Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Preserve Week: Nigel Slater's Elderberry Jelly-Jam

I mentioned last week that my husband, at my request for interesting fruit, brought home some elderberries.

The first thought that popped into my head was:

My second thought was: what the heck am I going to do with elderberries?

So I googled just that. There were recipes for syrups and a couple for pies, but I knew I wasn't particularly interested in making either of those.

Elderberries aren't exactly the most popular fruit out there.

I removed myself to the kitchen and pulled Nigel Slater's Tender II off my shelf. He had two options for me: a sauce for venison or a jelly-jam that could later be put into a Jam Roly-Poly.

Now, I've never had a roly-poly, but I like the sound of a jam filled rolled cake (like a swiss roll), which seems to pretty much describe what a roly-poly is. The cake was traditionally steamed in a shirt sleeve (we're talking back in the 19th century here), which earned it the title Dead Man's Arm.

That's certainly a less appealing name.

So, if making the jelly-jam meant I could have cake at a later date, I knew I was in.

I should clarify one thing: Nigel calls this a jelly-jam because, after straining the berries over night as one does to make jelly, you have the option of incorporating some of the berries back into the jelly. So, it's like this beautiful combination of the two.

Oh! And before I forget: a warning.

Elderberries don't smell the prettiest. I think they smell rather of wet hay. Monty Python was definitely on to something!

Elderberry Jelly-Jam

(from Nigel Slater's Tender II)
makes 3 cups


750 grams elderberries (weight should be berries already removed from stems)
600 ml water
400 grams tart apples (I used Granny Smith, but if you have access to crab apples, even better), halved and left uncored and unpeeled
750 grams granulated sugar


1. Place elderberries, apples and water in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove from heat and then place mixture in a jelly bag to drip over night. Don't squeeze the bag or its contents, as you'll end up with a cloudy jelly.

draining through a jelly bag
2. The next day, pour the collected juices into a dutch oven along with the sugar. If you would like fruit in your jelly, add in some of the berries from the jelly bag. Discard the rest. Bring mixture back to a boil and boil hard for 10-15 minutes, or until jelly reaches its setting point.

3. Pour into sterilized jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

1 comment:

Locavore Family said...

Yum. I just finished up a batch of Elderberry Juice and Elderberry Syrup (same stuff, just left longer to thicken). I realized I need more jelly like I need a third breast - handy, but is it really necessary?

I pour a bit of syrup in a tall glass, fill with ice and club soda. Yum.

Did you enjoy the rolly-polly?

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