Mulberries are a delightful summer berry! They’re juicy, sweet, and picking them is a fun family activity! Learn all about mulberries in this post and try out TWO DELICIOUS RECIPES: Mulberry Ice Cream Sauce and Delightful Mini Mulberry Tarts!
**Scroll to the bottom for the FREE Printable recipes!**
**A word of caution really quick**
Identifying mulberries is not very difficult because there aren’t a lot of berries that look like them but always use caution when picking and eating ANYTHING in the wild.
Make sure you always check and compare pictures of the leaf shapes and the berries so you know you’ve identified things correctly.
Watch the video to see how to make the mini tarts and watch us hike around!
What Are Mulberries?
Mulberries are blackberry-like fruit that are actually related to the fig.
They grow on trees instead of a bush or a vine.
There are actually a few different types of mulberry trees.
It gets a little confusing because the “White Mulberry” tree has purple fruit more often than white fruit. But the “Black Mulberry” tree and “Red mulberry” tree also often have purple fruit.
And there are hybrids to confuse things further.
For my purposes, if the fruit is white, I’m calling it a white mulberry tree. Anything that has purple-ly fruit is just a regular mulberry tree in my book.
How to identify Mulberry Trees
Mulberry trees have can be identified by the berry and by their leaves.
The leaves are interesting because one tree will often present several different leaf shapes. Some will be shaped more like hearts and some will have asymmetrical lobes.
The leaves grow alternately on the branch and have jagged edges.
The top of the leaf will be darker and often glossy while the underside is lighter and dull, sometimes rough.
It sounds kind of ridiculous but finding the fruit on a mulberry tree is the easiest way to identify one because it’s the only thing that looks like a blackberry but grows on a tree.
Where Can I Find Mulberries?
Mulberry trees are found in the eastern United States. If you look at a map you can see them spread across eastern, central, and southern states.
The white mulberry tree actually comes from China originally and is often considered to be an invasive species.
You can find them along streams and near water.
Each tree will bear different amounts of fruit. There are several mulberry trees near our house but only ONE produces enough berries to make anything.
We have three white mulberry trees near our house that produce a ton of fruit but I’m still figuring out what to do with them all.
How to Pick Mulberries
**It’s important to note that regular mulberries (red and black variety) start out white/green then gradually turn pink, red, and black. DON’T EAT the UNRIPE white/green fruit. It can cause a lot of stomach pain and make you sick.**
You can tell that a tree has white mulberries that are safe to eat because the branches have greenish/white berries that are harder (these are unripe) and also more creamy, plumper berries (these are the ripe ones). When they’re ripe, they will come off the branch with the slightest brush of your hand. If the berry stays attached with a gentle tug, leave it on the branch and come back in a day or two.
Picking ripe berries is easy and you can spot more of them if you look at the underside of the branches.
Another way to pick mulberries is to spread a sheet on the ground underneath the tree and gently shake the branches. The ripe fruit will fall off easily.
We tried the sheet method when our kids were younger and it got pretty messy because the kids were crawling on the sheet to pick up and eat the berries (crushing a lot in the process).
So, make sure to wear clothes you don’t care about staining.
What Do Mulberries Taste Like?
The red and black mulberries taste like a mix between blackberries and grapefruit without any of the bitterness. Tangy and sweet.
The white mulberries taste like figs – really sweet and kind of leafy tasting. They can also have a mild honey flavor.
Bike Rides and Climbing Trees
Last year my big girls joined us for some early morning bike rides.
We let them pick out the route and they always wanted to ride past the mulberry tree.
We picked a lot of mulberries over a couple of weeks and I just threw them into the same freezer bag until I could accumulate enough to bake something.
I completely forgot about the bag until this week and the berries were still great!
Picking berries is one our favorite things to do together and we’ve got plenty of monkeys eager to get the berries on the higher branches.
Prepare Your Mulberries
You’ll probably notice there are a lot of bugs that also like mulberries.
Some of them a fairly easy to see like stink bugs, beetles, and ants. But I’m sure you’ll also notice a lot of tiny tan bugs crawling all around the berries.
These are mostly a type of white aphid.
If you ate some berries straight off of the tree, you probably ate some of these little guys.
Relax, you’ll be fine!
They’re supposed to be harmless and on the bright side you got a little extra protein in your diet!
To clean them off of your berries, fill a large bowl with water and let your berries sit in it for about 10 minutes.
The bugs will all float to the top then you can pour them off.
Repeat this process 2 or 3 times and you should have bug-free berries.
You can keep your berries in the fridge for a couple of days or stick them in the freezer for up to six months. You can go longer but the flavor supposedly suffers.
Ours were in there a full year and I still made the delicious tarts below with them!
White Mulberry Recipes?
I tried several recipes and they were kind of gross or just meh. Better to just eat them straight off the tree.
One recipe I created was pretty good. I spiced the berries like apple pie and then layered it with some cream cheese into a crust. It was pretty close but no cigar.
The trees around my house aren’t producing much white fruit anymore so I’d rather take what I learned this time and try again next year for just the right recipes.
Mulberry Ice Cream Sauce
We didn’t gather a lot of the regular mulberries this year so I made something simple with the handful we came home with after a bike ride.
Here’s how to make Mulberry Ice Cream Sauce.
You can either pull the little green stems off of each berry or you can strain the sauce after you cook it.
I chose to do neither because I didn’t want to, so I was spitting out stems every few mouthfuls as a consequence.
In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of mulberries, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Cook the mixture for 5-10 minutes then blend it with a stick blender.
Pour over ice cream and enjoy!
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Mulberry Tarts – Mini Tarts
My favorite mulberry recipe I made was mini tarts.
I got the idea to use a mini muffin tin from my friend, Bethany. She is also an enthusiastic berry picker!
I had to start with some frozen mulberries from last year and I made sure to pull all of the stems off this time.
This resulted in black finger tips for several days.
Combine 3 cups of mulberries with 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Mix that thoroughly and set it aside while you get the crust ready.
You can use pre-made pie dough but I’ve got an amazing and easy recipe for pie crust! It’s flaky and tender, and most importantly, not fussy to make.
You can also check out how I use it to make hand pies/ homemade Pop-tarts! You can click on the picture to see the post.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Flour your work surface and roll out your dough to 1/8 thick.
Although, I would check your local thrift store for some mini muffin pans before you buy them new. I got both of mine at my local goodwill.
Once your dough is rolled out, cut out circles that are just a little bigger than the circles on the muffin pan.
Each circle on my pans were about 2 inches across so I used a circle cutter that was about 2 and 1/4 inch across.
Watch the video if this sounds confusing.
You can also just use a knife to eyeball the circles or grab scrap pieces and just smoosh them together.
Spray the pan with oil to grease it then press the circles into the sections.
Smoosh the bottom to get rid of air pockets and press the sides to get the dough closer to the top. It’s ok if it seems pretty thin in spots.
Use a fork to poke some holes in the bottom of all the crusts so they won’t puff up while baking.
Fill each tart with a heaping teaspoon of the the filling then top it off with a little pad of butter.
Be careful not to spill the filling on the side of the crust or it’ll glue the crust to the pan. If you keep it inside the crust, the tart should pop right out of the pan when it’s done.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the crust it golden and the filling is bubbling.
Let them cool for about 5 minutes.
Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 teaspoons of milk then drizzle the mixture over the tarts.
If you have leftover filling and dough, you can make another larger tart. I used a little loaf pan and it was delicious!
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Things You Might Need
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Print it for later!
- 1 cup mulberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Take the stems off of the mulberries.
- Mix and heat all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a light boil and cook for 5-10 minutes until the berries release juice and become soft.
- Blend mixture in blender and serve warm over ice cream.
-The mixture should have the consistency of applesauce when you're done.
- You can strain the mixture through a fine sieve if you don't want pulp or seeds.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g
- 1 batch pie dough
- 3 cups mulberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Take the stems off of all the berries.
- Mix berries with sugar, flour, and lemon juice and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray two 24 muffin, mini muffin pans. (Or you can bake half at a time)
- Lightly flour work surface, dough ball, and rolling pin.
- Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick.
- Cut out 48 circles a little bigger than muffin tin spaces.
- Press each circle into muffin space. Press the dough into the bottom to to get rid of any air pockets and up the sides to fill the muffin spaces.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of each tart crust.
- Fill each tart with a heaping teaspoon of filling.
- Add a small amount of butter to the top of the tart.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
- Let cool for 5 minutes while you whisk powdered sugar and milk together.
- Drizzle tarts with glaze.
_You can find my Easy Pie Crust Recipe that goes perfectly with the mulberries on my website goodenoughandstuff.com
-Be careful not to spill the filling on the side of the crust or it'll glue the crust to the pan. If you keep it inside the crust, the tart should pop right out of the pan when it's done.
-If you have leftover filling and dough, you can make another larger tart. I used a mini loaf pan and it was delicious!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 54Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g
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