Amount to Gather: One gallon (4 quarts) or about 4 ½ pounds of mayhaws will yield about 12 cups of strained, flavorful juice, enough for three batches of jelly. Two quarts of mayhaws cooked will yield 6 cups of fruit and about 2 cups of pulp when the drained fruit is put through a food mill.
Cooking Mayhaws for Juice, Jelly or Syrup: The most important thing in making jelly is to begin with a juice (jelly stock) that has a full-bodied, mayhaw flavor. If too much water is used in cooking, the unique fragrance and taste will not match up to what is expected in quality jelly.
To Prepare Juice or Jelly Stock: Sort mayhaws, removing decayed fruit and trash. You can leave the tiny stems and dark blossom end on the fruit. Wash thoroughly. Measure or weigh fruit and put in large saucepan. For each gallon (4 quarts or about 4 ½ pounds) of mayhaws, cover with 3 quarts (12 cups) of water. For 2 quarts of fruit (a little over 2 pounds), cover with 6 cups water.
Bring to a boil, cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes. Cool and drain juice first through a colander, pressing fruit lightly with the back of a spoon. Then strain the juice through two or three thicknesses of damp cheesecloth, through a jelly bag or a clean thin white cloth. Leave the sediment which settles to the bottom. From 1 gallon of mayhaws you should have about 12 cups of strained juice.
Procedure: Sterilize jars. Pour juice into a clean saucepan. Heat juice to simmering, or at least 180°F. Pour hot juice immediately into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece
metal canning lids. Process according to the recommendations in Table
1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.
|Table 1. Recommended process time for Mayhaw Juice in a boiling-water canner.|
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
|Hot||Pints or Quarts||10 min||15||20|
This document was adapted from Mayhaw Christmas Pepper Jelly in "The Mayhaw: Out of the Swamp and Into the Orchard," Ruth M. Patrick, Ph.D., LDN, Extension Nutrition Specialist, 2002. Pub. 2484, LSU Ag Center Research and Extension, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.