My friend Karin posted on facebook, “Come get mulberries,” I responded, yes, please, and immediately started looking for recipes. I decided on mulberry jam and mulberry viniagrette (for another day, see freezing, below).
Turns out, mulberries are full of anti-oxidants and other healthful properties. I remember having mulberry jam, mulberry muffins, mulberry syrup, while living on the east coast. But I had never even considered doing anything with them until now.
Mulberry trees are the gift that just keeps giving, whether you like it or not. The trees tend to overproduce, and when the berries are ripe, they’re easy to pluck from the branches– “tickled off” as it was described to me–but often don’t wait for you and simply bail out of the tree in a kind of backyard carpet bomb.
I started picking them up from the ground, but Karin said she had a better method, and it was indeed genius. She put a large tarp under the tree, we yanked on branches, and it was raining mulberries! I went home with about 8 cups’ worth.
This recipe for jam was the easiest I could find, doesn’t require pectin and takes less than an hour, if you don’t count cooling. Hat tip to For the Love of Food‘s Lauren Rothman.
2 1/2 cups mulberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
Seriously, that’s it!
Sterilize 2 half-pint Ball jars with lids.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, combine mulberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then drop to a simmer. Cook fruit, stirring occasionally, until foam subsides and mixture thickens slightly, about 7-9 minutes.
Using a ladle, carefully transfer hot jam to sterilized jars. Wipe mouths of jars clean and screw on lids very tightly. Let cool at room temperature for at least 8 hours before using.
Mulberries are only in season for a couple of weeks in spring and summer, so if you have a ton left over, like I did, and can’t get to them yet, freeze them! They will be good to go when you need them, or delicious in smoothies or desserts.