Ripe mulberries are quite delicious and have a flavor, somewhere between blueberries and blackberries. They also have serious clothes staining power, so be sure to cover surfaces and clothing carefully before touching them. Mulberries can be turned into delicious pies, ice cream, wines, jams, and jellies. In this article, we will discover how to make mulberry jam at home.
What You'll Learn Today
- Are Mulberries Edible?
- How to Clean Wild Mulberries?
- How to Make Traditional Mulberry Jam?
- How to Make Mulberry Jelly Using Powdered Pectin?
- How to Make Mulberry Jam Without Sugar?
- Are Mulberries Good for You?
Are Mulberries Edible?
Red mulberry produces dark red to black fruits that are delicious when ripe. Another species of mulberry found in North America is white mulberry, and its fruits can range in color from white to mauve, to red to black or all at the same time!
White mulberries contain milky sap (latex). When ingested, this can cause severe stomach cramps and interfere with the nervous system causing hallucinations. For this reason, I don’t recommend eating them straight from the tree, although many people do. If you do eat them raw, make sure they are really ripe and wash off any sap first.
Morus rubra – is native to central north and eastern America. It can be found ranging from Ontario to southern Florida and as far west as Central Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
The ripe berries of this tree are very soft and squashy. They are very dark and almost black in color. This is when they are at their sweetest and perfect for jam-making or eating straight off the tree.
The best way to pick ripe red or white mulberries is to lay a tarp or plastic sheet below the tree, take hold of a branch and give it a really good shake. All of the ripe fruits will fall off easily and land on the sheet – simple!
Trying to pick individual berries can be very frustrating because as soon as you disturb the tree, lots of ripe fruits will fall off, potentially wasting them.
How to Clean Wild Mulberries?
To clean your berries ready for turning into mulberry jam, you’ll first need to ensure you’ve removed all of the stalks.
Next, it’s best to give them a really good soak in a bowl containing cold water mixed with a few tablespoons full of apple cider vinegar. Leave them for 15 minutes or so to do the job.
Soaking them like this helps get rid of any critters that may be lurking in the fruits and will help destroy any fungus or bacteria.
Gently pour the bowl full of berries into a large strainer and rinse them off gently under a running tap.
If you don’t intend to use the berries immediately, then you’ll need to spread them out into a single layer on some kitchen paper or clean muslin and let them dry. Then pop into a bowl lined with more kitchen paper or muslin and store in the refrigerator.
Refrigerated berries will only last a short time, a couple of days at most. Alternatively, put them into a freezer-proof container and freeze them to keep them good for up to three months or more.
How to Make Traditional Mulberry Jam?
Once your berries are cleaned as described above, give them another check over for any stems and remove them.
Before you start making your jam, you’ll need to sterilize the jars. This can be done by placing them into a pot in hot water and boiling the jars and lids for 5 minutes.
Or you can do it by half filling the jars with water and popping them into the microwave for 3 minutes on high. DON’T put the metal lids in the microwave,, though; they still need to be boiled separately in a pot.
Dry the jars in a preheated oven set to 200°F for 20 minutes – be careful not to burn yourself!
I also like to put a piece of baking parchment on top of the jam to prevent it from touching the lid. Simply cut out circles that will fit into your jars. These should also be sterilized in the microwave for two minutes, just prior to placing over the jam.
This recipe will produce about 3 lbs. 8 oz of delicious dark jam.
- 2 lbs. Mulberries
- Peeled rind and juice of 1 medium-sized lemon
- 2 lbs. sugar with added pectin added (or you can use liquid or powdered pectin with ordinary sugar)
- Place a plate in the freezer to chill.
- Put half of the mulberries into a preserving pan (a heavy-based pot) and add the lemon juice and peeled rind.
- Place the pan onto a gentle heat, and mash the berries into a pulp using a potato masher.
- Allow them to cook for 5 minutes, giving an occasional stir to check they aren’t sticking.
- Tip the contents of the pan carefully into a fine mesh strainer. Allow the juice to drain off then, remove the lemon peel.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, work the pulp through the strainer to remove the seeds.
- Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan, throw away the seeds, and stir in the sugar.
- Add the rest of the mulberries and bring the pan to a rapid boil for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
- Test – take your chilled plate and drop approximately half a teaspoon of the jam onto the plate. Wait a moment before pushing your finger through the jam. If it wrinkles up and looks the way jam should, it’s done and you can remove it from the heat. If it’s still too runny, boil for an additional two minutes before testing again.
- Pour the hot jam into warmed jars and apply a greaseproof paper disc to the top before applying the lid.
- If the jam is still hot enough, it will cause a vacuum as the jam cools and make a good seal.
- If your jars are sealed with a good vacuum, the jam should stay good, if unopened, for about a year.
- Once opened, refrigerate and eat within a couple of weeks.
In this video, you can see how to make mulberry jam from berries picked from your own trees:
How to Make Mulberry Jelly Using Powdered Pectin?
Mulberry juice has the ability to stain easily, so ensure you protect your hands, clothes, and surfaces carefully!
You can sterilize and seal jars and lids as in the above recipe or by using a boiling water canner.
- 6 cups of mulberries (if possible ¼ red and ¾ fully ripe)
- 5 cups of white sugar
- A box of powdered pectin
- If only fully ripe berries are being used, the juice and rind of one lemon
- Clean your berries as described above.
- Ensure all stems are removed.
- Crush the berries as much as possible using a potato masher or by pushing through a fine-mesh strainer.
- In a heavy-based pot, slowly heat the crushed berries until juice starts to be released. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Place the contents of the pot into a jelly bag and squeeze the juice out.
- Measure the amount of juice you have and return it to a clean heavy base pot.
- Add the amount of pectin for the quantity of juice you have as directed on the box of powdered pectin.
- Bring back to a hard boil while stirring continually.
- Add all of the sugar and stir it in, while bringing to a full rolling boil. Stirring constantly, boil for a further minute.
- Test by dripping some jam onto the back of a cold metal spoon. If it sets to a good consistency, remove it from the heat. If it’s too runny, boil for a further minute or two and test again.
- Remove any foam on the surface with a spoon.
- Pour straight into hot sterile jars and seal or use the process described in the link for a Boiling Water Canner.
How to Make Mulberry Jam Without Sugar?
Jams and jellies contain a lot of sugar, so how can you reduce this without compromising consistency and flavor?
In this sugar-free recipe, perfect for anyone on a low sugar diet, you’ll find a solution – yay!
Follow the jar sterilization technique as shown above.
This recipe has no added sugar or pectin. It’s great on toast, desserts, served with ice cream, added to milkshakes, or even teamed up with meat to give a fruity zing!
- 3 cups of fresh black mulberries
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and rind of a lemon
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of water
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of Xanthan gum to thicken
- ½ cup of Monk fruit sweetener or Swerve for added sweetness
- Place your washed mulberries with all stems removed into a heavy-based pot.
- Add the water, lemon, salt, sweetener, and xanthan gum.
- Stir well to combine ingredients fully.
- Place on a gentle heat, and with a hand blender or potato masher, blend or mash the mulberries to a smooth consistency.
- Simmer on a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Stirring often to ensure the contents of the pot are not sticking to the base.
- Test – check the consistency of your jam by drizzling a little over the back of a cold metal spoon.
- Once at the consistency you like, remove from heat.
- Pour the hot jam into the warm, sterilized jars and place lids on quickly.
- Once cool, refrigerate.
- Keep unopened for a month in the fridge. Once open, use within a few days or freeze unopened jars for up to six months.
Are Mulberries Good for You?
Mulberries are high in a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. These include:
This valuable vitamin is not produced by your body and must be ingested via your diet. It is found in many fruits and vegetables, including mulberries!
- This antioxidant protects cells from free radicals, which are molecules your body produces when breaking down substances such as food, sun radiation, and smoke from tobacco.
- It helps the body to absorb and store iron.
- It keeps the immune system healthy.
- It is necessary for the formation of blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and collagen in bones.
- It is essential to maintain your body’s healing process.
Iron is a mineral found in many foods, particularly fruits and green vegetables.
- It is required for healthy growth and development.
- It is used to make hemoglobin which is a protein present in red blood cells. These carry oxygen around the body from your lungs and heart.
- Iron also helps the body to make some hormones.
Without vitamin K1 our blood would not clot when we cut ourselves. It is also required for healthy bones.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant source that fights the bad things which enter our bodies and helps keep cells healthy. It’s essential for healthy skin, and it enables many of our body’s organs to function correctly.
Making jams and jellies is a great way to use your homegrown Mulberries. They make a delicious treat to be enjoyed in a multitude of ways; on toast, in desserts, and even in savory dishes. You’re sure to find a great way to use your mulberry jam.
To discover more about mulberries, we have other articles available on our website, along with a huge range of other interesting topics.