How to make mulberry syrup

The mulberry, though actually a collective fruit rather than a proper berry, is a nutritious little thing that grows wild in many places. They grow on relatively small trees and remind me somewhat of blackberries though not quite so delicious. They’re fragile, don’t store well, are sort of a pain to collect when they’re growing at the top of a spindly tree but so worth the effort if only you know what to do with them.

What you do with them is make jelly or syrup. This is how we do it.

1. You need a source of fresh mulberries. About a month ago, a rumor began circulating that we had a mulberry tree on the property. When I finally got around to walking down with the children, we discovered not one, but two mulberry trees.

2. You need children. Preferably your own since you’re going to send them to the top of a tree and get them back slightly discolored.

The goofy grin has nothing to do with mulberries, however, and everything to do with pointing a camera at a five year old.

3. You need patience and lots of time. For three days, I sent the children out to collect mulberries. For three days, I received purple children and three or four berries in return. I finally joined them and the bucket was filled surprisingly quickly. I even still got purple children out of the deal. And they weren’t the only ones enjoying the harvest. See this purple little bill? It led me to yet two more mulberry trees.

4. You need a recipe of some sort. This part proved about as difficult as getting children to put berries in a bucket rather than their mouths. Maybe it was a good thing I had an extra three days to search.  See, everything I found included corn syrup and seriously the main reason I am willing to go through the trouble of making my own syrup is to get away from the corn syrup in everything.

But then I finally found this, a recipe for Sharab El Toot. And for the homeschooler in me, it was a wonderfully educational adventure to incorporate into the mulberry picking. The children didn’t like the end product so much. Well, except for L.E.Fant who drank everyone else’s, but the pictures on the site were lovely and we all enjoyed sampling some Lebanese refreshment.

This is a slightly modified recipe, intended for canning. And let me tell you, this stuff is fabulous on ice cream. Wow. After having some at my parents’ house, I went out and bought ice cream just to put the syrup on.

Mulberry syrup

4 cups mulberry juice
8 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

To get the juice from the mulberries, you can use a food mill. But we don’t have one. So I threw them in a pot with a bit of lemon juice and a bit of water and heated them up while squishing with a potato masher. Once it was heated and mushy, I poured the mess into a muslin bag and tied it over a pot to drip overnight. In the morning, I mushed the bag until I couldn’t get any more dribbles out.

You can add some syrup to the mush to make jam, or fold it into muffins. I, however, was a bit lazy about separating all the little green stems from the berries so I fed the mush to the chickens who were already filling the hen house with purple poo since discovering we had mulberry trees. They were pleased.

Add the lemon juice and syrup and heat slowly. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Cook down to desired consistency. Or add 1/2 cup of pectin, but we just cooked it down. Skim the foam regularly for a nice clean syrup. Process in a boiling water bath.

Try some Sharab El Toot. If you like flavored waters, you’ll love it. If not, well, at least you’ve tasted a bit of Lebanon. Then get some ice cream and try not to overeat.

(Image courtesy oceandesetoiles’ Flickr photostream under a Creative Commons license.)

Enjoy! If I don’t post for another week, just know I’m feverishly collecting mulberries to replenish my dwindling stores before they’re gone for the season!

19 thoughts on “How to make mulberry syrup”

  1. Really easy trick – I put a tarp under the tree and shake that thing for all it’s worth. My tree is pretty big, so I have to move the tarp a few times, but it’s quick.

  2. Ha, ha! I just made mulberry syrup too. I was actually trying for jelly though. I could not find a recipe, so I followed the generic berry jelly recipe in my package of ball pectin. I tried 3 ½ cups mulberry juice, 5 cups sugar, 2 Tbs lemon juice, and 1 package powdered pectin. Next time I think I’ll try 2 packages of pectin. It tastes really good on fresh biscuits too. BTW I tried your lilac jelly recipe and everyone loves it. Thanks! It was originally my husband’s idea for the mulberry jelly. He picked for 2 hours to get enough for the jelly/ syrup. He said he is going to go the tarp route next time too.

    1. I’ve had a few of my jellies end up syrup, especially when I’m using flowers. Fortunately, they’re still yummy and always work on pancakes or ice cream! We loved the lilac jelly and I’m so happy you tried it!
      .-= Dana´s last blog ..How to make mulberry syrup =-.

  3. Hi. In my previous property I had several wild mulberry trees that were VERY large. Only one had berries that were tasty and worth eating. I gorged on them as long as the tree was in fruit.
    I’m new to the Homesteading pages and at a loss trying to figure out how to be a part of the pages. Anyone willing to help me? If so, send me your phone number. I have magicJack. For less than $2.oo a month I can call USA and Canada and some European countries. Or if you have the same perk you can call me. 732 668 7562., please.

  4. Mulberries aren’t as tart and I don’t think quite as sweet, though I’ve never eaten them side by side. Comparing the mulberries I ate last year to the blackberries I picked in the woods at the softball field as a kid may not be a fair comparison, though. 🙂

  5. Ooooh! We have a mulberry tree and all we do is eat them… Now I know there’s more to be done!

  6. I have completed 53 jars of mulberry jam and jelly, I am at present making some syrup. I have 4 trees in my back yard and gathered around 6 gallons of berries. I really like them and have perfected the gathering of the berries by using a tarp. I did use kids, my grandkids, and they loved getting purple. Thankyou for the recipes and pics.

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