Since jellies can be canned in a hot water bath, they are a great beginning recipe for anyone who wants to explore the art of canning. Keep on the lookout for elderberries as they come into bloom. You might be surprised at how small the berries actually are. It takes a large bowlful, to make enough juice for a batch of jelly.
Elderberry jelly can also be melted down to glaze between the layers of a cake. I like to use it warmed, by poking holes in a single layer vanilla cake, and pouring over a jar of melted elderberry jam. Served with homemade whipped cream, and this winter time dessert is heavenly.
Sweetly effervescent, what's not to love about Elderflower fizz? Even the name evokes a sense of fun. Elder flowers are beautifully fragrant. They are prolific for a short period of time, so be on the lookout to make a note where they will be easiest to harvest from.
Remember, leave enough flowers so that the berries can form later in the season. I like to pick my flowers from the heaviest laden bushes, and even then only take 1/4 of them. That leaves 1/2 for the wildlife and another 1/4 for berry harvest. Since not every year is a big one for elderberries, it is prudent to not over harvest.
Make elderberry syrup by the quart, and keep it on hand for the entire year. We have it in the back of the refrigerator, for those times I want to make cough drops or even lollipops (essentially, a cough drop on a stick, right?).
Freeze the syrup and store it until you need it. Elderberry syrup is wonderful for flavoring teas and herbal remedies for children. Use it in ice pops and of course, over ice cream. You can never have too much of this delectable treat.
What's not to love about homemade pie? Elderberries are often seen as an old fashioned type pie that grandma used to make. I consider that a challenge, and have brought it back for my family to enjoy.
Why not harvest as many elderberries as you can this year, and stash them in the freezer to make pie all winter? They are virtually free to harvest, and who doesn't love a good pie? For a nice change, try making hand pies, and tucking them into your lunch box, or keeping them on hand for those sweet cravings. Either way, elderberry pie will put any packaged snack to shame.