Every year, I'm so stoked at the number of berries our two little potted Mulberry bushes are giving us. Virtually every single branch is loaded with yummy berries. The youngest branches are bending almost touching ground due to the weight from the berries.
Although we love eating the berries and benefiting from all the nutrients we get from them, I like testing other ways of consuming the berries. Last week, I tried to make some Mulberry syrup which was quite nice. This weekend I tried to make some Mulberry Jam which was not a great success but my talented wife managed to save the batch as I will explained later on.
- 1 kg of Mulberries
- 600 grams of raw sugar
- the juice of two or three lemons
- ½ cup of water at room temperature
First of all, go and pick some nice and fresh berries. You can pick them and freeze them for later use but as my Mulberry bushes are fruiting I just went out and pick them and make the jam straight away.
Rince the berries and remove any bad ones, leaves and any insects. We personally don't bother removing the stems. Add the berries and the water into a pan. I find the water helps cooking the berries without burning them at the bottom.
Squeeze the juice off the lemons. You can choose to add more or less juice depending on your taste. We personally do enjoy it to be a bit sour or else the sweetness might be a bit too overwhelming.
Turn the heat to highest setting and stir continuously until boiling point. When you can see it boiling, stir some more for a minute and turn off the heat. You should already be smelling some very sweet berry smell.
With a potato masher or wooden spoon, mash the berries down. Here is also a personal taste but we don't blend the berries and don't mash them too much. We like having some of the flesh in the jam to add texture to it.
Now add the sugar to the mix. Some recipes go for adding sugar in same amount as berries either by volume or weight. I initially used the same weight of berries/sugar but that was way too sweet to our liking.
Now stir thoroughly until complete incorporation of the sugar. Then turn on the heat to medium or slightly lower and regularly stir to prevent burning at the bottom. I set a repeating 5 minutes timer and let it go for about an hour or so.
Once the jam got to a consistency you would like for a jam, turn off the heat. I used a spoon to stir the jam and left it in an empty bowl. As I went to stir some more, I checked the stain inside the bowl, as it cools down it got thicker, that was a kind of indicator for me. But you need to keep in mind that once cooled down, especially if you keep the jam in the fridge, it will get even thicker when set.
Another thing we do before turning of the heat is set the heat to highest again for about a minute or two and then turn off. It seems to help with setting the jam as it cools down.
As mentioned earlier, I initially used same weight of berries/sugar and it ended up too sweet. We thought that when spread on a bread or pancake it would be better and indeed it was better but still not enough by far. So, the next day, my wife decided to empty the jars back into a pan and added some more berries to reach a 5:3 berry to sugar ratio (500g of berries for 300 grams of sugar) and it turned out perfect!
The funny thing is that she noticed that after emptying the 5 jars and adding some more berries to it she ended up with the same 5 jars, no more no less 🤔🤣. But now they have the ideal balance of sweetness, sourness and berry flavor.
For the jars, we used some from store-bought jams and honey. They we pre-washed and the sterilisation was done by just pouring the hot jam into them. They were then finger tighten and turned upside-down. The high heat from the jam would sterilize the sides of the jar and the air inside it. As it cools down, the trapped air pocket will shrink down and the void that is created would suck the lid creating an airtight seal for longer shelf life.
Previously on my blog:
- Discovering Chimarrão a caffeinated drink from Brazil
- Homemade Mulberry Syrup
- Germinating my Aji Amarillo chili seeds
- My favourite bread machine recipe
- Spring gardening
- Small yield of black turmeric (Curcuma caesia) and orange turmeric (Curcuma longa) in Gosford.
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