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Elderflower Jelly

This delightful and delicate jelly allows the wonderful flavour of Elderflowers throughout the year. It is delicious on hot toast or with scones

Elder is in flower from May to June and has a distinctive fragrance
Elder is in flower from May to June and has a distinctive fragrance

When harvesting Elder flowers, don't forget to give each flower a sniff to make sure the fragrance is good and sweet. Avoid anything that smells of "cat pee" or flowers that have started to brown

Recipe ingredients - makes 1.5 litre of jelly

10-15 large Elder flower heads

1l water

1kg jam sugar, or sugar and a packet of pectin powder

1tsp citric acid or 2tbs lemon juice


  1. Agitate flower heads to remove any insects

  2. Pick through and remove any leaves, twigs or detritus

  3. Pour water (cold) into a large container and place the flower heads flowers down into the water

  4. Cover the container with muslin and leave in a cool dark place for three days

  5. Remove the flowers and strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag into a non-reactive pan with a lid

  6. Prepare sterilised jam jars

  7. Add sugar/sugar plus pectin powder and citric acid/lemon juice

  8. Keeping the lid on as much as possible, bring to a rolling boil until set point is reached (easiest way to achieve this is to use a sugar thermometer - when temperature reaches 105C that is set point)

  9. Pour in to sterilised jars, complete by canning and allow to cool

If jars are sterilised and canned correctly, your jelly should last for 1 year unopened, and 1 month opened and stored in a refrigerator.

Discover more wild edibles and recipes on a foraging course and read more about Elder here.

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!


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