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Elderberry Balsamic glaze

Wondering what to do with all those gorgeous elderberries that are so abundant in the hedgerows right now?! How about this amazing 3 ingredient elderberry and balsamic glaze!

It’s sweet and tart and tasty and so delicious! The berries add a lovely layer of flavour to the glaze as well as loads of vitamin C, antioxidants and cold and flu fighting qualities.

It can be drizzled over salads, used as a dip for bread, or in a sauce for rich meats and marinades! I use this all the time as a salad dressing for my workshops and always get such good feedback - so I thought it was time to share!


Firstly, to make sure you have the correct plant, elder is a small tree with gnarled grey bark, pointed oval leaves with serrated edges that always grow in leaflets of two opposite pairs and one pinnate leaf, as shown below. The berries are tiny, black and growing from red tinted stems.

Forage your elderberries by harvesting the whole 'head' of the elderberry (meaning the stem with all the elderberries attached). If you attempt to pick the individual berries, you'll make a lot of mess and not collect many berries!

Remember that elderberries are only edible once they have been cooked. Also that the stems and leaves of the elder are slightly toxic.


Makes: 1 CUP GLAZE

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 MIN

Difficulty: Easy


1 cup elderberries

1 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup of maple syrup


Firstly, process your elderberries. If you would like to try to pick them off the stems into a bowl while they are still fresh, then that's fine, however it will be messy and you may loose quite a lot of berry! I personally like to pop the whole elderberry heads into a Tupperware box and leave them in the freezer for two hours. Then, I will pick off the frozen berries. Much easier!

Add your elderberries (fresh or frozen), balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a sauce pan and bring to the boil.

Simmer gently until it has reduced by half, squishing the elderberries as you go. This should take around 20-30 minutes (if using frozen berries) of a low heat.

Leave to cool slightly, then strain and decant. Wait to cool completely before serving as it will thicken as it cools.


This glaze should last at least 3 weeks in the fridge and freezes well.


If you're planning on trying this recipe, let me kn

ow in the comments below! I'd love to see your results, share a picture on Instagram with me @foragedbyfern


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