Apple & Elderberry Jelly & I need help please!

Apple & Elderberry Jelly

This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge is: Achievement & this is what they said:

Have you just run 26.2 miles, finished a long-term project, or met a personal goal? This week, show us an achievement.

Though you may laugh and also think this not one of my best shots or even one relevant to depict achievement, I can assure you that for me, the photo immediately below displays firmly and thoroughly an achievement for moi in a very big way!

Weekly photo challenge:  Achievement

Weekly photo challenge: Achievement

Why does this depict achievement for me?

Foraging for elderberries

Foraging for elderberries

Two years ago I discovered foraging and with this chutney, pickle, jam and jelly making.

Now, chutneys and pickles I can do, bingo, interesting, fun and usually fairly easy to make.

Foraging for elderberries

Foraging for elderberries

I  also enjoy the foraging part.  The part that some might say ardious is quite therapeutic, ie sifting all the green elderberries from the red ones etc, it can take hours but that’s all good.

Foraging for elderberries

Foraging for elderberries

Tadah….drum roll……however, when we get to the “oh good the pulp has now seived and shrek has not thrown the juice away like he has done in the past and wasted hours and hours of work, I can remain sane”, I am left with something to now work with and boil up to make either jelly or jam.

This is where I come unstuck, go grey and pull my hair out plus gain the odd burn here and there.

Apple and Elderberry Jelly

Apple and Elderberry Jelly

I thought browsing through the Lakeland brochure would help me.  Yep, buy all the gear, industrial size.  I have the gigantic pots my 8 year old could hide in, I have some plastic contraption that has to be assembled to seive the fruit pulp, it’s so huge one gets vertigo looking down the middle of it and I have thermometers and dutch courage!

But to put it simply, I need help & yup on funny quips there please!

Apple and Elderberry Jelly

Apple and Elderberry Jelly

I just do not get the whole boiling process.  I know the bit about putting a plate in the freezer, or fridge, I’ve done this, numerous times, I am still finding frozen plates that I forgot.  There never seems to be a skin that develops on the cooked liquid.

I don’t know whether it is how fast I boil it or length of time boiling, I really have no clue.  I follow the instructions but it doesn’t seem to set, so I add some pectin or lemon, nope nada, so I carry on boiling in hope.

Now I have learn’t the painful way of boiling it too high and fast, it is like molten lava that comes out and spits you in the face, I respect the boiling pulp now, I have FEAR!!! LOL

My jelly has ended up sometimes like a cordial or my jam like a rubber ball that I cannot even get out of the jar.


I did have ‘some’ success with Apple and Elderberry Jelly.  This is simply delicious and I use with meats.  It is perhaps a little thicker than jelly consistency but works well for what I need it for.

However this is a fluke, I could not do it again.

Many an hour has been searching for hints and tips, googling and watching You Tube clips in the hope that I would have a eureka moment and find something that would put an end to my misery.

I did find the clip below which showed me something new, the shape of the boil, it rolling to the centre, now this is something I could look out for.   This chap is making blackerry jam which is a little different but the concept I am sure the same, no?

Both myself and Shane Francescut, who has the blog, The Weekly Minute, who also told me he cannot make jams and jellies (and who by the way cajoled me to write this post) would love to have some helpful hints from all you fabulous preserve makers.

Here is the recipe, but you can find it directly from here:  Elderberry and Apple Jelly

Elderberry and Apple Jelly


  • 1.35kg cooking apples (this is good with windfalls)
  • 2l elderberries, separated from their stalks with the tines of a fork
  • peeled zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 375g sugar per 500ml liquid


Wash the apples thoroughly and remove any blemishes. Chop roughly and combine with the elderberries in a pan. Barely cover with cold water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook to a pulp. Turn the mixture into a jelly bag and hang over a bowl to drain over night. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag or to press down on the contents, you will just end-up with a cloudy jelly. Allow to drip naturally. The following day, measure the juice and allow 375g sugar per 500ml liquid. Combine in a pan over moderate heat, stirring until dissolved. Add the orange zest and cinnamon then bring to a rapid boil. Measure for the setting point by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate and when it forms a skin as you push it with your finger or the back of a spoon the gelling point has been reached. When ready allow the jelly to cool then remove the orange zest and cinnamon before pouring into clean, sterilized jars that have been warmed in a cool oven. Seal, label and store until needed. Ideally this jelly should have a soft consistency.

I have included what links I did find that had some useful preserve information, because I like to share 😀

Kilner – when things go wrong – preserving tips

British Food – how to sterilize when preserving

Recipes from the wild – medicinal benefits of using rosehips

Home cooking – rosehip recipes

So who of you out there can help please?  Do you have any You Tube clips, fabulous ideas, anything that might make preserve making for myself and Shane a safer and more fruitful (scuse the pun), experience for next year?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Justine xx

© Justine Nagaur

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  39 comments for “Apple & Elderberry Jelly & I need help please!

  1. November 16, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Lovely jelly and congrats on making it. Love elderberries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      oh it was really delicious thank you but wow I know I wont be able to make it next year lol it was a total fluke! x


  2. November 16, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Congrats!! Seems like one hell of a challenge 😱 may you find the secret that you need for success next year! 😀
    That ‘Fear the boiling pulp’ would have made me fallen off my chair had i been sitting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. November 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    My older brother has been delving into the world of preservatives and jellies. I do not have experience in it myself, but I shall ask him if he has learned any secrets.

    In the meantime, the pictures do make the jelly look delicious. I have never had elderberries. What do they taste like?

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Its odd to describe, slightly sweet, slight iron taste, savoury with a bit of sweetness, obviously lots of other things are added in with it too and thank you for any advice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 16, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Looks like a pretty impressive acheivement to me! An educational – and delicious – post! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      hah thank you i am not sure it was so educational, oh maybe perhaps that one should wear protective gear when making jams and jellies 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. NotAPunkRocker
    November 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    I have no clue, but this looks really good. Do you ship internationally? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      haha again you made me laugh. I actually sent one to a friend within the UK but I think internationally would be a challenge lol xx


  6. November 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    My achievement would be to boil an egg. Or to eat this marmalade or whatever you call it. Just sayin 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      egg and marmalade?


      • November 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        I’d boil an egg and eat the marmelade. Maybe together for a nice British breakfast 😉 Insofar as it’s British. I wouldn’t know, I don’t normally have breakfast anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. November 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    I do the same thing, only here I grow raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and apples. I agree– even when I prick my fingers on the raspberry bushes it’s still worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      oooh you are lucky to have soo much that is great 🙂


  8. November 17, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Congrats! What a great post and some darn good looking jelly! I love that you love the foraging and I wish I had some good tips for you, but ya know, and this is an embarrassing confession, but you shared your fear so I’ll share this: I’ve never made jelly Or jam… Eeek I said it! When people find out its like, but wait, you make your own cheese and breads but you don’t make jam?! So a HUGE thank you for sharing all those helpful tips, you’ve inspired me! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      oooh well i am scared of bread and jelly so you are doing better than me 🙂 maybe you try jelly next year when the season for it comes to us and I will make bread? Do you think we will remember that? x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. November 17, 2014 at 2:54 AM

    Justine, I’m so glad you put this together! However, I’m not sure your experience has boosted my confidence to give this type of thing a try just yet. As I mentioned before, I’ll probably call on an experienced friend for some hand holding when I finally get the nerve to try jamming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      haha well it wasn’t really meant to boost your confidence it was meant to be a double plea, you and me for some help haha. I didn’t realize you had never tried it? I thought you tried and had not had success. There are some links for tips there too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        No, I’ve never tried it but I have had all the necessary equipment for a while. I just don’t know where to start.

        Liked by 1 person

        • November 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

          ah well start by getting picking next Spring, we can start the same time hehe and compare notes x

          Liked by 1 person

  10. November 17, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    That looks like a pretty impressive jam to me. I totally understand your frustration with making jams and jellies. I gave up a few years ago when I made a beautiful jelly, but it was stuck in the jar – like cement. But then I started a blog, and when you focus on foraged goods, eventually you have to make something of the sort. And like you, I had a fluke, and then another, and the flukes just kept getting better. I think it is like bread – you can read all you want, but you have to do it, feel it, and eventually you catch on, and then you wonder why everyone doesn’t make it all the time. It’s like speaking your mother tongue. So keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      yes practise makes perfect the only trouble is the prep takes such a long time, the foraging, the sorting, the sieving etc, so when you make a mistake it is sooooo galling and then you have to start all over again, its not like you can just go to the supermarket and buy the ingredients lol. I think I need more patience and maybe I should split it up in to batchs, that would be the sensible thing to do so if i ruin some i have some to have a second go at. But your confidence in me eventaully doing it is very boosting, thank you 🙂


  11. November 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Fantastic project. I made spiced up strawberry jam for the first time this summer and the result was excellent. I still have two jars left.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. November 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I have to look for elderberries now….never tried! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      oh they are great and health wise very good for one x


  13. November 21, 2014 at 4:35 AM

    Seriously awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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