I can’t wait for it to be mulberry season again. Last year we added a couple more mulberry bushes to our property. These deep purple berries are filling the mulberry bushes and dropping to the ground. With the many benefits of mulberry we don’t want to let them go to waste.
Most are not ripe yet and well have a long way to go but we really wanted to add mulberry jam to our stash of home-canned jams for the kids while we had some downtime with the new baby and home remodels before the berries were gone. The kids loved the mulberry syrup they helped make this year so I knew this canning recipe would be a hit.
While the contractor was putting new slats of wood on the front porch we were out back picking berries. Most were so far out of our reach the oldest two go brave and climbed atop the van to reach ripe and nearly ripe berries.
The littles enjoyed reading Here we go Around the Mulberry Bush while they waited. This mulberry jam uses a good bit of not quite ripe fruit to replace the need to use the store-bought pectin making the cost of these jars of jam even less and just a bit less processed which is always a win in my book.
How to make Mulberry Jam
This is a simple one as you would guess. Like our sweet summertime strawberry jam, it is sweet and delicious. Start by going out and filling a bucket with about 3 cups of fresh mulberries.
For most of us up here in Detroit MI these are easy to find in the backyard and if not in your backyard it is easy to forage for mulberries. Luck so has it my sister and I both have mulberry trees so we will have a full stock of this flavor if I can find time.
- 3 cups fresh mulberries 1/2 deep purple 1/2 pinkish red
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3-12oz jelly jars
Canning your own Mulberry Jam
Start by giving your mulberries a good cleaning. Don’t bother attempting to remove all of those little green stems. That is a great way to waste your life away just ask owl.
Place your mulberries into a large pan, add the lemon juice. Give it all a good mashing with a potato masher while you bring the berries to a good simmer to release all of that lovely juice and naturally occurring pectin.
Once the berries hit a strong boil use a small mesh strainer to remove most seeds and the stems. I could not find my better strainer so I skimmed more seeds off the top. Like the cherry jelly, you want to do the best you can to remove the less than pretty parts.
Add sugar and stir constantly until jam comes to a rolling boil you can not stir down. Continue to boil one minute then test for gelling. To test that it will gel put a spoonful in the freezer to quick cool. If it does not gel boil a bit longer.
Ladle into sterilized canning jars. Wipe the rims and add the lids and rings. Process in a water bath for ten minutes. Any jars that do not seal should be refrigerated and used within one week.
Tips for making mulberry jelly
Choose ripe mulberries: Select fully ripe mulberries for the best flavor and natural sweetness. Look for dark-colored berries that are plump and juicy. If you are making a batch like this 3ith no pectin mix in half under-ripe berries.
Prepare the fruit: Wash the mulberries thoroughly and remove any stems or leaves. Check for any spoiled or unripe berries and discard them.
Skim the foam: Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. The foam may form on the surface, so skim it off with a spoon or ladle. Continue boiling for the time specified on the pectin package, usually around 1-2 minutes.
Perform a gel test: To check if the jelly has reached the desired consistency, place a small amount on a chilled spoon and let it cool for a few seconds. If it wrinkles and holds its shape when pushed with your finger, it has reached the gel stage. If not, continue boiling for another minute and repeat the test.
Cool and store: Allow the jars to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. Check that the lids have sealed properly by pressing the center of each lid. If it doesn’t pop back, the jar is sealed. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.