Elderberry Sauce Recipe

A good elderberry sauce is so versatile it can be used to top off dinner or dessert.

From "Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding"
July 2014

  • This elderberry sauce can be used for dipping and dunking just about anything.
    Photo by Fotolia/denio109
  • “Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding” by Marilyn McCray is an eclectic, fun cookbook guided by the 1950s fictional spokeswoman, Irma Harding.
    Cover courtesy Octane Press

For anyone wanting to preserve garden-fresh vegetables at home, Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding, (Octane Press, 2014) offers modern techniques and delicious recipes. Author Marilyn McCray also guides readers through smoking and curing fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. The following excerpt from “Fruits”, provided by Amy Crowell of Eat Wild Edible Texas, is for a multi-use Elderberry Sauce Recipe.

This book can be purchased from the GRIT store: Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding.

“This sauce can be used as a dip for dunking just about anything—crackers, chips, French fries, fingers—or for pouring over, well, just about anything. I’ve drizzled this sauce over wild salmon and vanilla ice cream with equally great results.”

Elderberry Sauce Recipe


• 1-1/2 cups elderberries, de-stemmed
• 1/4 medium onion, chopped
• 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon allspice
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• Tiny pinch cinnamon
• Tiny pinch cayenne
• Tiny pinch salt


1. Bring the elderberries, onion, and vinegar to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and strain the infused elderberry juice through a jelly bag or a few layers of cheesecloth to yield about 1/2 cup of juice.

3. Put the juice back into a clean saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer the sauce for 10–20 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly, until desired consistency.

4. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.

More from Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding:

Pickled Watermelon Rind Recipe
6-in-1 Refrigerator Cookies Recipe
Fermented Corn Relish Recipe

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding: Recipes to Preserve Food, Family, and the American Way by Marilyn McCray and published by Octane Press, 2014. Purchase this book from our store: Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding.

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