Skip to Content

Elderberry & Port Jelly

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly – delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

 

Elderberry & Port Jelly – this fruity seedless jam is delicious on toast or a buttermilk scone and it’s equally good with cooked or cold meats too as it pairs perfectly with beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Simply add it to your gravy or jus as you would when using redcurrant jelly.

Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone.

 

It’s all go here at the Kitchen Shed, jams and chutneys have been made and packed away in the pantry and we’re still facing what feels like a mountain of courgettes. My tomatoes are coming into their own at last after their poor start at the beginning of summer. The Scotch Bonnet chillies and butternut squashes are growing quite nicely and should be ready late September, I’m hoping for an Indian summer this year just to make sure.
Despite being busy I couldn’t resist picking the elderberries from the Elder trees in our field. Even though we picked the flowers in early summer to make Elderflower Liqueur, our trees were still packed with more than enough berries for us and the birds.

 

What a lovely wibble wobble on my Elderberry & Port Jelly

We waited patiently for the elderberries to ripen as it’s important to pick them when they’re fully ripe because unripe fruits can cause tummy upsets. To make the most of your foraged fruit, see my Harvesting Elderberries post for other recipes and more details on what to look for when picking.

I like to add preserves to my Christmas hampers, especially the more unusual ones you don’t find in the shops, as it makes the hampers a little more special. I think a pot or two of my Elderberry and Port Jelly will find their way into the hampers this year.

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

Elderberries are low in pectin and acid (both of which are essential in a good jelly) so I’ve used the juice and peel of a lemon and jam sugar to get a delicious wibble wobble jelly.

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

Included in the selection of Whitworths’ sugars I received as a prize for my Sweet Chilli Jam recipe was a jam sugar, perfect for use with fruits low in pectin. Although I generally use Whitworths’ packets of pectin, using the jam sugar was much easier as the sugar and pectin were already mixed in the correct ratio.

Elderberries are quite tart and I have in the past used apples to sweeten the flavour of the jelly (apples also add essential acid and pectin) but this tended to mask the full flavour of the elderberries. Adding port to the jelly maintained and enriched the essential elderberry flavour whilst improving the jelly’s sweetness.

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

You do need a lot of fruit when making a jelly as the strained fruit is discarded so there’s never the same quantity of jelly as there would be when making a jam with the same weight of fruit. I find the availability of fruit is never a problem with elderberries as they’re so prolific. That said, don’t be tempted to use more than the 2 kg recommended in the recipe as it will affect the setting of the jelly; if you have more elderberries, make your jelly in batches using 2 kg of fruit each time.

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

Jellies are easy to make, you cook the fruit in a little water until nice and soft and then strain for a couple of hours or overnight. You can get jelly bags and stands quite easily these days or you can use an upturned stool as a stand (OH made my stand from copper tube he had in stock but I reckon he regrets it now as copper is so expensive!) and hang a muslin cloth from it with a large bowl underneath.

To avoid a cloudy jelly, you’re not supposed to squeeze the fruit whilst it’s straining but it is really tempting to get as much juice as you can by squeezing the jelly bag. The good news is that squeezing a little more juice out of the fruit doesn’t really make much difference to the Elderberry and Port Jelly as it’s such a dark jelly.

 

 

If you like elderberry recipes, why not try my Elderberry Tart. I’ve used a rich butter pastry and used a small amount of custard flavoured with Creme de Cassis as a base for the elderberries for my version of this much loved tart. It truly is delicious, the elderberries adding just the right amount of tartness and fruitiness and if you’re like us you won’t be able to stop at just one slice.

Elderberry Tart makes the most of this delicious foraged fruit. Elderberries & a cassis flavoured custard fill this butter pastry shell - my version of the much loved Tarte aux Myrtilles.

 

 

Elderberry & Port Jelly with fresh elderberries.

Elderberry & Port Jelly

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone, equally at home in savoury dishes & makes a fruity jus or glaze for meat!
5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Jams, Pickles, Chutneys, Sauces, Dips & Spreads
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Straining Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 80 tablespoons
Calories: 45kcal
Author: Sarah James
tablespoons

Equipment

  • A large preserving pan
  • A scalded jelly bag
  • A jelly stand
  • Optional: jam thermometer
  • A couple of chilled saucers or plates to check the jelly has set.
  • At least 4 straight sided 250 g sterilised jam jars and lids

Ingredients

  • 2 kg cleaned elderberries, stalks removed
  • 2 Juice and zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 kg jam sugar I used Whitworths' Jam Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons port

Instructions

  • Place the elderberries and lemon zest in a preserving pan with the water and gently simmer for 35 to 45 minutes until soft. Mash well and remove from the heat.
  • Attach the jelly bag to its stand and place over a large bowl. Pour the contents of your preserving pan into the jelly bag and leave to strain for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Measure the strained juice and weigh 450 g (1 lb) of jam sugar to 600 ml (2 1/4 cups) of juice. Pour the strained juice into a preserving pan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat.
  • Add the weighed out jam sugar and stir, return to a low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in the lemon juice.
  • If using a jam thermometer, attach it to the side of your pan. Bring the jelly to a rolling boil and boil until setting point is reached; this is likely to be about 5 minutes of boiling. If using a jam thermometer, 104 C or 220 F indicates the seting point.
  • To check the jelly without a thermometer, drop a small amount of jelly on to your chilled saucer, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then push gently with your finger tip. If the jelly crinkles, setting point has been reached.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to settle for 5 minutes before skimming the jelly of any scum.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of port for every 900 ml of juice used and gently stir in.
  • Transfer to sterilised jars, screw on lids and leave to cool. Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight and once opened store in the fridge.

Notes

  • The recipe makes approximately 4 x 250g jars. Serving size is 1 tablespoon.
  • The amount of sugar in the ingredients list is approximate - weigh out your sugar and use 450g of jam sugar to 600ml of elderberry juice.
  • Use an upturned stool with a muslin cloth attached to it instead of a jelly bag and stand.
  • Use small straight sided 250 g jars
  • Preparation time does not include straining time.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition Facts
Elderberry & Port Jelly
Serving Size
 
1 Tablespoon
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
45
Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
71
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
6
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
150
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
9
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
10
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

Pin Elderberry & Port Jelly for later:

 

Make the most of the hedgerow harvest with my Elderberry & Port Jelly - delicious on a scone or try in a savoury dish and make a fruity jus or meat glaze!

 

 

I’m linking Harvesting Elderberries: Picking, Preserving & Recipes to a couple of food challenges this month:

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating




Imogen Michel

Monday 21st of September 2020

I made this jelly over the last couple of days and it worked really well - the hardest bit was cleaning and sorting the elderberries! Really looking forward to tasting it and giving some away as presents over the holidays. Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

sarahj

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

You're most welcome Imogen, so pleased the jelly turned out so well. It is a a longer job cleaning the elderberries but it really is worth it ;-)

Sweet Elderberry Vinegar - Tales From The Kitchen Shed

Sunday 20th of September 2020

[…] Elderberry Jelly with Port – this fruity seedless jam is delicious on toast or a scone and is equally good with cooked or cold meats as it pairs perfectly with beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Or simply add the jelly to your gravy or jus as you would when using redcurrant jelly. […]

Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Thursday 17th of September 2020

Yum! This Elderberry port jelly looks sooo mouthwatering! I can't wait to have that!

Bless my food by payal

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Such a lipsmacking jelly made with an ease. Super yum

Roxana

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

I loved this recipe. Very detailed and with lots of tips. I just need to find more elderberries to try out your other elderberry recipes.