When I was growing up we had a giant mulberry tree in our driveway. Come to think of it, it might have been in our neighbour’s backyard but it hung over our driveway so that made those berries ours right?
My sister used to eat them by the bowlful and I can still remember her purple-stained hands. My pet silk worms even got a go at the mulberry leaves. Of course, back then mulberries weren’t one of my acceptable foods so I never got to try any.
It wasn’t just last week, when a friend brought mum and dad a huge bowl full of them, did I remember the bountiful berries. In flavour I’d say they’re between a blackberry and a blueberry with the staining power of 100 raspberries in one little fruit.
They’re a bit like a multivitamin with all their health benefits too from cleansing blood and your liver and strengthening kidneys to boosting iron, vitamin C and even keeping grey hairs at bay (bet you wish you kept them now dad!).
I froze a whole bunch of them to use in my morning smoothies and the rest went into a deliciously sweet and super simple to make mulberry jam. You can use this recipe with any soft berry like raspberries or blackberries but if you know of a local mulberry tree, why not make it with ‘free’ fruit. Make sure you give them a good wash first though.
Make sure you’ve gotten rid of all the stems from the berries then pop them all in a big saucepan.
Gently heat them over a medium heat and squish them gently to release the juice. It’s amazing how much liquid comes out of these babies. Once they’re all smooshed up (yes that’s the technical term), bring the pot to a gentle boil.
Now add the sugar and lemon juice. Keep stirring the mixture until the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil again.
Bottle them up is the next step in the book but the jam is quite runny at this stage, more like a sauce. Looking at the photo in the recipe book, that’s what it’s meant to be like so I divided it between jars straight away. If you want it to be a bit thicker, reduce the pot to a simmer and leave it to thicken up a bit.
If you’re using recycled jars, I have a little tutorial for quickly and easily removing the labels without ruining your fingernails (you’ll also get a bonus tutorial for making pretty labels in less than 5 minutes without having to buy anything). Click here to view.
To seal them, turn them over onto their heads.
Apparently, if you store the jam in a cool, dark place it will last up to 2 years. I’m not sure it would last that long in my house!
I can see mulberry swirl pound cake in my future. Enjoy!
What about you? Did you have any fruit trees near by when you were growing up?
NOTE: mulberries stain big time so wear old clothes and an apron just in case.
- 500g fresh-picked, firm, ripe mulberries
- 500g sugar
- juice of ½ lemon
- Pull all the stems of the fruits and put them into a large saucepan.
- Heat it over medium heat and crush the berries to squish out the juice.
- Bring it to a boil then add the sugar and lemon juice.
- Reduce the heat and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring it back up to the boil for a few minutes and then bottle and seal the jam.
- Store it in a cool, dark place and it should keep up to 2 years.