After a haul of more than seven pounds of mulberries my sister-in-law and I picked from the tree in the park down the street, I knew there was a lot of canning in my future. She and I ate a lot of them fresh, then made up a big match of mulberry jam. We still had a whole lot left over, so I pulled out the junberries we had left in the fridge, and I made a wild-picked, mixed berry jam. There aren’t any recipes out there for this one, so I was working a bit without a net.

Mulberry – Juneberry Jam
3 cups juneberries
4 cups mulberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 box low sugar pectin (only use 2/3 of the box)

Wash the mulberries carefully and drain them fully. In a large saucepan, mix the juneberries and mulberries, and crush well by hand. Don’t use a food processor, or your jam will come out oddly textured. Add the lemon juice, and bring to a full boil for one minute. Add the pectin and 1/4 cup of sugar and bring to a full boil for one minute. Add in the remaining sugar, and bring back to a full boil for one minute. Ladle into sterilized jars and process in hot water for five minutes. Makes 7 cups.

The jam turned out really tasty. The mulberries dominated the appearance, but the junberry flavor shines through with a slightly floral apple-y flavor. It’s pretty sweet, even though the low-sugar recipe is about half of what is called for in a traditional recipe. The juneberries contain a fair amount of pectin on their own, and even with using 2/3 of a packet of pectin. You might try even less, or no additional pectin, especially if your juneberries are still red rather than purple.

All in all, it’s a great way to preserve the wild flavors of the month.

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