Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
These small trees are members of the Hawthorne family. The fruit is small and apple-like and ripens during the late April and early May in East Texas. They have beautiful white blossoms in the spring and are desirable as ornamentals as well as for wildlife cover and forage. The fruit is also found in bayous surrounding lakes, such as Caddo Lake on the Texas/Louisiana border. Mayhaws are often collected out of the water from boats to be used to make jelly. Mayhaw jelly is considered by some to be among the finest jellies in the world. From the Southern chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947. Cooking time is approximate. While this recipe is written in an old-fashioned way, it is perfectly safe if processed using modern methods. If you are unfamiliar with these techniques, please go to http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html for the current information.
- Wash mayhaws and cook with water until soft enough to mash; 10 to 15 minutes; strain well.
- Measure juice and bring to a boil.
- Add 1 cup sugar for each cup juice and cook to 225F or jelly stage.
- Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
My neighbor has a huge mayhaw tree that is just bursting with fruit so I thought I would give this recipe a try! This was my first attempt at making jelly without using pectin and I am afraid that I didn't let it get up to 225 degrees like I should have. So then, no fault of the recipe, I am "stuck" with 12 pints of mayhaw syrup. No worries! The flavor is awesome and I have been adding a tablespoon to a glass of club soda for a really refreshing drink. My kids are asking me to make another failed batch of jelly. Next time I will follow the directions and cook for the appropriate time. Did I mention the flavor is GREAT!