Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mulberry cobbler

Our neighborhood has about one mulberry tree per house, maybe more. We have 7, two males and 5 females. Four females and a male are still pretty small and not really producing much yet. This time of year is one of my favorites, the weather is still nice and every afternoon I go out on my bike riding around the neighborhood picking mulberries off the trees that are close enough to pick from the street. Most people consider them a nuisance because they make such a mess, and don't even bother to eat any. I figure I'm doing the neighborhood a service by keeping a few hundred (thousand?) berries from falling onto the ground. I always freeze some, but I try and use them up as much as possible, but it gets tricky finding new ways to go through a pound a day. (Next year, maybe mulberry wine). For Easter breakfast I modified a berry cobbler recipe I found on Chiots Run

I thought I had taken a picture of the cobbler, but all I can find is one of the mulberries. So here's an image of the berries I used. A mixture of purple and white mulberries (ripe when white).

Mulberry Cobbler
1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons regular sugar
2 Tablespoon of course sugar (I use the sugar in the raw/turbinado stuff)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter
1 egg (I use a duck egg mmmm!)
1/4 cup of milk

6 cups fresh mulberries from your neighborhood trees
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

For filling: in a saucepan combine the berries, lemon juice, sugar (or honey) and cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, keep warm.

For topping: in a medium bowl stir together flour, regular sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs, set aside.

In a small bowl stir together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just to moisten. Transfer filling to a 2 quart baking dish, or large cast iron skillet. Using spoon, drop topping onto small mounds atop filling. Sprinkle course sugar on top.

Bake cobbler in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. Serve warm.

Next time, I would switch out 1/3 of the mulberries for blackberries or raspberries, because the mulberries are very sweet, but I think it would be more flavorful with some other berries mixed in.

Here is the estimated cost breakdown:
Mulberries, duck eggs, lemon juice: $0 (of course not including the cost of duck food)
Organic flour: $ .20
Organic sugar: $ .05
Organic milk: $ .07
cornstarch: $ .02
Organic Butter: $ .80
Cinnamon: $.02
Baking powder: $ .02

Total ingredients cost: $ 1.18
The tiny farm is sticking it to the man once again. :)

P.S. I am sitting on my hands waiting for these quail. If everything goes right, we should start seeing signs of hatching in 24-36 hours!


ChristyACB said...

I have several mulberry trees too here in my yard. One of them is as max production in it's life cycle. 2 of them we call "Halloween Trees" in our wetlands. They are very old and have been hit by multiple hurricanes so they are twisted and awesome, but so old they don't produce much.

Mine aren't ready yet, just showing the tiny clusters. But I'll have a daily basket full from it soon enough.

I can't find enough things to do with them! I'll try this cobbler. I did try to freeze them but they were very mushy when I got them back out.

Mine don't turn white when ripe, they go from white to very dark purple when ripe. Not the same kind I'm guessing.

Any more suggestions as to what I can do with them? Jelly? How do you make mulberry wine?

Kory said...

There is a mulberry tree on the corner of my neighbor's yard that for the most part hangs over the corner of my yard. Usually the birds end up getting to the berries, but its ok, they poop in my garden, so I'm cool with sharing.

mulberry wine you say....interesting.

TheMartianChick said...

I love mulberries! I have owned my house for about 16 years now and until last year, the birds always beat me to them. The tree is in an odd location and I never noticed when they were ripe until there were just a few left on branches way out of my reach! Last year I was getting ready for work and just happened to spot them. I harvested before I went to work and then several times during the season.

I can't wait for them to be ready this year. Of course, I suppose that the tree has to get some leaves on it first!

rachelbess said...

One of ours hangs right over our driveway, so as soon as I see the first one on the ground I start picking. I've never really had a problem with the birds beating me to them, though if you don't stay up on it, they all fall off. They ripen a new bunch of them everyday and after about 2 or 3 days of being ripe they fall off, so it can be an easy season to miss if you aren't paying attention. We have three different kinds. (Well one is a neighbor's) They all start out light green when they aren't ripe, then one kind turns to white, one kind turns dark purple and the one over our driveway which seems to be a cross-- they're white with a tiny bit of light purple when they're ripe, but when they get old they turn a medium purple all over.

I'm going to have to research the mulberry wine thing, but I know people do it. :) Today I'm going to make mulberry syrup. Last year I made mulberry jam/jelly (I don't remember) It was okay, not my favorite. Though again, I think it would have been awesome if it was mixed with raspberries or blackberries.

la femme wonkita said...

Used too small a dish, or too many berries, since my cobbler boiled over and made a mess of the oven. Will do better next time. The cobbler itself was WONDERFUL.

Found an easy cordial recipe with equal parts crushed berries and vodka (or brandy, but the vodka was cheaper in a big jug). Let it sit 6 weeks, then strain and add sugar or sugar syrup to taste, if desired. (Strain twice, once with a plain sieve and then with a WET coffee filter in the sieve, for a clearer cordial.) At two-three days it's not so hot, but after a couple of weeks, it's on its way to something pretty good. Am also contemplating wine for next year.

I collect the berries with tarps under the tree. Easier than climbing the ladder to collect them one at a time, and the ripe, sticky berries stay clean.