Friday 7 September 2012

Bodzalekvár - Elderberry Jam


I took our little 16 months old son Leo to our local Stanmer Park berry picking a couple of days ago. He was in a backback enjoying the views and eating lots of blackberries while I managed to pick a kilo of elderberries and blackberries. His face (and the back of my jumper) was a beautiful claret colour from all the squashed blackberries! There are lots more to pick if anyone has the chance to go now. These are the same elder trees I picked flowers from early summer for elderflower cordial.
Elderberries are packed with vitamin C so great for winter top up. In this recipe I also used blackberries and apples, it's a delicious combination of autumn fruit, they really compliment each other. Try this jam on top of your porridge with a little bit of milk and honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

750g elderberries
250g blackberries 
1kg slightly sour apples (I used Discovery)
2-3 cinnamon sticks or cinnamon bark
500g granulated sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
juice of 1/2 lemon
water (about 1 litre)

Pick the elderberries off the stalks with a fork (or by hand) and wash. They will need a couple of rinses. The best way of doing this is by covering them with plenty of water in a bowl. All the green berries and the dry shrivelled ones will float to the top and you can skim these off easily. The ripe fruit sinks to the bottom of the dish. Wash the blackberries too and add both to a large pan. Add about 100ml water. Wash and core the apples, chop them into cubes. I didn't bother to peel them. Add them to the pan together with the cinnamon sticks. Bring it to the boil then start simmering until all the fruit has fallen to bits and become soft. This took me around 30 minutes. You will need to add some more water little at a time as you go. Keep an eye on the pan, the simmering fruit should have a jam consistency right the way through. I used about a litre of water added gradually. Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar slowly, mixing it until it is completely melted, then add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the sugar if you like. Put it back on the heat and bring back to the boil, cook it for 10 minutes. Pour the jam into sterilized jars (this recipe made 8x200ml jars), seal and let it cool.

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