Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the monkey chased the weasel

I have a mulberry tree. Actually, I have two. And my mother has another two. What does one do with four mulberry trees? Why, one makes jelly of course!

It's not that I don't like the berries just fine straight off the branch - they're quite tasty. It's just that I don't really enjoy their little stems. They don't seem to detach easily. Or at all if you really want to know. So. Let's make some jelly.

Mulberry Jelly (with a little cranberry-pomegranate juice)

*For information regarding the sterilization process for jars and lids and general food preservation tips The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a comprehensive website.
To sterilize my jars I wash each one with soap and water, place them on a baking sheet (not touching), and put them in a 200 degree oven while I prepare the jam or jelly. The lids, bands, ladle and/or funnel I put in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes just before they are needed. The lids must be new. They cannot be re-used.


2 Quarts mulberries (or enough to equal 2 1/2 Cups juice when pressed)
2 Cups pure cranberry-pomegranate juice (such as R.W. Knudsen)
1/2 Cup water
1 (1.75 oz.) package 'Sure Jell' Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter (to help reduce foam)
6 1/2 Cups sugar

*sterilized jelly jars with lids and bands (enough to accommodate approximately 56 oz. of jelly - I used 8-4 oz. and 3-8 oz. jars)

Rinse and drain the mulberries. Place in a saucepan or small pot and heat gently over med-low and mash berries to a pulp. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and strain through cheese cloth (or a clean nylon stocking if you're un-fussy), reserving juice.

Measure reserved mulberry juice to be sure you have at least 2 1/2 cups. Add juice to a large, clean stockpot. Add the cranberry-pomegranate juice and the water. You should have a total of 4 1/2 cups of liquid. Sprinkle the 'Sure-Jell' over the juice mixture and add the 1/2 tsp. butter. Bring mixture to a boil and pour in the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil hard for exactly 1 minute.

Remove from heat, skim the surface for foam with a metal spoon, if necessary, and immediately ladle into sterilized jars filling them to within 1/8 inch of the rim. Wipe jar rims and threads with a clean, damp towel and place lids on top. Lightly screw the bands on and place jars on a rack in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars with tongs and allow to cool. Check seals. If any jars did not seal properly, they may be stored in the refrigerator and used within 1 month.

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