We have four large mulberry trees here at Homestead Albania, three white (2 wild, 1 domestic) and one black (red). And a few more white, pink, and black on family land that we collect from each season. So when mulberry season strikes we are busy laying out the plastic, Art climbing and shaking each branch and hand sorting the mulberries for quality. This year, the season was perfect. They are plump juicy sweet. Last year we had a bit too much late rain that ruined the over all quality.
The progression of our mulberries:
The first shake of the white mulberry tree in the back was like a drip followed by a hail storm. We gathered a total 15 gallons of white mulberries from the domestic tree in the back and two at the family land. We (and visiting family of 5) ate about a gallon and the rest we hand selected for quality and smashed to extract the juice for pekmez (molasses).
We let the juice rest overnight before we simmered for nearly six hours. No added sugars or flavors just straight mulberry extracted juice. The taste is almost as sweet as honey, consistency similar to a maple syrup. It is a great all natural sugar alternative for tea, coffee, dipping or ice cream. We cooled completely to obtain the height of thickness before reheating for canning the molasses for future use.
What's next? We will continue shaking the trees to eat, 30 gallons set aside for two more rounds of molasses and fill a barrel to ferment for raki. The sweet fruity flavor of the black mulberries may make there way in to a pie or two. The life cycle of a fresh mulberry is less than 24 hours. It requires an immediate plan to consume, bake or ferment.
Why consume mulberries? Mulberries may lower cholesterol levels, help prevent fatty liver disease, and improve blood sugar control. They also decrease oxidative stress, which may reduce cancer risk. And for my husband and his sister, endless smiles. It is the taste of their childhood.
We have discussed selling some of our goodies but with the current pandemic, we switch to an online shop. New content added weekly. You can have a piece of Homestead Albania delivered directly to your door. https://www.homesteadalbania.com/shop