MULBERRY JELLY (WITH PECTIN)


Spread on toast or crackers – you can enjoy jars of homemade mulberry jelly all year long! This jelly is very simple to make, perfect for beginners to jelly-making. Unlike jam (which uses whole fruit), jelly uses fruit juice to create a wobbly, transparent, jewel-like spread that will safely store in your pantry for at least one year. Enjoy!
 
Ingredients for  MULBERRY JELLY

Yield: 6-7 cups
Mulberries, Fully Ripe, Fresh or Frozen
8 cups
Lemon Juice
(Fresh or Bottled)
1/4 cup
Powdered Pectin
3 tablespoons (i.e. 50g JamSetta)
Sugar, White
5 cups

METHOD: 
1.  DAY 1: Make mulberry juice: Rinse mulberries. Measure mulberries into a large pan, adding 1/4 cup water per 4 cups of mulberries. Mash gently (or puree with a blender if desired). Simmer gently (lid on) for around 15 minutes or until the mulberries are very soft.  Gently strain juice through damp cloth (i.e. jelly bag or finely woven cheesecloth or muslin) into a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Do not squeeze – pressing the bag will result in a cloudy jelly. Keep juice refrigerated. 
TIP: Skip this simmering fruit step and use a steam juicer or an electric juicer instead!
2.  DAY 2: Clean jars (or bottles) and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
3.  Prepare jars (if they require pre-heating, i.e. twist top jars) in a pot lined with a cloth. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
4.  Place lids into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
5.  Measure 3 1/2 cups of mulberry juice into a pan, freezing any excess juice. Add lemon juice and pectin. Whisk well. Bring to a boil, as high as possible, and then add the sugar all at once. Whisk well and return to heat. Whisk occasionally while the sugar dissolves, to prevent the jelly sticking to the pot base. Bring jelly to a rolling boil (cannot stir down, mixture may foam up). Boil as hard as possible for 1 minute. Then turn the heat off, skim foam from the surface and check for gel stage (jam/jelly consistency).
6.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel. Pour the hot mulberry jelly into the hot jars to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim.
TIP: use a jug and jar funnel to fill jars.
7.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any jelly residue.
8.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”.
9.  Return jars of jelly into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
10.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time.
11.  The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
12.  Store jars of mulberry jelly in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume).
13.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 6-8 weeks.
 
Processing Time for  MULBERRY JELLY  in a Boiling Water Canner

Jar
Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 1 Litre
(quarts)
10
minutes
15 minutes
15 minutes
20 minutes

FLAVOUR IDEAS: 

Combine fruits, add a pinch of spice or a spoonful of juice (or liqueur) to a 500ml (pint) jar of mulberry jelly, process according to the recipe and taste when opening to check flavouring. Make in larger batches as desired. Adding different fruits/changing the quantity of mulberries may create a softer or firmer jelly, so we recommend testing a small batch first.
o    Apples
o    Blackberries
o    Black Raspberry Liqueur
o    Cinnamon
o    Gin
o    Ginger
o    Ginger Ale
o    Ginger Beer
o    Honey
o    Honey + Vanilla
o    Lemon Juice
o    Lemon Zest
o    Lime Juice
o    Lime Zest
o    Mint
o    Raspberries
o    Raspberry Liqueur
o    Rhubarb
o    Strawberries
o    Vanilla
o    Vodka
 
NOTES:
o    Using partially unripe (red) mulberries is okay for this recipe – it will require less lemon juice to set (omit lemon juice altogether if using 25% red mulberries + 75% fully ripe mulberries);
o    Low-Sugar Jelly: use low/no-sugar pectin and add sugar to taste; 
o    Take advantage of the harvesting period for mulberries and store the often large volumes of fresh mulberries in the freezer then thaw to cook into jam and pie filling, or juice them for cordial, syrup and jelly.
   
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

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