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2 half pint jars


8 hours 5 mins


0 hours 20 mins


8 hours 25 mins

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1/2 Cup dried elderberries
3/4 Cup filtered or bottled water
1 1/2 Cups apple juice
1 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tsp. Sugar-free pectin
1/2 Cup Swerve sugar substitute


1) Soak the dry elderberries in 3/4 cup of filtered or bottled water overnight. Be sure they are completely covered.

2) In a large pot, bring the berries, the soaking water, balsamic vinegar, and juice to a boil.

3) In a bowl, mix the pectin and sugar. Pour into the boiling jam liquids.  Stir continuously for about a minute until the sugar and pectin are completely dissolved into the jam mixture.  Be sure to scrap down the sides, bottoms and crevices so that everything is well incorporated.

4) Bring the jam to a boil again. Reduce heat slightly and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until the jam starts to thicken.  Note:  the jam will appear to still be too fluid but the jam will thicken up as it cools.

5) Remove pot from heat and pour or spoon jam into jar (s).  Serve with your favorite bread, toast or crackers.

NOTE: If you haven’t had elderberry jam, you are in for a unique treat.  This jam is easy to make and is a small batch of the jam so you won’t be storing this or going through the standard canning process.  This recipe is meant to be consumed within a couple of weeks and is a fresh jam.  The good news?  You won’t have any trouble consuming it during that time frame.  It is amazing on toast, crackers, English muffins and croissants and can be used in any of your baking recipes.  Be sure to try my Elderberry Liqueur recipe too.

I also love to serve this with a cheeseboard or charcuterie board.  It is fabulous with cheese!

Before we get into making this dish, you should note a couple of things about elderberries.  If you haven’t worked with them before, please note that I’m working strictly with dried elderberries, not fresh.  Why you ask?  First, fresh elderberries are hard to find in your grocery store.  They do have toxic parts of the plant so foraging and preparing fresh elderberries is another whole blog post.  So, for this recipe (and all my elderberry recipes), I’m using dried berries.

Dried elderberries have been separated from their toxic parts but still need to be cooked – just to be safe.  So, as you’ll see, we take care of that very nicely in this recipe.

Elderberries are also known for their medicinal properties and are often used to make tea, gummy candy and syrups.  So, they are good for you too!  Buying elderberries is easy enough if you shop on line.  I buy elderberries whole.  I have also seen them in Target and Wholefoods.

What do elderberries taste like?  I like to compare them to a combination of blackberries and cranberries.  A little sweet and a little tart.  They make an excellent sauce for Thanksgiving so be sure to check out my cranberry elderberry sauce recipe.

To make this recipe, I wanted to eliminate as much excess sugar as possible so I did use Swerve sugar substitute and a sugar-free pectin.  There is apple juice in this recipe but I did use one with no added sugar.  If you are so inclined, feel free to use real sugar, honey or agave instead of the sugar substitute.

To get started, you’ll soak the berries overnight in the filtered or bottled water.  If you have a filtered system at home, simple use that filtered tap water.  If not, bottled water is just fine.  You are just looking for the purest water possible for the best taste.  NOTE:  I’ll often add a couple of tablespoons of extra water when soaking to be sure I have 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid left the next day.  Just pour into a measuring cup to get your 3/4 cup.

The next day (after soaking), add the 3/4 cup of the soaking water, the hydrated berries, the apple juice and my secret ingredient, the elderberry infused balsamic vinegar into a large pot.  Bring it to a boil. Note that if you don’t have the elderberry vinegar, substitute regular balsamic vinegar or omit it completely.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the pectin and sugar.  Add to the boiling liquid and stir really well.  Stir for a full minute, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the pan to get everything dissolved and incorporated.

Boil for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until the liquid has started to thicken.  It will not get to it’s jam-like consistency until it is completely cooled.  Take the pot off the stove and pour or spoon into your jar (s).  This will yield about one cup.

NOTE:  There is not a lot of acidity in this jam, nor is there enough sugar (since I’m using a sugar substitute) to make it safe for canning, so I do not recommend canning or storing it.  This is a quick jam and one that is meant to be consumed within a couple of weeks.  Keep it refrigerated during that time.  If gifting this, be sure to add a tag that gives an expiration date.  Better to be safe.

If you enjoy this jam, be sure to try a few of my others:

Apricot Jam and Sauce

Sugar Free Raspberry Jam

Want to try something different?  Try my Apricot Mostarda which is perfect on your next cheeseboard.