Sunday, June 21, 2009

a SLicE oF MulBeRrY pIE

Every day is an opportunity to try something new. Today's new fangled 'thang' involved mulberries. I've been surrounded by Mulberry trees my entire life. They surrounded the silos at my Grandma and Grandpa's campground. They're all around our cabin in Illinois, and there are several trees in our wooded areas around the house I live in now. I've picked MANY of them over the years; shook the tree branches over sheets; ate them straight off the tree; served them over ice cream; and squished the heck out of them to use the juice as a stain in an art project. I have never, however, made a mulberry pie.......until today. I saw thousands of them spread about the path, where they'd fallen, been tread upon and were just basically getting transported around on everyone's shoes...and, it prompted me to think of what a shame it was that we weren't making better use of all these berries that are readily available to us year after I began thinking of what all I could start doing with them and what they'd be good for. Would they make good jam? Should I freeze them? How 'bout a PIE?! My dad said he hadn't had one of those since he was little, so the perfect little treat for Father's Day! While Maddie and the guys were fishing, I gathered up a bed sheet and headed to the trees.....I picked and shook, picked and shook, wondering if I was even making any progress...seemed like I should have had a lot more in my bucket for the amount of time I had spent! Hopefully, I had enough to throw together a pie because my hands were a new shade of purple, my shoulders and arms were speckled with berry stains from shaking the branches and frankly, I was ready to move on to the next step. I rinsed them all off, debated on whether or not to remove the tiny little stems (which would have taken forever) and ultimately decided they would probably just cook up, so I left them on. It's also worth mentioning that I'm in the single digits with the number of pies I've made over the years. Love 'em, just never seem to make very many of them. My daughter suggested I mix in some other berries like strawberries or raspberries, but then we wouldn't really know what a true Mulberry pie tasted like, so we went mulberries straight up! I'm not someone to fuss over crimped edges and perfect lattice tops, I just do it up free and easy and I'm happy to say, it turned out to be the most beautiful pie I've ever made. The only thing I would've done differently is to not double the fruit. (I'm kind of a more is better type of gal, and I wasn't sure how much the fruit would cook down....but it was one FAT slice of pie!) The stems did pretty much disappear, so I don't know whether I would ever bother with removing the stems. Everyone thought it was surprisingly quite tasty, but the addition of other berries next time might make things even more interesting! Who knew we'd have so much fun with baking a pie!?! I just need to figure out how to harvest MORE berries in LESS time!

Cheers to the Mulberry Tree and my DAD! Happy Father's Day!


Dana Barbieri said...

Hi Michelle. I am so glad I found your blog. I love your show B.Original! Just wanted to say thanks for all of the inspiration and your positive, upbeat character. I am going to try the collage technique with heat and gel medium soon. Looks great.
Cheers-Dana Barbieri

Reginaldo said...

Hi, My name is Reginaldo. I'm from Brazil and I also grew up surrounded by mulberry trees (our neighbors had trees in their yard) so my brothers and I would go there very often to climb it and eat as many mulberries as possible. Nice memories. I love cooking nowadays. The first time I made a mulberry pie was about 10 years ago. I was amazed at how delicious it was... mouthwatering! But then this neighbor moved out and another person who doesn't like mulberry trees moved in and cut the mulberry trees off! I was so angry but could do nothing about it. Just one thing I did! Before they moved out I cut a stem of one of the grown mulberry trees and planted my own. It took almost 10 years for an abundant harvest and today is the first time I'm going to make a mulberry pie using my backyard's own mulberry tree!!! I was on the internet and decided to google "mulberry" and "mulberry tree" and came across your blog. I liked your post about the mulberry pie, it gave me more inspiration to cook my own after so many years. Nice post!