We finally got our hands on some mulberries.
The trees are few and far between these days. It seems another one is cut down every year. I suspect it’s due to the mess they make, staining cars and boats and anything hanging on a clothesline. The season is so short; only a couple weeks somewhere in April or May. It’s an elusive fruit.But there’s no better berry than a mulberry.My great grandma had it all figured out. She planted her tree on the back corner of her property. By the time I was born, it was tall enough to climb. When they were ripe, she’d have my brother and I come over wearing old clothes. We’d climb and pick all those big fat juicy deep purple berries for hours, one in the bucket, one in the mouth, and deliver them to her doorstep. Some day I’ll find a photo of us stained fuchsia head to toe, on the day that marked the end of my Smokey the Bear t-shirt.
Way back in the archives (there’s a search bar if you scroll to the bottom of the page) you can find the cake my family makes with them. Since we’ve been on the road a lot lately, I made these bars for a more packable, giftable mulberry treat. They’re simple. Just one dough, divided, makes a bottom cookie crust and a crumbly topping. Chill them, slice them, pack them up in a tupperware between sheets of wax paper. If you think you’re going to sneak one and no one will be the wiser, think again. Your purple fingers will definitely give you away. They’re crumbly and filled with dark jammy berries, so they’re best eaten with a fork.
Mulberry Crumb Bars
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest of a lemon or orange
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1 egg
- 4-5 cups mulberries (stems trimmed)
- 2 tbsp lemon or orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375.Grease a 9x13 pan with butter. (Can line with buttered parchment if you prefer).Stir the sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, and zest in a bowl. Cut in the butter and egg using a pastry blender or a fork or two butter knives. It will be crumbly. Divide it in half.
Press half the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Bake it for 10 minutes.Gently stir the mulberries with 1/3 cup sugar, juice, and cornstarch.Spread the berry mixture over the warm crust, then crumble the remaining dough over the top.Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top crust begins to brown. Cool completely. Slices best after refrigerating.
These look delicious!! I have yet to have a fresh mulberry. I might have to grow my own as they perish so quickly.
They grow just about everywhere in the US, so you’d think they’d be more available, but you’re right, they do perish quickly. Unless I’m using them the same day I pick them, I spread them out on a baking sheet to freeze them, then transfer to a tupperware once frozen. Otherwise they release so much juice they become one big chunk. Good luck finding some!
You literally did get your hands on some mulberries! I love them, and these bars look heavenly. Now, if only I could find someone with a tree. . .
I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at the excellent farmer’s markets near you, and that’s also a good place to ask around. My brother found them at the farmer’s market at Babcock Ranch, but I’m afraid he went back more than once and bought them all. haha.
these sound delicious! If I can manage to get enough from our tree this year before the wildlife gets them, maybe I’ll make some!
Lucky you with your own tree! I hope there’s enough fruit for you and the birds. I’m sure Forest loves picking them, too.
Oh yum! I love mulberries. There is a tree on Jade I used to hit for a small handfull of berries. The new owner trimmed the tree and I haven’t seen any berries this spring. I want a tree but nowhere to put it.
Yes, we call that tree on Jade “Cheryl’s mulberry tree.” Haha. Haven’t walked by it lately, but I’m sorry to hear there weren’t any berries this year. I know Pat and Reid had one in the backyard and it never got fruit. Not enough sun. They may have some mulberries for sale at Fruitscapes, especially if you call ahead and request them.
My mouth is watering….those berries look so juicy. Cute story about your Smokey the Bear shirt….Good memories of your childhood. Can’t wait to make these treats!
Thank you, Evangelia!
This looks easy and delish! Mary Ann P. has a huge tree in Bimini. I was over there with Justin and the kids for Easter a few years ago, and it was my job to pick as many as possible every day, which she would freeze. They’re great snacks right out of the freezer too! She made us a mulberry crisp that year for our Easter dinner. She said a mulberry dessert was traditional for Easter when she was growing up. There used to be a number of trees here in the Village, but there are none that I know of now. However, Mary Ann has one at her Fort Pierce house too, and she’s always looking for people to pick. Time to get the old clothes out!
Oooh I’m so glad Aunt Mary Ann has one at each place. So lucky. I bet your grandsons will love to help pick and bake with them.
This was absolutely delicious. I use orange juice/zest and had to add in some strawberries because I didn’t have quite enough mulberries. A big hit at the potluck I brought it to!
That made my day, Rachael! Thanks for letting me know. I’m happy everyone enjoyed them.
This came out great. I added a little more berries and more cornstarch and it firmed up very nicely. First time I’ve used berries from my tree as the birds usually get them but quarantined at home now so I have the time. Saving this recipe.
Lucky you, Elaine! Oh how I wish I had some mulberries right now. Thanks for trying my recipe!
I made it last week. The bars were really good. I guess it can be baked with any other berry of fruit. I will try with apricot next time which I love.
They are really good. I guess they can be made with any other berry of fruit. I will try with apricot next time which I love.
Thanks for trying them, Nora! I agree, lots of other fruit would be so delicious here.
Found this recipe while searching for ways to use the last of my frozen mulberries since this years are ripening on our tree. Very yummy! Will definitely be baking this again. Thanks.
I’m so glad to know it worked with frozen mulberries. I happen to have some in my freezer. Thanks, Dianne!
I’m going to make the crumble bars, but I was wondering about the trimming of the stems. It seems like such a tedious task, do you think I could get away with leaving the stems on, or would they be too noticeable?
This is something we debate all the time! Some of us don’t care, but I have a couple family members I won’t name who complain about the stems. It is one very tedious task, and they’re such delicate berries. I think if they’re fairly thin and small you can get away with it. Or just go through and trim off the bigger, thicker ones and leave the rest. Let me know how it goes!
Hello from Kansas! We inherited three mulberry trees with out new property and I’ve been playing around with mulberry cobblers and jams. Have you ever tried putting cinnamon or ginger in these recipes? Can’t wait to try this one!
These are great! I made them once with mulberries, once with frozen cherries (adding more cornstarch) and planning to make with strawberries and blueberries for Fourth of July tomorrow. It was a great way to use up mulberries when they were on the tree (birds were full on cicadas this year) and I’ve been using it since with every else- thanks!
Thank you, Lauren! I’m so happy you like them!