Elderberry Jelly Recipe

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Lidia Published: February 25, 2021 Modified: June 1, 2021

How To Make Elderberry Jelly

Enjoy the health benefits and the rich taste of wild elderberries in a jam with this delicious Elderberry Jelly recipe including a step-by-step process.

Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking: 1 hour
Strain Time: 1 hour
Total: 3 hours



  • ¾lbselderberries,ripe
  • ¼cuplemon juice,freshly squeezed
  • MCP (Monocalcium Phosphate),(1 packet) or SureJell pectin
  • cupswhite granulated sugar
  • ¼tspbutter


  1. Rinse the elderberry clusters thoroughly by putting them in the basin of a kitchen sink, and fill it up with water.

  2. Working over a large bowl, work on 1 small cluster at a time, gently raking the fingers or the tines of a fork across the clusters to dislodge the berries from the stems.

  3. For each batch of jelly, collect 3 pounds of de-stemmed elderberries (about 8 to 10 cups).

  4. Place the berries in a large pot and crush with a potato masher to release some of the juices.

  5. Turn the heat to medium and continue to crush as the mixture heats up to a boil.

  6. Once the berries and their juices reach a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the berries simmer for 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat.

  8. Place a large fine-mesh sieve, or 4 layers of cheesecloth, over a pot.

  9. Slowly transfer the mashed berries and juice over the sieve to strain the juice out into the pot. Let strain for 1 hour.

  10. For jars needed for canning, 5 to 6 8-ounce canning jars and lids are needed.

  11. Rinse out the jars and place on a baking sheet, top-up, in the oven. Heat for 10 minutes at 200 degrees F to sterilize the jars.

  12. To sterilize the lids, bring a kettle of a couple of cups of water to a boil.

  13. Place lids in a shallow bowl and pour the boiling water over them.

  14. To make 1 batch of jelly, 3 cups of juice will be needed, if using MCP or SureJell pectin. (Any amount more than that can be reserve for making syrup, or be added to another batch for jelly.)

  15. Place 3 cups of juice into a large, high-sided, wide pot (8-quart).

  16. Add the lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a boil on high heat.

  17. Add 4½ cups sugar and ¼ teaspoon of butter.

  18. Stir with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil again.

  19. Watch the pot as the mixture will foam up considerably. There may be a need to lower the heat a bit to keep the foam from boiling over the pot.

  20. Boil the mixture, then pour into canning jars:

  21. As soon as the mixture reaches a rolling boil that cannot be diminished by stirring, watch the clock.

  22. At exactly 2 minutes, remove from heat and pour the mixture into canning jars to ¼-inch of headspace from the rim.

  23. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel. Place lids on jars and rings to secure.

Recipe Notes

  • Use mostly berries that are completely blue or black. A few underripe green berries are fine; they have more pectin and including them will help the jelly set
  • By the way, the reason why a small amount of butter is added is to help keep the mixture from boiling up as high.
  • If desired, to ensure a good seal and to protect against mold (any potentially harmful bacteria will already be destroyed by the sugar concentration of the jelly), process the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes. To do so, put a steaming rack at the bottom of a large, tall pot. Fill the pot halfway with water (enough to cover jars with 1 to 2-inches of water when in the pot), bring to a boil, gently place the jars in the pot (helps to use a jar lifter, tongs, or be wearing rubber gloves), boil for 5 minutes, and remove. Let cool. As the jelly cools, a popping sound should be heard as the lids seal.
  • Sometimes even half as much pectin will cause the jelly to set, though perhaps not as firm as the whole amount.


  • Calories: 3753.24kcal
  • Fat: 2.81g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.71g
  • Trans Fat: 0.04g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.52g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.89g
  • Carbohydrates: 966.63g
  • Fiber: 24.00g
  • Sugar: 899.74g
  • Protein: 2.47g
  • Cholesterol: 2.54mg
  • Sodium: 30.15mg
  • Calcium: 142.22mg
  • Potassium: 1033.66mg
  • Iron: 5.94mg
  • Vitamin A: 110.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 146.08mg
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