Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry.......Tree.
The lovely nursery rhyme lied to us all. The mulberry bush is a tree. And, as you can see, mine is in a corner, so we can't even dance around it. This tree was here when we moved here. I had no idea what it was the first time the kids started talking about this berry tree, so I clipped a branch and sent it to a boy scout leader we knew. After learning that mulberries are "great", all 9 of the children have spent many happy hours over many happy years sitting in this tree, filling their faces with pretty little deep purple berries.
Yesterday, the little guys came inside and grabbed a mixing bowl, and took it outside. An hour or so later, they came in with these delightful little gems. The operative word here is "little". Most mulberries are under 1/2" long. They are very sweet, with no tart overtones to them as raspberries have. The boys, of course, wanted to know what I could do with them. Hmmm.....the 1930s Encyclopedia of Cookery says only that they are native to North America, very sweet, work well in baking, and have never caught on in this country. Well. How about muffins?
Inspired by Kevin's Strawberry Sour Cream bread, and Peter's Amygdolata, I created a new muffin recipe, very filling, doubtless quite caloric, and very flavorful.
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mulberries
Sift together the dry ingredients and add the eggs, sour cream and oil. Beat gently until smooth. Stir in the mulberries. Spoon into mini muffin pans, and bake 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 48. You could also use 24 normal muffin pans, and bake probably for about 20 minutes. I guess mulberries aren't popular because they're not commercially available, because it certainly isn't due to a lack of nice smooth, mild, sweet flavor! Try these if you ever get your hands on some!