The sign at the farmer’s market stand read “out of Persian mulberries.” I didn’t know what the hell these were, but knew I should need to have them – like a diabolical iPhone marketing ploy where low supply generates obsessive demand. When the next stand had this beauties, we bought them and bought them fast. Turns out Persian mulberries – delicate on the branch, oh so difficult to harvest, and limited in season – are overflowing in juice which makes them perfect for cocktails (not so perfect for cobbler, see below). Good thing, because the Dr. Aprils were visiting and let’s just say she wisely married with the most important trait in keeping a marriage happy – mixology.
Take a look at what Doc Henry whipped using Persian mulberries and then what I did with the berries for dessert. Any berry will make a cocktail and dessert merry. Give them a try while you can still find good prices on blackberries and few raspberries about town.
Borrowing from the gentle bakings of Heidi Swanson for cherry cobbler, I recklessly replaced mulberries for cherries. What the delicate crust doesn’t reveal is the mulberry soup that floated below. The recipe is a good one if you adjust cornstarch to berry juice. It’s easy and easily modified to your ready ingredients.
mulberry cobbler & cocktail
preptime 15 minutes
baketime 15-20 minutes
2 1/2 cups berries
1 -2 tablespoons cornstarch (according to juice factor)
1/4 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar (sugar)
1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour (whole wheat, white, what-evs)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar (or brown sugar) (or regular sugar)
1/4+ teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup toasted nuts (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk (5 minute buttermilk substitute)
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled a bit
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees, racks in the top third. Butter a 9 – 10-inch round tart pan (or equivalent).
- In a small bowl gently toss the berries with the cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.
- To make the cobbler topping, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar, salt, and nuts in a large bowl.
- In another separate, smaller bowl whisk together the egg and the buttermilk, whisk in the butter.
- Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until it’s barely combined.
- Pour the fruit into the prepared pan. Now top the berries with the buttermilk dough by dropping dollops into the pan a scant tablespoon each – not too big of they won’t cook throughout. Heidi thwaps the tart pan against the counter a couple times to flatten out the dumplings a bit. Push the batter around and out to the edges with your fingers if you need to – she like a lot of coverage with a few windows and cracks for the cherries to peep through and the juices to bubble up.
- Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until the top is golden and cooked through.
recipe from 101 Cookbooks and modified and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com