Mulberry and apple cider vinegar jam
Prep 15 mins (plus cooling, setting)
Cooking 25 mins
Makes 4 x 220g jars
Melbourne-born Lillie O’Brien is renowned for her fruit preserves, which she sells online and from her charming UK shop, London Borough of Jam, in Hackney. “Mulberries are a tricky fruit for making jam as they contain very little pectin, which means you need the right balance of sugar and acid to help it set,” she says. “Here I’m using apple cider vinegar. You’ll never get a firm-set jam unless you want to add another fruit to help it along. I prefer not to cook this sacred fruit with any other ingredients apart from the basics as I want to keep the precious mulberry flavour as pure as possible. Try to look out for juicy, plump fruit as small dry mulberries are better suited for popping into some spirits to infuse.”
1kg mulberries, stalks removed
600g caster sugar
150ml raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1. Put the mulberries in a preserving pan set over a low heat and cook for about 5 minutes so that they begin to release their juices. Be careful not to have the heat high as all the lovely juices will start evaporating – you want to release the juices here and soften the berries.
2. After 5 minutes of slowly cooking them, gradually add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the vinegar and bring to the boil. (I usually cook this a little longer than other berries as it needs a little help thickening.)
3. Bring to the boil and cook the jam for 10–12 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point, 105ºC on a sugar thermometer. Keep an eye on the jam and ensure it doesn’t start to stick or bubble over as it will reduce quickly. If you feel it sticking, turn the heat right down, stir and then bring back to the boil. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.
Recipe by Lillie O’Brien and image by Eatable.