bunch of juice. Then strain it through a cloth to get the seeds and skins out. ( I skipped this part to make jam). Then I'd just add enough sugar to make it a syrup and cook it to the desired thickness. (not too much, or you'll get jelly) Then process it. I know this isn't an exact recipe, but I'm sure there is room for a little experimentation here. My mother used to make Jam, and also wine from these. Makes good wine!
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 7, 2013 9:38 PM CST
The birds get all my Elderberries. Angry AND the Muscadines, too!
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 8, 2013 6:42 AM CST

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They do that here, too. For some reason, though, this year they have decided to let us have some!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Aug 8, 2013 8:57 AM CST
I actually tried to make elderberry jelly using a grape jelly recipe but it didn't gel and just stayed syrupy.

I wish I could remember my mistake -it's been about 35 years- so you could replicate it.

A very useless answer to say the elderberry jelly turned out to be syrup and was very good on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream Thumbs up
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Aug 8, 2013 9:22 AM CST
http://wellnessmama.com/1888/how-to-make-elderberry-syrup-fo...
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 8, 2013 9:37 AM CST

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I've seen that one but it also uses the dried elderberries.

Anyway, somehow @Trish already knew all about how to make elderberry syrup with fresh berries, so it turns out I should have just walked across the house and asked her. She shared her info in today's podcast.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Aug 25, 2013 3:18 PM CST
Around our place in NE Pennsylvania we harvest now or perhaps within the next week or so.
We hope they are as ripe and dark as possible by now. Husband and I harvest together, one holds the bucket and the other snips with a scissor the umbels as tight as possible so you don't have so much on stems in there, and drop it straight into the bucket underneath.
Coming home, I flood the bucket a couple of times with water to have bugs and debris If any, floating to the top. Then transfer the whole washed lot, stems and all to a pot. I do not add any liquid at all through the entire process.
I take a potatomasher and mash already a little while starting very gently some heat under the pot. Continue to mash occasionally and heat until everything is bubbling, then stop. I pour the whole thing into a bag made especially for that and hang it over a bowl. The unadulterated clean juice collects in the bowl. I squeeze with all my might the leftover stuff in the bag and then discard whatever is left, which is skins, seeds and stems.
Now I follow the instruction on the Pectin box, but never add as much sugar as they ask for. I simply measure the amount of juice and then calculate how much sugar and Pectin I need to add. Boil the whole thing with the added Pectin and pour boiling hot into superclean glasses and close up. I turn the filled glasses once over /upside down, then stand them right up again. I have never gone through the "heat again canning process". I stop right here and wait for the telltale pop as the vacuum is created. It always works.
Now my Elderberries never produce a true jelly this way, but it becomes the most delicious superconcentrated syrup. I have never lost a glass due to spoilage and nobody ever got sick from doing it this way, I have been using this procedure for ca 20 years. ( I was told this is unsafe only recently....)
It is most delicious on waffles, ice cream yoghurt and such.

Ursula
[Last edited by Ursula - Aug 25, 2013 5:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Aug 25, 2013 3:52 PM CST
And now I better listen to the podcast....
cutting to the Elderberry part - my Sil told me that her mom used to dip the blooming umbel into Pancake batter and fry them up. She said it is most delicious.

Also, I don't worry about boiling some of the stems along with the berries. We never strip them totally off. We just try to cut them as close as possible from the bush.
[Last edited by Ursula - Aug 25, 2013 4:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 29, 2013 11:28 AM CST

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Ursula, thank you so much for sharing this. I really like your technique of harvesting and cooking them and I will do that next year. (Our elderberry harvest is finished for this year.) Your technique is vastly faster and superior to our way of carefully picking each fruit off the umbels in the kitchen.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Aug 29, 2013 4:56 PM CST
Thanks, Dave! It certainly is good "stuff"! Smiling
Name: Mira
Kamloops, BC (Zone 4a)
Mira
Aug 31, 2013 11:55 PM CST
I would like to share an easy way of separating elderberry fruit from the umbels.
After washing it few times in water I let then dry in a strainer and spread them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper .
I place cookie sheet in freezer for 24-48 hours.When I take it out of freezer I hold umbels in one hand and run fingers under frozen fruit .They just fall into a container and I discard umbel .I measure one cup of frozen berries at the time, place it in freezer bags an keep in freezer until somebody in my family needs to be cured from cold of flu.
My proven recipe for syrup;
1 cup of elderberries ,2 cups of filtered water ,small stick of cinnamon, 4-5 whole cloves, one inch of fresh ginger cut up or grated
Place all ingredients in a pot , bring to boil,turn heat down and simmer with the lid on until liquid is reduced by half ,stirring from time to time.
Strain cooked juice add some honey and keep it in the fridge .
[Last edited by Mira - Sep 1, 2013 8:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Sep 1, 2013 5:01 AM CST
Okay, now that I have the easy ways, I want some elderberries!
Name: Brandi
Laporte, MN (Zone 3b)
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bpsgarden
Sep 1, 2013 11:58 PM CST
Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!! I see it has other items good for the immune system in it too. I was hoping someone here could help me. We just purchased some very small elderberry bushes. I was under the assumption that not all elderberries have the same amount of nutrients/antioxitants. Is that true or they all pretty much the same? If they arent do you know what kind is best for flu's etc.
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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
Sep 2, 2013 10:22 PM CST
I make fresh elderberry juice with my Mehu-liisa steamer, which is similar to one I have seen on ads here on ATP. I take most of the heavy stem off, and remove any stray leaves and debris, give the umbrels a quick rinse to get rid of dust and bugs, and put them in the steamer. Result is nice, clear juice without much work. I can the juice, or freeze it. I never strain it. Made elderberry jelly last week using powdered pectin, except I forgot to add it to one batch and have several pints of wonderful tasting elderberry syrup. I don't know if this is the same stuff you'd use for colds and flu, but I don't see why not.
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