Canning and jamming is becoming a little bit of a lost art. It once was something passed on from generation to generation, and now its been lost in the easiness of modern connivence and the busyness of our lives.
A couple of years ago, I got together with another mommy friend and we set about trying to learn the lost art of canning… We canned every type of fruit and vegetable that we could get our hands on, and even phoned our moms in the process trying to gather whatever tips they could share. We had canning parties, pickling parties, swapped recipes, swapped our jars we’d canned, we had a few terrible batches and a bunch of wins . There really is something magical about the process of bringing fresh produce from farm to table, and the wonderful sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that was forged .
The best part of it all is engaging with this age old art of canning with my children. Passing wisdom, knowledge and memories along to them is what it is all about. We spent the afternoon running through the community garden, playing and collecting bucketfuls of Mulberries and then went straight to the kitchen to make this delicious and simple Mulberry Jam Recipe.
3 c Mulberries
1/3 c lemon juice
10 mins to prep
20 mins to cook
10 mis to can
Put an extra large pot of water on to boil. Thoroughly wash your jars and lids and then carefully place them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and allow them to dry. Set the pot of water aside, you will use this water for the final step.
Rinse your Mulberries in cold water and remove any green stems. Place the Mulberries, sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg into a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and allow the mix to simmer until the berries are thoroughly cooked (approximately 15 minutes). Be sure to stir regularly so that the sugar does not burn.
Use a potato masher to mash the berries. Bring the mix to a rolling boil and add the pectin, stirring consistently for 1 minute, then remove the pot from heat.
Immediately fill your jars with the hot mix, leaving 1/4 inch of room. Screw the lids on to a ‘normal’ tightness.
Reboil your large pot of water. Use canning tongs to carefully place your jars back into the boiling water (standing upright), ensuring that the jars are completely submerged. Keep your jars in the water for 5 minutes. Remove them carefully with your tongs and allow the jars to cool.
As the jars cool they will form a suction that will preserve the canned goods. Re-check the lids to ensure they are all screwed on tightly.
The water bath allows for a shelf life of approximately 18 months. If you plan on eating your canned goods within a few weeks you can skip this step. Instead, let your jarred good cool completely and then put them straight into the refrigerator.
Change up the receipt by using honey instead of sugar. Omit nutmeg, or add other spices like cloves or cinnamon. I used pectin in this recipe as Mulberries are a low pectin fruit, the downside is that commercial pectin requires more sugar to form a gel. If you’d like to avoid using the pectin (and less sugar), you can combine the mulberries with high pectin fruit such as oranges, pears and apples.