This has been one of the best mulberry seasons ever! Big juicy balls of sweet mulberry that squirt all over my clothes and stain my hands with a deep purple. I'm loving it. Everyday I proceed to go and pig out under the mulberry tree till I'm bursting. I feel the goodness. All those dark purple balls giving me loads of antioxidants and nutritional goodies. I have to share them though. There's the bats, the birds, the possums and even the wallabies have been scrounging under the tree late afternoon.
The mulberry and lime jelly I've made this time round is flawless. Swear to god. I think the best jelly I have ever made. And I've made a few. I've given away a couple of jars to rave reviews. Comments such as;
- 'we can actually taste the fruit - it's so intense';
- 'the stuff you buy tastes like a lolly - this actually tastes like the good-old fashioned stuff';
- 'love the fact there is much less sugar than supermarket jam - the flavour of the fruit really comes through';
- 'I want more'.
Guess I don't need to add a thing. Here's the recipe.
Mulberry and Lime Jelly
I ended up picking 1.720gms whole mulberries, stems in tact, mixed in with a few unripened mulberries for slightly improved pectin (mulberries have poor pectin levels);
4 green apples, unpeeled, uncored, unseeded, chopped
1 large lime or 2 small limes, roughly chopped
4 cups water
Place all the ingredients in a large cooking vessel with lid. Bring to boil; reduce heat; simmer for one hour.
In a double muslin lined colander with bowl underneath to collect the liquid; ladel as much of the liquid into the centre of the cloth. When you've ladelled as much of the liquid without the fruit; its time to take a masher and squish the cooked fruit remaining in the pot. Continue ladelling the squished fruit into the cloth; when complete do not press down or attempt to push through any further liquid. Allow it to drip through slowly at it's own pace. Best left overnight.
Next day, place the collected juice in a clean heavy based large pot. I ended up with:
2022mls of mulberry juice
Bring to boil; take off heat; add 3/4 quantity of sugar to this. I measured out a 500gm packet of jam setting sugar and 1kg ordinary caster sugar. So in all 1.5kg sugar. Carefully pour the sugar into the centre of the juice; using a wooden spoon, return to a low heat and slowly stir the mixture till the sugar is totally dissolved. Remove spoon, increase heat to high, allow mixture to boil till a nice jelly is achieved. Make sure you collect the scum from the top and around the edges of the pot as it's boiling.
Allow to sit for a minute. Have your preprepared jars and lids nice and hot. Pour the jelly into the jars. Seal immediately. Your mulberry and lime jelly can be eaten once cooled. Refrigerate once opened.