Sunday, July 18, 2010
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Mulberry Jelly Recipe - The Easy Way
14 cups fresh mulberries (4 cups juice)
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 box Certo light pectin crystals
1 tablespoon lemon juice
(makes 12 1/2 cup jars (125 ml) or 6 250 ml jars) I use 1 liter jars in the pictures for my own jelly. I use the small decrotive jars to give away as presents. People really like to get this jelly as a gift.)
WARNING: YOU CAN NOT CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR OR THE JELLY WON'T SET.
First you will need to find some fresh mulberries. We have a few trees in our backyard. The bulk of the berries ripen in the first weeks of July and then the trees slow down. There are usually some berries into late August. When the trees are in full production they are very easy to harvest. Just lay a tarp or a sheet under a low-lying branch and shake. The ripe berries will fall onto your tarp. This method requires more cleaning, but you can get all the berries you need for a batch in about 5 minutes. When there are less berries you will need to hand pick them.
A half of a big salad bowl is about right. The more berries you pick will mean less work when it comes to squeezing out the juice. A few redder berries will give the jelly more of a tart taste.
Wash the berries well before crushing them. Birds love to eat the berries on the higher branches and sometimes the fruit below gets hit with some droppings.
Layer some cheescloth over a collinder. Take a potato masher and squish the berries a layer at a time. Don't forget to put a bowl under the collinder. Also, don't wear any nice clothes because if mulberry juice splatters on them you may not get it out.
Next, you will need to sterilize the jars and lids. Place them in a big pot and cover with water. Boil the jars for at least five minutes. Depending on your stove and equipment, you may want to start this step earlier because you will need the jars right after you finish cooking the juice.
When the juice boils add the rest of the sugar and continue stirring. When the mixture starts to boil, let it continue boiling for 1 minute. (Do not overcook) After one minute take the juice off the heat and skim off anything floating on top.
I like to make some jelly in the 1/2 cup decorative jars. They come with labels and make excellent gifts. This gift costs very little, but will be appreciated because of the effort you went through.