This article focuses on How To Make Elderberry Syrup using the water bath canning method. This is a repost from an article I did last year, but now includes a YouTube video at the bottom.
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Making Elderberry Juice
The first step to most of the recipes I found is to make elderberry juice. This involves mixing the elderberries with water, mashing them, boiling them, and then separating the pulp and seeds from the juice.
The way I did mine is I dumped all of the baggies of frozen elderberries into a large pot. I added a few cups of warm water to help them start to defrost and I used a potato masher to start crushing the fruit. After several minutes of crushing, I added more water to cover the elderberries so they are just barely floating.
At this point I put the pan on the stove and brought it up to a boil and then simmered it for 10 minutes. While this was going on I was still going at the mixture with the potato masher.
Once the time was up, I put a strainer in a pot and poured the mixture into the strainer. This separates the pulp and seeds from the juice. I let the mixture set in the strainer for a few minutes and then I started mashing the pulp with a spoon to get a little more juice out. Make sure you are using a strainer with small holes or you will push the pulp and seeds through the strainer.
If you look at the picture titled “Pulp and Seeds to be Discarded” you can see I have a metal strainer with very small holes. I bought this strainer for seed saving and it works perfect for this as well. I’ll do a separate article on seed saving in the summer or fall of this year.
After you have pressed the mixture into the strainer and no more liquid is coming out, discard the pulp and seeds. They can be composted and you won’t have to worry about the seeds sprouting because of the heat from the boiling.
Rinse and Repeat
Now rinse the strainer and the original pot and run the juice through the strainer one more time into the original pot to get any pulp and seeds out that may have got through the first run. If you have a good bit on the second run through you may want to consider a third run thorough. I did get a few seeds on my second run, but there weren’t too many, so I didn’t do a third run through the strainer.
Now you can “can” the juice for another project later or use the juice for a recipe. I immediately went on to the Elderberry Syrup recipe.
Elderberry syrup uses the elderberry juice from above as well as honey and cinnamon sticks. Like the elderberry juice above, I’ve included an abbreviated version of this recipe below in the recipe section so you can just copy that section without all of my details.
I measured out how much elderberry juice I had and it turned out to be 7 cups. So I modified the recipe below to match my quantity. The original recipe calls for 1 quart of elderberry juice (4 cups), 2 cups of honey, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Since I was close to 2 quarts of elderberry juice, I just doubled all ingredients. Since elderberry syrup is not rocket science, I just get close and it always seems to work out fine. So I ended up with the following ingredients: 7 C of elderberry juice, 4 C of honey, and 4 cinnamon sticks.
For The Recipe
For the recipe, just put all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. The elderberry syrup can be kept in the refrigerator, freezer, or it can be canned. I usually can mine in half pint jars (8oz).
If you are going to can, you need to start the canning process while the elderberry syrup is cooking so the lids, rings, and canner is ready when the elderberry syrup is done. I processed my syrup for 10 minutes.
Making Elderberry Syrup with Honey and Cinnamon Recipe
1 quart elderberry juice
2 cups honey
2 sticks cinnamon
Sterilize three 16-ounce jars, keep hot. Heat lids and rings in hot water, keep warm but not boiling. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot. Heat and stir until all honey is dissolved. Bring to boil and boil for ten minutes (this infuses the flavor of the spices into the syrup). Ladle hot syrup into sterilized jars leaving 1/4′′ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process for 10 minutes in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Makes around 3 pints of syrup. (You can adjust this recipe to make a smaller batch.)
Source of the recipe is http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/simple-elderberry-syrup-to-boost-immunity/. Please note that the use of raw honey doesn’t matter that much when making elderberry syrup because you lose the benefit of raw honey during the canning process.
Check out the video titled How To Make Elderberry Syrup.
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