photo courtesy simply recipes
I grew up/raised on elderberries: elderberry jelly, juice and wine! Perhaps it’s due to my European roots? More recently, our drive-way was lined with elderberry bushes, actually they’re more like trees, often requiring a rake or cultivator ‘hook’ to bring the fruit down to picking level. The elderberry fruit usually ripens mid-August. Over the past few years, we ‘lost’ most of our elderberries since our drive usually is hot, dry and never ‘watered’. Elderberry prefers fertile, moist soil and is often wild-crafted around my neck of the woods!
Elderberry blossoms are often picked, battered, fryed and eaten!
You can learn more about elderberry culture at the MSUE site here http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/default.cfm?pageset_id=260250&page_id=429827&msue_portal_id=25643
You can find a HOW-TO elderberry jelly recipe here at Simply Recipes (click on the link) http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/elderberry_jelly/
My elderberry jelly recipe requires: approx 16 cups berries to produce ~ 3 cups juice, 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin, 4- 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. I normally do not add butter to control ‘foam’. Yield: Approx six half-pint jelly jars. Follow the same steps as above (in Simply Recipes) to prepare fruit, juice and finally, jelly.
It’s a lot of work, considering the amount of teeny weeny berries required, but sooooo delicious!