Friday, May 21, 2010

Here we go 'round the mulberry ... tree!

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush
The mulberry bush
The mulberry bush
Here we go 'round the mulberry bush
So early in the morning.

I've sung that tune since I was a little girl, so imagine my surprise at learning mulberries don't really grow on bushes but on trees! (Wikipedia has one explanation why the song says "mulberry bush.") And what, pray tell, made me investigate this? I've been paying more attention to what's growing around my home this year, and lo and behold we have a mulberry tree which is happily tossing mulberries at me each day. The ripe berries look like very long blackberries, and the taste is similar but not quite as sweet and a little bit more tart.

There are quite a few mulberry recipes available online, but I pulled out my trusty "Totally Teabreads" book by Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner and made a few substitutions to one of the recipes. If you have mulberries, you might wish to give this a try, and if you don't, I'll bet blackberries will work just fine!

Mulberry Tea Bread

2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups fresh mulberries (I chopped the mulberries in half)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir vanilla into milk. Then, in three additions each, add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, beating just until combined. Fold in mulberries. Pour into loaf pan and bake 55-65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


  1. I have sung that song all my life and until your post, I've never even seen a mulberry. Your bread looks delicious!

  2. Birds also enjoy eating mulberries!

  3. I don't know if I have ever eaten any mulberries, but if they are tart I would LOVE them!

  4. My Grandmother had a mulberry tree at one end of her grape arbor. She would put some nylon net over it to discourage the birds. I would be thrilled to have one in my yard! What a great discovery you made, Angela. Thanks for reminding me of a pleasant childhood memory.

    I was fascinated as a child with a bush that had greenish white berries that she had near her Summer kitchen. She told me they were gooseberries.

    Mulberry Tea Bread sounds delicious and moist. Apply a little softened cream cheese and add a cup of tea. Perfect!

  5. I love mulberries; I used to eat them as a kid and there are a few trees in my yard now. My favorite thing about them is that they come ripe so early--often before even strawberries.

    Are you aware of the issue with the non-native white mulberry and hybridization with the native red mulberry? It's a serious issue in Delaware where I live and Pennsylvania where I grew up. It's not only an ecological issue, but also one that harms the enjoyment of this wonderful fruit. White mulberries are very bland, lacking the rich flavor of red mulberries. Hybrids (including one in my yard which I'm thinking of cutting down) can also be quite bland.

  6. I've never seen a Mulberry tree or tasted its fruit. The tea bread looks yummy.

  7. I remember a tree on our street back in the 50's. Yes, I know this tune! BUT THIS RECIPE IS REALLY TERRIFIC!

  8. Thanks for this delicious looking recipe! I have seen these trees in my neighborhood and now I know what they are. Grandma just called them messy trees. I think I'll ask permission from my neighbors to pick some to make them and grandma some tea bread.

  9. Fascinating! I don't think mulberries grow in this part of the country. I have never seen them or tasted them. The tea bread sounds good and probably could be made with marionberries, which grow only in the northwest.


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