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elderflower jelly

Posted by --- on Saturday 20 June, 2009

Elderflower Jelly Recipe

  • 2.5 kg cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped (you can also use 1kg crab apples)
  • 20 elderflower heads, roughly chopped
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 75g sugar per 100ml liquid
  1. Place the apples and the elderflower in a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with just enough water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until very soft.
  3. Pour into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with several layers of muslin and allow to drain into a bowl (do not be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will only make the jelly cloudy.)
  4. The following morning discard the fruit (I tend to freeze them to make pies later) then measure the volume of the liquid and add 75g sugar per 100ml of fluid.
  5. Place the fruit juice, lemon juice and the sugar in a saucepan and heat through, then add the sugar stirring until completely dissolved.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for about 15 minutes.
  7. Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again.
  8. Skim the surface then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 100°C for 5 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store.

My method Changes.

To remove the flowers from the stems I used a fork and because I love the taste of elderflowers, I filled a medium bowl with flowers. The heads had wilted so it was difficult to tell if I was using large or small heads but it was way more than 20 – at least double that.

I put the fruit pulp into a mulsin lined seive but after 8 hours I wasn’t happy that all of the juice had drained out so I gathered the edges of the muslin, tied it with a shoelace and hung it from the cooker extracter overnight and quite a lot more juice drained out.

I used 4 tbsp of lemon concentrate becuase I had no more lemons.

I read that the temperature for jam setting is 220F so instead of testing with a cold plate, I used a thermometer. I did do a plate test which wasn’t crinkling but I put it in jars anyway.

I used the oven to sterilise the jars as it says here but I must have had it too hot (the problem with my oven) and when I put the jelly into the jars it boiled on contact. I put a spoon in the jar to try to stop it from cracking but still lost one jar. I also melted the rubber lining on the metal lids in the oven!

Early Results:

This tastes more of apple with hardly a trace of elderflower. I was really disappointed becuase I wanted it to taste like the cordial.

This recipe made far too much for us too and used up all of my remaining seven jars. I don’t think it will get eaten; DSK tried it and hates how sweet it is. They say that about all of my jams.

Update on the taste trials July 2009:

DFS and others love this jelly. I can now taste the much loved elderflowers. It will be on my list for next year!

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