With a have a huge elderberry bush in the corner of the property, every summer I always enjoy making preserves and syrups.
Elderberries are extremely high in vitamin C. The berries contain more vitamin C than any other herb except rosehips and black currant. The bush and berries are steeped in folklore and offer many a remedy for a slew of ailments. Not only growing your own food but “pharmacy” too!
The syrup is great to take during the flu season and there’s no need for a “spoonful of sugar” to help this “medicine go down!”
Elderberries are known to have “antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis.” – HerbWisdom.com
This year, I tried a more “European” style preserve that doesn’t require straining out the seeds and skins (I believe the skins are the healthiest part!). And with our very own small orchard of apple trees, I used homegrown apples instead of pectin.
450g (1lb) elderberries, stripped from stems
225g (8oz) cooking apples, peeled and chopped
150ml (1/4 pt) water
juice of 2 lemons
2 sprigs of lemon balm (I substituted Lemon Verbena)
675g (1 1/2 lb) sugar
Put all the ingredients into a pan and simmer until a small quantity, put on a plate, wrinkles when cold. Remove balm. Pour into hot sterilized jars and cover.
Recipe courtesy of