How do you describe the flavor of mayhaw jelly?
You could say it tastes like the South.
Mayhaws are the fruit of the thorny hawthorn tree and resemble crab apples . The tree flowers in February and March , and ripen fruit in April and May . Trees are natuarally found along river bottoms and swamps throughout the south , but can thrive on drier land as well.
Of course, one of the reasons Southerners treasure sweet-tart mayhaw jelly is the trouble it traditionally requires to get the fruit. Trees are often found in snaky, swampy areas and gathering the rosy red berries can be daunting. If you’re lucky, sometimes you’ll see people selling them by the bucketsful on the side of the road.
Makes about 6 half-pint jars
4 cups strained juice
1 box powdered pectin
5½ cups sugar
Measure juice into a large pot (about 8- to 10-quart size). Mix pectin thoroughly with juice and bring quickly to a hard, rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Add all the sugar at one time. Stir until sugar dissolves and bring again to a full rolling boil (a boil that rises to the top and cannot be stirred down). Boil hard for 1 minute and 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon. Pour at once into sterilized jelly jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar edge with a damp towel and seal with new lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.
TIP: To obtain juice, put mayhaw fruit into a boiler and add water almost to the top of the fruit. Bring to a boil and use a potato masher to crush the berries. Strain juice through a cheesecloth-lined colander and discard fruit. Juice can be frozen for later use.