Aimee Broussard’s award-winning Mayhaw Jelly is finally in season

Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Throw out that bottle of squeezable jam–this Mayhaw Jelly recipe by Aimee Broussard is the only spread worth suffering sticky fingers for. Native to the South, the mayhaw berry is somewhere between a cranberry and a crabapple, usually too tart to be consumed raw, but when used in jellies, syrups and juices, it shines. Mayhaws, harvested in April and May, can be plucked in the spring and whipped up to be slathered on slices of warm toast, biscuits, scones and any breakfast pastry of choice to sweeten your morning.


MAYHAW JELLY

Photo by Aimee Broussard.
Ingredients:
3 lbs. fully ripe mayhaws
1 (1.75-oz.) box Sure-Jell pectin
5 cups granulated sugar
4 (8-oz.) half-pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. DON’T BOIL. Wash lids and set them aside.
Remove stems and blossom ends from mayhaws; place in large saucepan. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently crush cooked mayhaws.
Place several layers of damp cheesecloth in a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl.  Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently.
Measure exactly 4 cups prepared juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Gradually stir in pectin. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Add all of the sugar and stir to dissolve. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam. Ladle jam into hot jars, leaving about ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar and apply band until it is fingertip tight.
Place jars on elevated rack in canner/stockpot. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and place upright to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, they are not sealed and require additional processing or placement in refrigerator.
Makes 4-6 (8-oz.) jars.