Until two weeks ago, I don't think I had even seen a mulberry in the flesh before, let alone eaten one, now I am a fully paid up member of the Mulberry Jam Appreciation Society.
What could be better than some home-made jam on some freshly baked bread (that has already been smothered in a generous helping of butter) for breakfast in the morning? Collecting wild fruit and berries seems to be a local past-time around here, and one that I'm completely supportive of. I've been here for eighteen months now and loved all the free mangoes we had last summer. What I didn't know about until recently were the two large mullberry bushes at the end of our street.
The great thing about wild berries (apart from the free of charge aspect) is the fun you have and mess you can make while collecting them. My wife, daughter and I had a great time climbing amongst the branches trying to find the ripest, juciest ones.
Actually, Charlotte spent all of the time cramming as many of them into her mouth, ears and hair as possible. Note to self, next time you go collecting berries with a two year old, don't put them in a white t-shirt.
Oh, and second note to self, don't try and climb a tree in thongs/flip-flops when you've had a knee reconstruction in the last six months...
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp pectin (if you want the jam to be thicker and reduce cooking time)
Before you get started with the actual jam making, you will want to sterilise the jars that you will be using. There are a number of ways of doing this, some dishwashers have a sterilise function, or you can use boiling water. We used the steriliser that we used to use for our daughters feeding bottles when she was a baby.
Wash the mulberries and remove any stems, then place them, the juice and the zest in a saucepan. I lightly crushed them at this stage, making sure that there were plenty that were still whole to give the jam plenty of texture.
Gently bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
Add the sugar and continue to simmer, stirring constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved.
Add the pectin and stir until it has dissolved and remove from the heat, the mixture should begin to thicken and will continue to do so as it cools.
Spoon the jam in to the jars, screw on the lids and then leave to cool, then refrigerate.