Recipe: Mulberry Syrup

Mulberry syrup recipe

The mulberry, though actually a collective fruit rather than a proper berry, is a nutritious little thing that grows wild in many places. They grow on relatively small trees and remind me somewhat of blackberries though not quite so delicious. They’re fragile, don’t store well and are sort of a pain to collect when they’re growing at the top of a spindly tree.ย  Still, they are so worth the effort if only you know what to do with them.

What you do with them is make jelly or syrup. This is how we do it.

1. You need a source of fresh mulberries. About a month ago, a rumor began circulating that we had a mulberry tree on the property. When I finally got around to walking down with the children, we discovered not one, but two mulberry trees.

2. You need children. Preferably your own since you’re going to send up a tree and get them back slightly discolored.

Mulberry smile

The goofy grin has nothing to do with mulberries, however, and everything to do with pointing a camera at a five year old.

3. You need patience and lots of time. For three days, I sent the children out to collect mulberries. For three days, I received purple children and three or four berries in return. I finally joined them and the bucket was filled surprisingly quickly. I even still got purple children out of the deal. And they weren’t the only ones enjoying the harvest. See this purple little bill? It led me to yet two more mulberry trees.

Pilgrim goose eating mulberries

4. You need a recipe of some sort. This part proved about as difficult as getting children to put berries in a bucket rather than their mouths. Maybe it was a good thing I had an extra three days to search.ย  See, everything I found included corn syrup and seriously the main reason I am willing to go through the trouble of making my own syrup is to get away from the corn syrup in everything.

But then I finally found this, a recipe for Sharab El Toot. And for the homeschooler in me, it was a wonderfully educational adventure to incorporate into the mulberry picking. The children didn’t like the end product so much. Well, except for L.E.Fant who drank everyone else’s, but the pictures on the site were lovely and we all enjoyed sampling some Lebanese refreshment.

This is a slightly modified recipe, intended for canning. And let me tell you, this stuff is fabulous on ice cream. Wow. After having some at my parents’ house, I went out and bought ice cream just to put the syrup on it.

Mulberry syrup

4 cups mulberry juice
8 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

To get the juice from the mulberries, you can use a food mill, but we don’t have one. Instead, I threw them in a pot with a bit of lemon juice and a bit of water and heated them up while squishing with a potato masher. Once it was heated and mushy, I poured the mess into a muslin bag and tied it over a pot to drip overnight. In the morning, I mushed the bag until I couldn’t get any more dribbles out.

You can add some syrup to the mush to make jam, or fold it into muffins. I, however, was a bit lazy about separating all the little green stems from the berries so I fed the mush to the chickens who were already filling the hen house with purple poo since discovering we had mulberry trees. They were pleased.

Add the lemon juice and syrup and heat slowly. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Cook down to desired consistency. You could also add 1/2 cup of pectin to thicken. Skim the foam regularly for a nice clean syrup. Process in a boiling water bath.

Try some Sharab El Toot. If you like flavored waters, you’ll love it. If not, well, at least you’ve tasted a bit of Lebanon. Then get some ice cream and try not to overeat.

ice cream with mulberries

(Image courtesy oceandesetoiles’ Flickr photostream under a Creative Commons license.)

Enjoy! If I don’t post for another week, just know I’m feverishly collecting mulberries to replenish my dwindling stores before they’re gone for the season!

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19 Comments

  1. Reply

    Phyllis

    June 17, 2010

    Thank you so much for posting this. We have mulberries and have made jam and would like recipes for other things to do. Thank you!
    .-= Phyllis´s last blog ..Katie’s Etsy Shop is Now Open =-.

  2. Reply

    Dana

    June 17, 2010

    Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! I was going to make some jelly, but my jelly cabinet is sort of full of flower jellies. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..How to make mulberry syrup =-.

  3. Reply

    Sheri

    June 17, 2010

    Beautiful pics! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sounds yummy. And I love any kind of homemade syrop on ice cream. Throw in a slice of pound cake and I’m in heaven.
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..In Which I Cop to Avoiding =-.

  4. Reply

    Curbstone Valley Farm

    June 17, 2010

    We don’t have mulberries, but do have blackberries here. All sounds rather yummy! Wish we had goslings…yours are adorable! So much cuter than our turkeys ๐Ÿ˜›
    .-= Curbstone Valley Farm´s last blog ..Going to Seed II โ€“ Non-Natives =-.

  5. Reply

    Diane

    June 17, 2010

    Really easy trick – I put a tarp under the tree and shake that thing for all it’s worth. My tree is pretty big, so I have to move the tarp a few times, but it’s quick.

  6. Reply

    Julie from Homeschooling-ideas

    June 18, 2010

    Duh! Of course I sung ‘Round and round the mulberry bush’ – but it has NEVER occur’d to me that there was actually and really a mulberry!!

    I think we must not get them here in the UK. But know I really need to know!!

    best wishes, Julie.
    .-= Julie from Homeschooling-ideas´s last blog ..Jun 18, Do I need to de-register my child to home educate? =-.

  7. Reply

    Tressa

    June 18, 2010

    Ha, ha! I just made mulberry syrup too. I was actually trying for jelly though. I could not find a recipe, so I followed the generic berry jelly recipe in my package of ball pectin. I tried 3 ยฝ cups mulberry juice, 5 cups sugar, 2 Tbs lemon juice, and 1 package powdered pectin. Next time I think Iโ€™ll try 2 packages of pectin. It tastes really good on fresh biscuits too. BTW I tried your lilac jelly recipe and everyone loves it. Thanks! It was originally my husbandโ€™s idea for the mulberry jelly. He picked for 2 hours to get enough for the jelly/ syrup. He said he is going to go the tarp route next time too.

    • Reply

      Dana

      June 18, 2010

      I’ve had a few of my jellies end up syrup, especially when I’m using flowers. Fortunately, they’re still yummy and always work on pancakes or ice cream! We loved the lilac jelly and I’m so happy you tried it!
      .-= Dana´s last blog ..How to make mulberry syrup =-.

  8. Reply

    Life On The Planet

    June 20, 2010

    Wow! Mulberry face sure has grown!!!
    .-= Life On The Planet´s last blog ..Interjections =-.

  9. Reply

    Felicia E.H. Luburich

    June 20, 2010

    Hi. In my previous property I had several wild mulberry trees that were VERY large. Only one had berries that were tasty and worth eating. I gorged on them as long as the tree was in fruit.
    I’m new to the Homesteading pages and at a loss trying to figure out how to be a part of the pages. Anyone willing to help me? If so, send me your phone number. I have magicJack. For less than $2.oo a month I can call USA and Canada and some European countries. Or if you have the same perk you can call me. 732 668 7562., please.

  10. Reply

    Jan

    June 7, 2011

    mullberries look like blackberries, what’s the difference in the two? Taste, texture?

  11. Reply

    Dana

    June 7, 2011

    Mulberries aren’t as tart and I don’t think quite as sweet, though I’ve never eaten them side by side. Comparing the mulberries I ate last year to the blackberries I picked in the woods at the softball field as a kid may not be a fair comparison, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Reply

    Mary

    June 29, 2011

    Ooooh! We have a mulberry tree and all we do is eat them… Now I know there’s more to be done!

  13. Reply

    Ron M

    August 16, 2011

    I have completed 53 jars of mulberry jam and jelly, I am at present making some syrup. I have 4 trees in my back yard and gathered around 6 gallons of berries. I really like them and have perfected the gathering of the berries by using a tarp. I did use kids, my grandkids, and they loved getting purple. Thankyou for the recipes and pics.

  14. Reply

    Leigh Dehlinger

    August 9, 2012

    I could save your post as written

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June 21, 2010

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