Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mulberry Time

This time of year, my whole family keeps an eye out for mulberry trees for me. There is one around the corner from me which has the largest and sweetest mulberries I've ever seen. We found another one at the local elementary school and picked some berries there before we were chased away by a thunderstorm. I froze those berries in anticipation of getting enough to make some sort of jam but, I must say, they are not as good as those from the tree around the corner. We made two trips to that tree, freezing each small haul, until I felt I had enough berries.

Today I did an experiment, sort of, and I hope it works out. I had a total of 4 cups of crushed mulberries and 2 heaping cups of chopped rhubarb (this is the last of the rhubarb for this year. Honest.). Certo recipes seem to use 1 package of Certo to 4 cups of fruit, so I could either use 1 or 2 packages or try to use 1.5 packages, I chose 1 package. My thought was that the mulberries and rhubarb, being less sweet than other fruits, might have more pectin in them. That's the gamble here; maybe it won't be as gelled as I'd like. Anyhow, here's today's recipe:

Mulberry-Rhubarb-Vanilla Jam
4 cups crushed mulberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
7 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half, sliced open
1 package Certo

This made 9 half-pints, almost exactly. Processed in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes. It has a very strong vanilla taste and smell. Mmm.

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