Elderberry Jelly in the Instant Pot

When my husband and I were first married in 1972, I can’t believe that was 45 years ago, he would go out into the woods where we lived and pick me elderberries.  I would make jars of elderberry jelly to see us through the long, winter months– almost sounds like an episode from Little House on the Prairie! lol

I grew up learning how to can vegetables from the garden, make jelly from blackberries and elderberries, bake homemade bread, and we lived on venison if hubby was able to bag his deer during hunting season! My hubby was always out in the woods, so he knew when the berries were ripe! The late summer and early fall were busy times in my kitchen.

Fast forward to 1992, when my husband became a Methodist Pastor. We moved 5 different times and my husband was so busy he spent less and less time in the woods, plus he wasn’t familiar with the woods in these areas of the country and you have to know where elderberry bushes grow!! People that do know, most likely, won’t share their “secret” spots. In those 24 years, I only made elderberry jelly one time when one of our parishioners brought me a basket load!  You will never know how excited I was that day!

Recently, I jumped on the bandwagon and bought an Instant Pot. I seriously can’t say enough good things about this appliance. I found so many recipes on Pinterest (I only have 620 recipes pinned) and one of them was for Elderberry Syrup that I found really interesting.
Great for cold and flu season!
I ordered some dried elderberries to make the syrup and it turned out great.
I purchased the dried Elderberries from the Bulk Herb Store.
Then my mind got to thinking…
“why can’t I use these dried berries to make the juice for jelly?”

Today, I decided to experiment.

Since the Sure Jell recipes calls for 3 cups of Elderberry juice, I decided to use 1 1/4 cups of the dried berries to 3 1/2 cups of water.  The extra 1/2 cup of water is needed for evaporation during the processing and I ended up with exactly 3 cups of juice. If you have less, just add water to make 3 cups.

Since my Instant Pot has a saute‘ feature, I decided to use it to make the jelly in instead of the conventional pot on the stove.

I put the berries and water in the IP and processed for 10 minutes with a NPR (Natural Pressure Release means let it release on its own) for 10 minutes then a QR (Quick Release- turn the knob to release the pressure) to finish releasing any pressure left in the IP.
You’ll learn these abbreviations if you read any IP recipes!

So after straining the berries and collecting the juice into another bowl,

I added the juice back into the Instant Pot.

Using the Sure Jell recipe, I added the packet of pectin to the juice and brought it all to a rolling boil.

Once it starts to boil, add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and stir it to incorporate.

Bring this mixture to a rolling boil again.
I stirred it often so the sugar didn’t scorch on the bottom.
Boil for 1 minute, then turn the Instant Pot off.
I removed the inner pot so it would stop cooking- then skimmed off any foam.
Ladle the jelly into prepared mason jars that have been sterilized.

Put the lids and rings on the jars.
I washed the stainless steel lining of the IP after making the jelly and then added in 2 cups of water.
Place the trivet (comes with the IP) in the IP and place mason jars on the trivet.

Put the lid on the IP and process for 10 minutes.  This will seal the jars.

Some people feel the IP isn’t safe to use for pressure canning, but this worked for me.  Jelly only needs to be processed in a hot water bath anyway! I only have 2 pint jars, because the 3rd one is in the refrigerator to use ASAP!

I love the convenience, no more dragging up the stock pot and the canner…everything can be done in the Instant Pot!

Recipe recap:
To make the juice: 1 1/4 cups of dried elderberries and 3 1/2 cups of water. Process 10 minutes and then strain the juice and discard the berries.

3 cups of elderberry juice
1/4 cup of lemon juice
4 1/2 cups of sugar
1 box of sure jell
Pour elderberry and lemon juice into IP and stir in the packet of sure jell.  Bring to a boil and add the sugar.  Bring it back to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute.  Pour jelly into prepared jars, add lids and rings.  Put 2 cups of water into the clean Instant Pot, place trivet inside and add the jars.  Put lid on IP and process 10 minutes using the Manual button. Do a 10 minute NPR and the do a QR. Remove jars and let cool.

I am thrilled how this jelly turned out and so much easier to make using the dried berries and can be made ANY TIME of the year, not just when the berries are ripe!

Thanks for stopping by today!