When mulberry season arrives, you’ll find yourself overflowing with berries. Mature mulberry trees are highly productive, producing 60-100 gallons per year. Unless you want your berries to go to waste, you probably want to know different ways to preserve mulberries this year.
Each year, I try a new way to use mulberries. I might make a new muffin recipe or a new dessert for my family to enjoy, and I’m always looking additional techniques to use them up and make them last.
Here are some of my favorite mulberry preservation methods.
Tasty Methods to Preserve and Use Your Mulberries
Let me tell you, mulberry trees are prolific and one can produce up to 100 gallons of berries each year. If you grow mulberry trees, you’ll likely have more berries than you know what to do with.
Don’t let all of your mulberries go to waste (though the birds make thank you) or fall off the tree without being used. Try a few of these ways to preserve mulberries this year.
1. Freeze Fresh Berries
Every day throughout the harvest season, I gather at least one gallon of berries, so I need to freeze them because I don’t want to can or cook every single day. The easiest way to preserve mulberries is to freeze them to use later.
Frozen mulberries can be used for many different things. After thawing, they can be put in pies, on ice cream, made into jams, jellies, or smoothies, and other delicious recipes.
There are two ways to freeze mulberries.
First, spread the berries on a baking sheet in a single layer and place them in the freezer until frozen. Then, transfer the berries into a freezer bag. This method stops the berries from freezing to each other, so if you plan to scoop the berries out for smoothies and single uses, this is a great option.
The other way to freeze mulberries is to put all the berries into a freezer bag and freeze them all together. I do this when I know that I will use the entire bag at once for something like jams or jellies.
2. Ice Cream
If you want a sweet, homemade treat to cool you down this summer, make some mulberry ice cream. When paired with sugar and cream, mulberries have a fantastic combination of tangy yet sweet that our family loves.
Making mulberry ice cream is a great way to preserve mulberries since ice cream stays good in a freezer for many months. You can enjoy a taste of the summer in the middle of December if your mulberry tree produces enough berries! Plus, who doesn’t like knowing exactly what is in their ice cream?
You’ll need to have an ice cream maker to make your ice cream, but it starts with blending the ingredients. I like this recipe from The Local Rose that uses fresh mulberries, honey, whole milk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
Instead of ice cream, why not try mulberry sorbet instead? You can spike your sorbets with alcohol to change the texture; this amazing recipe uses elderberry liqueur, which adds a great flavor.
My favorite thing about making mulberry sorbet is that you only need a few ingredients. For best results, make sure you remove all of the green stems from the berries; they don’t taste so great in the sorbet.
Whether you use fresh or frozen mulberries, turning these berries into jam is one of the best ways to preserve them. Mulberry jam tastes wonderful on a slice of freshly baked bread or mixed into some yogurt.
Making mulberry jam is easy and canning-friendly, especially if you’ve done canning before. You’ll need six cups of fresh mulberries for one batch of berries. Take a look at this recipe by My Homestead Life; it’s easy enough that beginners can give it a try.
5. Lavender Jam with Honey
If you want to make a different variety of mulberry jam, this recipe looks amazing. Adding lavender to the recipe gives it more of an aromatic property. You have to have fresh lavender for this recipe; dried won’t work as well.
Our family prefers mulberry jelly over jam; there are seeds in the fruits that some don’t like. The downside to making mulberry jelly is that it requires an extra step – juicing the berries.
Everyone has a different method for this. You might use a juicer if you have one available, or you can boil and strain them in a fine-mesh strainer. Others puree them and then run the puree through a strainer.
You just have to find what works for you.
After you have the mulberry juice, making mulberry jelly is the same as other jellies. You boil the juice, add sugar, pectin, and lemon juice. For a tasty, canning-safe recipe, check out Homesteading Where You Are.
7. Can Pie Filling
If you love to bake homemade pies but hate having to take the time to make the filling while you’re assembling the crust at the same time, then you need to can some mulberry pie filling in advance. This is a great way to preserve your mulberry harvest all year long and have delicious desserts for your family.
I typically can my mulberry pie filling in quart jars; that’s the perfect size for a family, but pints or half-pints work well if you want to eat it out of the jar. When you make pie filling, use fresh or frozen mulberries. I almost always use frozen because I freeze all of mine before I start preserving at the end of the harvesting season.
If you don’t have enough mulberries, you also can make combinations of fruits, as suggested by Food Preserving. I’ve tried mulberries and blackberries – it’s such a good combination! I bet it would be delicious with rhubarb as well.
Then, use this recipe to make the best mulberry pie you’ve ever had. Trust me, this recipe is hands-down amazing. You could also freeze the pies to be unthawed and baked later!
If you make mulberry jelly, why not make a batch of mulberry syrup at the same time? It’s a great way to preserve mulberries, and it’s versatile. You can use mulberry syrup on ice cream, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cupcakes, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and more.
The process starts by making the juice. Juice or boil your mulberries for up to one hour before straining the liquid. Once you have mulberry juice, all you need is sugar and lemon juice. It’s safe to can mulberry syrup – check out this recipe by God’s Growing Garden. This recipe can be used for other berries as well.
Do you love mulberry juice? Don’t let it go to waste; you can make a bunch of mulberry juice and save it for later. Two and a half pounds of mulberries yield one liter of mulberry juice, on average.
Making this is so easy – it’s the perfect way to preserve mulberries for beginners. Tasty Kitchen has an easy recipe that almost anyone can follow. Mulberry juice can be frozen or canned safely; I recommend making it a bit stronger with more sugar and use it as a concentrate that you dilute later with water.
10. Dehydrate Mulberries
After freezing and canning, the next best way to preserve mulberries is to dehydrate them. When you dehydrate fruits, it’s essential that you dry them all the way to remove any moisture that might lead to mold or mildew on your foods.
Dehydrated mulberries can be used in several ways.
You can rehydrate them for recipes or use them in their dried state like a snack. Dehydrated mulberries have a texture like raisins if you leave them a bit squishy. Try tossing them into baked goods to see if you like the flavor!
11. Make Fruit Leather
What kid doesn’t like fruit leather? It’s one of our favorite ways to preserve mulberries to enjoy as an easy and healthy treat for our kids.
You can make fruit leather in your oven or dehydrator; I prefer the dehydrator. I often mix with different fruits to make yummy flavor combinations, but everything should be pureed into a smooth consistency. Then, spread it out on a fruit leather tray or parchment paper in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest setting.
I like to use parchment paper because I can cut them into strips and roll them up like homemade Fruit Roll-Ups.