Start to Finish: 1 hour
Mulberries are found throughout the United States, but they are a highly seasonal berry, available most often fresh at farmer’s markets. However, in some cases, they can be found dried in health food or specialty grocery stores. Similar in appearance and taste to blackberries, mulberries are not as juicy and come in a range of colors. Black mulberries are the sweetest, while red mulberries have a pronounced tartness. White mulberries, from Asia, have a rich, almost peach-like aroma and are mild-tasting, but still sweet.
Because mulberries produce less juice when baked, a mulberry cobbler is best made as a Southern-style cobbler. This type of cobbler uses a cake-like mix for the cobbler “topping” rather than the more common biscuit-style topping. The cake-like topping makes up for the lack of juice and syrup produced by mulberries during baking. This recipe is adapted from one by the Kentucky Forager.
2 1/2 cups mulberries, black, red or white
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 cup and 1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole milk
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and place a rack in the center of the oven. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mulberries with the brown sugar and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup white sugar and the salt, flour, lemon zest and nutmeg, stirring to fully blend the ingredients. In a small pan, heat the butter over medium heat until fully melted. Add the vanilla extract.
Pour the butter mix into the bowl with the flour, and add the milk. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. The flour should be fully mixed in and the batter will be wet and cake-like.
Spray a 9-inch baking tin with cooking spray and pour the batter into it. Spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the sugared mulberries — plus any juice that has collected in the bowl — evenly over the batter.
Sprinkle the final tablespoon of white sugar over the batter and the berries, and place on a center rack in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the top of the cobbler has turned a golden yellow and the edges a caramel brown. Serve the cobbler warm or at room temperature.
As the cobbler bakes, the mulberries will release more juice and will sink down, creating pockets of juice and fruit in the batter. Because the mulberries sink during baking, the batter at the bottom of the pan becomes the cobbler “topping.”
If you can find only red or white mulberries, use an extra 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten your berries. For a cobbler that uses only black mulberries, use only 1 tablespoon of sugar for the berries.
Fresh mulberries are highly seasonal, and the fruits are rarely found frozen. Dried mulberries can be mixed with fresh mulberries to make a mulberry cobbler. Reconstitute the dried mulberries by covering them in hot water and soaking for 30 minutes.
Mix mulberries — reconstituted or fresh — with other berries if you do not have enough mulberries. Combine with blackberries or raspberries for fruits that have a similar texture. White mulberries, with their distinctive aroma, are best paired with floral fruits, such as peaches, strawberries or pears, as they will not mask the taste of the mulberries.