Neighborhood Question: Jam troubleshooting

Well, it seems that Jen has harvested her mulberries, but has stumbled into a new problem. Let’s see if we can help her out.

Well, Nan, I made some Mulberry Jam(Jelly?) today… I had 2 cups of Mulberries (without them having been crushed yet) and I only used 1/2 cup of sugar & almost a whole tablespoon of lemon juice (I ran out). Anyway, there was no foaming at all. Is that because I cut the sugar so much? Also, there was no sheeting, actually it wasn’t very liquid at all whenever I was done, just lumpy sugary spoonfuls of crushed berries. Maybe I didn’t crush them enough, but actually I took your advice & mashed them all up first, but then later I used my immersion blender because Mulberries have stems still attached that are fine to eat, but I thought it would be more appetizing to chop them into bits. ANYWAY… it tastes great, but there was no frothing/foaming or sheeting & it is not liquidy at ALL. I don’t know what I would change next time for it to be more like a jam… but it does really taste great. So, what do you think?

Admittedly, I no nothing about mulberries and can’t seem to find them in any of my jammin’ books. So we are working on theory alone. At least until some knowledgable reader writes in.

What makes jam firm up?

1. the natural pectin in the fruit

2. the acidity of the fruit ( which in Jen’s case was suplimented by lemon juice

3. sugar

In my handy little chart that mentions the pectin levels of nifty stuff like figs, guava and quince, there is no mention of mulberries. None. We are S.O.L. and on our own.

Note: 6-19-09 I just deleted a chunk of this because I read Jen’s problem completely backwards.  I will try to rewrite as soon as I can.

Readers, any thoughts or experiences with mulberry jam?

I vote you mix the whole mess with iced tea, lemonade or iced vodka — for when you have completely given up trying.

Others in the beginner canning series:

How To Make Jam — A Beginner Tutorial

How To Make Jam — The Canning Supplies

How To Make Jam — The Easy Canning Process

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam — without added pectin

How to Raw Pack Fruit With Simple Syrup

Strawberry Lemonade

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oooo! over some homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Oh dear!
    Hey, I should publish the strawberry rhubarb recipe. Thanks for the inspiration. Come back and comment on how your recipe is different, tomorrow.

  2. Well I have never done Mulberries either. So this is my educated guess.

    If you don’t use sure jell it is the natural pectin that causes jam or jelly to set. But it also has to do with the sugar and cooking time.

    You don’t say how long she cooked the jam. Maybe she needs to cook it longer until it thickens? If you use sure jell you don’t have to cook it as long. I know strawberry jam with no sure jell, I cook approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

    I think the Iced Tea Idea sounds fantastic!!! Or what about over ice cream?

    I wish we had mulberries. I’m off to make some strawberry rhubarb this afternoon.


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