Monday, May 5, 2014

Southern Family Tradition - Mayhaw Jelly Recipe

Living in the South, there are a few traditions that we hold sacred my favorite is making jelly. I got a call on Friday from my grandpa saying he had 2 gallons of mayhaw and needed to get rid of them. I took the fruit over to Momma Bear's house and we whipped up some delicious mayhaw jelly. (For you non-southerners this is the wiki page for mayhaw and the Louisiana Mayhaw Association page )

Preparing your Mayhaw for juice

First you need to wash and make sure you have no stick and leaves in your mayhaw, than throw them in a pot with a little bit of water so they do not stick while cooking - ( less than 1/4 c water - very little) once they are a bit tender it is time to mash.
We just used a potato masher since you just want to break the berries to get the liquid out. Once you have it looking about like the picture it is time to squeeze out the liquid. Some people use a cheese cloth and squeeze it out that way. We used a wire mesh strainer and a spoon to force as much liquid out as possible. And I liquid came out THICK! After the 2 gallons we had about 4 cups of a thick syrup, we added 4 cups of water to thin it out for our juice and were about to make 2 batches of the recipe below.


4 cups of mayhaw juice
1 box of pectin (I used the Yellow box Sure jell)
5 cups of sugar
7-ish pint jars with lids and rings

  • Clean and sterilize lids, rings and jars
  • Add the juice to a thick bottom pot 
  • Stir in the pectin and continue to stir until it comes to a boil
  • once at a rapid boil add in the sugar
  • continue to stir until it comes to a rapid boil 
  • Stir for a minute and a half than remove from heat 
  • Skim foam off quickly
  • Ladle mixture into hot sterilized jar leaving a 1/4th inch from the top
  • Clean rim, and seal with lids
  • Water bath for 10 minutes

We made 2 batches with 14 jars total and enough for tasting.

Fresh jelly on warm toast - Cannot be beat!

If you are new to canning or are wanting to learn more, there are plenty of books out there. The Ball website is a great resource, they have this helpful PDF
Canning and preserving is a great way to keep your harvest longer but if done incorrectly can make you really sick, so please do your research and keep yourself safe.  

Are you into canning? If so I would love to hear what you make!

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