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(Celtis occidentalis)

A tree common to North America of which there are several common varieties with different growth ranges within the continent. The above variety is common to the eastern half of North American, while Western hackberry (C. reticulata) is found in and around the state of Colorado, and Southern Hackberry (C. mississippiensis) is common throughout most of the southern United States. The large seed in the fruit requires harvesting large quantities for culinary purposess.

on this pageHackberry Jelly

1 quart ripe berries
½ cup sugar per cup of recovered juice
3 oz liquid pectin

Wash and stem fruit, then place into a saucepan with a little water. Cook over medium heat till fruit pops. Crush with a hand masher and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and strain through a jelly bag to recover juice. Do not squeeze the pulp. Measure juice and add sugar as directed. Bring to a boil till sugar dissolves while stirring constantly. Add pectin and boil for 2 minutes more. Skim off foam and pour into hot, sterile jars and seal.

Variations: Use herbs and spices for different flavors. Make up a spice bag and add spices such as cloves or dried herbs such as sage. If using fresh herbs, a bundle may be made of the sprigs and suspended in the juice. In either event suspend the flavorings in the juice during the final stage of cooking until the flavor is as desired. Remove and proceed to add pectin and finish recipe.

©1999 by Ernestina Parziale, CH