Mulberry Experiments

Mulberry trees are one of those local plants many people love to hate.  When they grow over your driveway, I can understand the distress they cause when those lush dark berries stain every surface they fall on.

Fortunately, we have a large mulberry tree at the edge of our back field, where the berries just hit grass – if I can’t pick them sooner.  Lately, whenever my husband can’t find me, he comes looking by the mulberry tree.  I’ve been fighting the birds for these fine, free treats.  I figure they can have the ones way at the top that I can’t reach.  The rest, I’m doing my best to capture as they ripen.  I bring my ladder out and lay a blanket on the ground to catch any that fall as well.

My first experiment was mulberry jam.  I have not made this before so I had to figure out my method.  My first attempt was very seedy and try as I may to pull them off, still contained lots of stems.

So then I got this idea – try running them through the tomato press I got at the second hand store.  I found this cool item this winter for $3.50 and I’ve been waiting to try it on my tomatoes.  The only instructions say to heat the fruit then run it through.  So I did that with my next batch of mulberries before making my jam.  It worked like a charm.

Not only did it remove the stems but it also took out some seeds and the rougher pulp.  I added pectin, lemon juice and sugar to the result and it came out as a winner – my new favorite jam!

So then I had all this pulp left over.  This led to my next experiment… Strawberry Mulberry Wine.

I found this book at the library entitled Wild Wine Making.  It had a recipe for Mulberry Wine, which required 3 pounds of fruit.  I didn’t have that but I did have some extra strawberries.  I added them to the mix and I was in business. The basic premise is start with fruit.  Add sugar water (I believe this recipe had me dissolve 2 pounds of sugar in a gallon of water) with the fruit, stir and let it cool.  Once cool, add a packet of wine yeast.  Cover with a towel and let it ferment for 7-10 days, stirring twice/day.  After that, strain it and put in a carboy with airlock.  Let it ferment another 6 months-year.  I’m still at the first stage of the process.  I’ll keep you posted as I strain it.

This was the second day.  Look how big the bubbles are on top!

These are my mulberry experiments so far.  I wonder, what is your favorite mulberry treat?

One thought on “Mulberry Experiments

  1. Pingback: A Wine-Making Mood | Phillips Farm Batavia, LLC

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