Last month I wrote a blog post on the wonders of Yard Salad, that is, salad made exclusively from ingredients found in my yard. In the same vein, today’s post features another seasonal, wild harvested ingredient – the mulberry.
The berries of the Red Mulberry look a lot like blackberries. We have a White Mulberry in our yard, which has the same type of fruit, only pure white. For some great photographs and interesting information on the mulberry, The Natural Capital blog has a wonderful post.
Our local park has several Red Mulberry trees, which are considered a weed. But I had read in Euell Gibbons Stalking the Wild Asparagus that mulberries are an excellent and underappreciated fruit, and I wanted to give them a try. So my husband and I went foraging in our local park/nature trail and found several trees that were full of the deep purple fruit.
The ripe berries easily fall off of the tree. Sometimes too easily — we lost many dozens to the stream that ran next to the trees. I was also grateful that I had worn a purple dress, since the ripe berries are very juicy and will stain your skin and clothes.
We easily gathered a quart of berries, enough to make a pie. I found several mulberry pie recipes online, and came up with a combination of ingredients that I thought would result in the best flavor and texture. The lemon juice was definitely a good call, since mulberries are sweet in the way that figs are, without any real tartness. The lemon juice balances out the flavors nicely. Anyway, here is my recipe:
- 3 cups of fresh mulberries (thoroughly washed)*
- 1 cup of evaporated cane juice
- ¼ cup flour
- Juice of 1 lemon (strained)
- Double-crust pie shell**
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Pour mulberry mixture into an unbaked pie shell bottom. Top with the other shell and poke holes to allow the contents to vent. Bake the pie at 400°F for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 30 minutes until the crust is lightly brown on the edges. Allow the pie to cool before serving.
Although I have not made many pies in my life, this was a fairly easy process. And while my pie was not worthy of a cooking magazine cover shot, it tasted great and was a huge hit with my family.
*I did a Google search to see if I needed to remove the stems, and came across a recent blog post on The Southern Urban Homestead that showed that others have been on the same quest! I was happy to learn that I didn’t need to remove the stems, since that would have been hugely time consuming and would have resulted in many squashed berries. The stems didn’t exactly dissolve, but they became tender and unobtrusive to the texture of the pie.
**I found an easy pie crust recipe, which I made. But I ended up using a frozen premade whole wheat shell when I realized that I needed to chill the dough I had made for at least 4 hours.
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Great to meet you, too! And what a lovely pie. And a lovely site! I’ll add you to my links. Cheers, The Southern Urban Homesteader, Allison Adams
Thank you so much! I will add a link to your blog too. I’m sure my readers will enjoy your posts as much as I do!
My friend had a neighbor with a huge towering mulberry tree that practically drooped over her drive way and every summer, she cursed the darkened stains all over it. Your stained hands reminded me of that. But the pie looks pretty and delicious! I wish I knew, then, how to make this pie because she moved from that house and no longer has the problem 🙂
Yes, we used to have a huge tree in our old yard, and my husband would complain about it every year. I only wish we knew then what we know now — if you can’t beat it, eat it!
By the way, those are my husband’s hands 🙂
Oh my goodness. I love your pie and that you went foraging for these. I honestly do not think I’d know a mulberry from a blackberry. Molly Katzen has some great quick and easy pie recipes too in Moosewood. I often do mini tarts in a muffin tin during the summer.
Thank you 🙂 I figured out that they were mulberries from reading “Stalking the Wild Asparagus,” and confirmed it with photos from the internet.
So many people I know love the Moosewood cookbooks. I should definitely buy a copy, at least the original one. The mini tarts sound wonderful!
wow. this looks heavenly.
i love the idea of foraging around the city suburb parks where i live, but i am so afraid of what they might spray on the bushes…i just can’t do it.
ill have to live vicariously.
Thank you, Latisha. Yes, I agree that we have to be very careful when foraging to make sure that the things we are eating have not been sprayed. I have checked and they say that they don’t spray in this park — they allow everything to grow as nature intended.
I never knew how mulberries looked like! My old neighbors had a mulberry tree in their backyard which overlooked a part of our yard and during the summer, it would rain mulberries.
I know. I had heard about them all of my life, and they were right in front of me for a while before I learned to appreciate them.
Yesterday I made a sauce with mulberries and brandy. They are such a wonderful fruit, I wish I had taken advantage of them long ago!
thank you so much for posting your pie recipe! i have 4 big mulberry trees in my yard and they produce SO MUCH delicious fruit, my family has a hard time putting it all to use! last year we juiced buckets of them, and they make a super rich, almost syrupy, but tasty juice! i googled and apparently mulberries are also full of resveratrol, the antioxidant found in grapes (and wine) and other dark fruits! yay!
You’re welcome. And thank you very much for sharing your discovery about the resveratrol content. That makes a lot of sense! Another great reason to take advantage of the season’s mulberry abundance!
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I just found your link from the mulberry story in the Post. After I pick my oldest up from the bus stop, we’re taking our buckets to the mulberry tree in the field then coming home to bake this pie. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!
That’s wonderful. Have fun! I recommend wearing purple or dark clothing if you can 🙂 please let me know how your pie turns out!
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I just read an article on growing mulberries so now I know what to do with them.
Thank you, Sara. Here in the U.S., mulberries are generally considered weeds! And many people and cities try to eradicate them. Hopefully people here will grow to appreciate how useful they are!