Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mulberries - Urban Foraging

How many Americans have ever eaten a mulberry?  Well, here in Albuquerque (as many with allergies know) there are mulberry trees all over the place.  The ones that cause the allergies are the male trees.  People normally don't plant the females because they make a big mess of black berries all over the sidewalk, but at this time of year that makes them easy to spot!  The berries are delicious, with a flavor like blackberries, although not as tart and with a little bit chewier texture.  They ripen over a period of only a few weeks, which happens to be right about now - so go out and see if you can find some around town!

We have one growing in a neglected corner of our back yard, and this week I got inspired to pick them.  I love to make fresh fruit sorbets all summer in my old electric ice cream maker. Sorbet is made with no dairy, just fruit and water, whereas sherbet has a little bit of dairy (but not as much as a full-fat ice cream). So here's a fabulous Buttermilk Mulberry sherbet. The buttermilk adds a rich creamy tang, and the result is a gorgeous deep purple.

1 cup fresh or frozen mulberries
1 cup buttermillk
1/4 cup sugar

Puree everything together in a food processor or blender. Freeze in ice cream maker according to directions, or just put it in the freezer for several hours, stirring it every hour or so.

There's also a great page all about mulberries in ABQ by Dave DeWitt of the fabulous annual Fiery Foods Show. I tried out the Mulberry-Chipotle barbecue sauce, and it was pretty good on chicken, but I wonder if it might be even better on lamb.


And then I was going to make this Mulberry Lime Custard Tart but we ended up eating all the rest of the fresh mulberries before I could get around to it! Oh well, maybe next week, since more seem to be ripening by the minute.

This article was also published on www.ediblesantafe.com!
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