Elderberry Apple Jam

Elderberry Apple Jam

Elderberry Apple Jam

Yield: 3 half-pint jars of jam


6 cups of elderberries, carefully picked over to remove any green berries and pieces of stems and leaves.

8 small-medium, slightly under-ripe apples, diced (roughly 1/2 inch pieces) and cored (leave skin on). I’ve used Liberty, McIntosh, and Jonathan with great results in my various versions of elderberry apple jelly and jam.

1/2 cup water

3 and 1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice


In a large saucepan, gently crush some of the berries with the back of a large spoon. You must be gentle, to avoid crushing the seeds, which releases a bitter flavor into the juice. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and gently crushing the berries with the back of the spoon, until enough of the berries have burst to make it liquidly. You won’t need to do much crushing because the boiling actually makes most of them burst. Add diced apples, return to a boil, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until apples are mushy. Strain through a fine mesh metal strainer, to remove seeds. You may gently push the berry and apple pulp through the strainer with the back of a spoon. But, again, avoid crushing the elderberry seeds. Put the juice/pulp, the sugar, and the lemon juice into a large saucepan, and return to a boil. The mixture will be thick, so stir frequently, scraping the bottom of the pot, to prevent scorching. Continue simmering and stirring/scraping for about 10-15 minutes, until it sheets off a spoon (or until it reaches desired thickness). Hint: Do not use the temperature test for doneness. Mine became quite thick and passed the spoon test while still at the boiling point of water, 212 degrees F. It’s a firm gel when cool. Pour into sterile half-pint jars, cover with sterile lids and rings, and process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

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