Sunday, 6 October 2013

The mulberry experiment!

As you may have noticed in some of my older posts, we have a massive mulberry tree in the back yard. This tree gets no attention at all and has to rely on rainfall to stay alive. I noticed that a lot of the berries had fallen off recently after a blustery day so decided that I had better pick some while I had the chance.

I subscribe to Jeff Heriot's channel on YouTube and was interested in his video about stewed mulberries with ginger and raw honey. I love the way Jeff experiments with so many different foods that he grows or exchanges with friends. A friend of his has a mulberry tree and the berries were just falling on the ground so Jeff asked if he could pick them up each day and then came up with  his stewed mulberry concoction. He was amazed that nobody wanted to pick the mulberries and that they were falling on the ground and being wasted. After cooking with the berries today I know why nobody wants to use them.....they are very messy!!!
Firstly I picked and then chose the best mulberries and washed them...
...then cut off the stalks. This is the messy part.
Now Jeff has been growing ginger for a while and had made some ginger syrup. He added 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup ginger syrup and one tablespoon finely grated crystallised ginger, which he also made, to the mulberries in a saucepan before bringing them to a simmer.
 However, we haven't been able to harvest our ginger yet...perhaps next I bought some ginger and grated some then chopped up some 'uncrystallised' ginger I had used in the Ginger and Fig Oat Rounds and added that to the mulberries and brought the mixture to a simmer. Then I did a taste test. Hmmm, too much ginger!

So I added some honey and some cranberries and then a little more honey and cooked it all for a while before thickening the mixture as I had decided to use it as a filling in a pie.
It tasted quite good despite adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that! You just have to eat mulberry pie with ice cream so I bought some light ice cream so that I wouldn't feel too guilty. I rarely buy ice cream as I usually just put frozen bananas through the food processor and freeze again as a replacement for ice cream in summer.  

Picking the mulberries was a bit of a saga as hubby said to make sure that I didn't pick any near the purple 'poo'. I asked him why not as I thought that was from his pigeons but he said that it was from the flying foxes which get into the tree at night. He has heard them at night and, as we have had flying fox related health issues in Queensland in the past few years, he thought it would be better to be careful when picking fruit from a tree that they inhabit frequently.
Much of our mulberry tree is inaccessible so I won't be picking too many berries this season especially as tomorrow is supposed to be a hot and windy day. Many of them will drop off the tree in the wind....what is left after the flying foxes have had their supper!
Do you have a mulberry tree and what do you do with your mulberries?





  1. That pie looks sooo yummy! I made an apple and mulberry pie last year with ours.....accidentally left a few stalks in and found them once cooked - whoops! Love mulberry trees.....I'm just down the highway in Brissy from you and our Mulberry grows sooooo fast and vigorous!

    1. I must admit that I did leave a few stalks too! Yes, I think mulberry trees like the weather in SE Qld although it is a tad cooler here on top of the Range than it is in Brisvegas. Our tree would be over thirty years old now and has served us well.

  2. Scrummy looking pie!! I have never seen a mulberry tree [probably too cold in the part of NZ I came from] but Significant Other has many memories of he and his brothers painting their faces [must have seen too many cowboy and Indian films] and acting out their favourite characters.

    1. Ha ha, Shirley. I seem to remember my children having mulberry juice all over themselves when they were little. Having a mulberry tree in the backyard is very tempting to children to just pick some berries when walking past. They also used to keep silkworms and use the leaves to feed them. I am not sure if kids still do that these days.

  3. The wonderful thing about blogs is how much you learn from other folks - I had to stop and look up flying foxes! Wow! Somehow our little bats look kind of puny next to those - I am really impressed. The mulberry pie looked a lot like grandmas and I'm pretty sure I looked silly playing cowboys and indians with mulberry juice all over my face years ago as well. But I would have had so much fun scaring my younger brother with those flying foxes around! Awesome!


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