I may have made this with the last of the mulberries but do not despair, you can use sour cherries or vişne to the same effect if you find you can’t get your hands on any.
Here in our garden in Assos we have a huge old dut tree. Every year it produces hundreds if not thousands of white mulberries which if I am not mistaken are called loganberries. Anyway, unfortunately they don’t taste half as nice as their darker cousins, the black mulberry which we don’t have and I am about to rave about.
Now, these are big and fat and the juice is an irresistible dark ruby red that will stain your clothes if you aren’t careful. They are luscious. You will spy roadside stalls selling karadut suyu or mulberry juice – buzzz gibi, the signs scream – icecold! Or pekmez, which is a very dark thick kind of molasses used in a multitude of ways eg for us, mixed with white granulated sugar as a substitute for brown sugar. It’s very healthy so is often mixed with tahin in winter, spread on bread and given to children before going to school. TT remembers that from his childhood! Or it would be a snack once you got home! (NB pekmez can be made from other fruits too, not only mulberries eg grapes, carob and even pear).
Mulberries are not a fruit that I would normally buy or even search for but we were given a bowlful by our gardener when we arrived here and I haven’t looked back. However, the last lot I was given looked fabulous but tasted eyewateringly sour.
I decided I’d better make a simple sweet syrup with them to eat with either yogurt, lor peyniri – a kind of soft white cheese – or even ice-cream.
(Actually, ideally I would serve it on half a kağıt helva, those large round wafers that are sold improbably enough in the middle of motorways when the traffic is bad, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and this syrup spooned lovingly over the top!)
|sweet, syrupy black mulberries/karadut with homemade yogurt – they tasted great!|
- Take 1kg of either black mulberries – avoid washing if possible as they are very delicate – or sour cherries, pitted and washed, and add 100g granulated sugar. Let stand for one hour.
- Then simmer the fruit in a pan over a gentle flame for half an hour. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and continue boiling the juice for another 15-20 mins until it thickens.
- NB You will probably find that the cherries are juicier than the mulberries so you will need to thicken the syrup with a little cornstarch/nişasta.
- Add a little lemon juice to the syrup to help bring out the taste. Return the fruit to the pan and set aside to cool.
We enjoyed the black mulberries used like this with yogurt made from the milk of our cows, and the sour cherries with lor peyniri that I bought in Ayvacık weekly market yesterday. Both times as a light summery dessert!
|sour cherries from Kütahya at the market yesterday|
|1 kilo of pitted sour cherries cooking with the granulated sugar|
- Pitting these sour cherries was much easier than the regular cherries/kiraz that I used recently in the White Chocolate & Cherry Loaf. It didn’t take as long as you might think.
- Vişne are easily recognizable as they’re smaller and lighter in colour than kiraz. They’re in season right now.
- … and to give credit where credit’s due, I got the idea to make this syrup from Didem Şenol’s book Aegean Flavours!