We are in the thick of mulberry season and it's a time of year I really treasure. We have a 100+ year old tree on our property and we can get gallons of berries (if we only tried!) If you're unfamiliar, the taste is really delicate, but when paired with some sugar and nutmeg - man oh man - you will not have leftovers. Besides eating them straight from the tree, there are three ways I like to use them - churned into ice cream, preserved as jam, baked into a pie and ! Best of all these are super simple preparations, using simple (and minimal!) ingredients.
Mulberry Ice Cream
- 2 C mulberries
- 1 C sugar
- 1 pint of heavy cream
In advance of making your ice cream, ensure your machine is prepped and ready to go (I found this Cuisinart model at the ReStore and really like it!). For us that means storing the bowl in the freezer so it's rock solid!
Combine sugar and berries and allow sugar to dissolve most of the way. Stir in cream. You can let this mixture chill if you want (it will churn faster in my experience) or just transfer straight into your ice cream maker. The berries will release their purple juice but stay mostly intact. If you'd prefer you can also blend the berry/sugar mixture and strain the juice.
We enjoy it straight from the machine as a soft serve, or frozen in a bread loaf pan the next day. It scoops beautifully. I added a fresh spring of mint to my bowl for a little extra flavor too. It's really that easy!
I make a big batch but use this recipe as a base. The following will make one pint of jam.
- 2 C mulberries
- 1 C sugar
- 1.5 T pectin
- 5-6 scrapes of whole nutmeg
Once you've picked your berries, give them a nice rinse to get rid of any bugs. Don't worry about removing the stems - it's way too much work and they aren't noticeable when you're eating the jam. Transfer to a large enamel pot and add sugar, pectin. and nutmeg on medium high heat. I don't add an additional water as these are juicy berries. Stir until the sugar combines and then occasionally as the mixture comes to a boil. I like to skim off a little bit of the foam but I don't think it will negatively effect the final product if you skip this step.
To ensure the jam will set, dab a little drop onto a place and pop into your freezer for a minute or two. If it gels, you're good to can!
If properly canned this will last 18 months or more, but I've never had any stick around longer than a week or two! It does make great gifts, so I'm going to make some more and set it aside for Christmastime!
- Two store bought pie crusts (for a 9" pie)
- 3 C mulberries
- 1/3 C flour*
- 2/3 C sugar*
- ½ t freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 T butter, cut into cubes
- Milk to brush on top crust
* plus a little extra (maybe ½ t each) to dust your crust before adding the filling.
Let your pie crust warm up just a bit after taking them out of the fridge. I used to make my own crust, but it really stressed me out and took a lot of the fun out of pie making for me. So now I just dial 1-800-Betty Crocker (errr… buy the two pack at the grocery) and call it a day. Baking should be fun!
To start, mix your berries, flour, sugar and nutmeg in a bowl. Add mulberries and coat them thoroughly.
Before adding filling, dust the crust of your pie shell.
Top with cubed butter.
Cut and weave lattice top using second pie crust. Hide butter under intersections.
Crimp edges and lightly brush with milk.
Turn on and pre-heat your oven to 400F. Meanwhile, put your prepared pie in the fridge to chill for around 20 minutes.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Covered pie edges (with a silicon ring or foil) and turn the temp down to 350. Bake for another 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let pie cool for at least an hour and a half before serving (we had ours with vanilla ice cream!)
If you don't have a tree growing nearby (ask your neighbors!) you can also use black raspberries in these recipes (which we always forage for around this time of year too!) I hope someone out there gets to make and enjoy these delicious treats!