Patience is not a virtue with which I am blessed. It’s why I don’t grow purple spurring broccoli: 9 months in the ground before it crops, you’re having a laugh. And yet this appears the mere blink of an eye compared to the zen-like patience required to grow mulberries. 10 years before they fruit. TEN. YEARS. Mountains have grown faster.

No wonder you don’t see them around very often.

It won’t come as a surprise, then, that I don’t have a mulberry tree. Happily, more patient neighbours of mine do. And it’s heavy with fruit. I don my least favourite clothes (mulberry juice stains like the blood of Duncan) and steal into their garden with a few bags for my harvest. (Well, yes obviously I had their permission first, what do you take me for?).

2 kilos of fruit later and the tree hardly seems to have been touched, still dripping with fruit even after my ransacking. I head home causing a few raised eye brows in the village thanks to my blood stained clothes.

Cleaned up and back I the kitchen, I decide it’s ice cream time (when isn’t it?). And probably some duck too. And maybe a quick mulberry smoothie too….

Mulberry ripple ice cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 30g sugar
  • 300ml cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500g mulberries

Pop the mulberries in a pan and set them on a low heat until the start to break down. Once softened, whizz in a food processor or blender and pass through a sieve. Don’t be tempted to sweeten if you can help it, the sweetness of the ice cream custard will balance things. Chill the purée until needed.

Next make the custard. Split the vanilla pod and scrap the seeds into the cream. Scald the cream over a night heat. Whisk the egg yolks into the sugar then pour the hot cream over the eggs, whisking furiously all the while. Pour the whole lot back into the pan and stir over a medium heat until it thickens (about 75 degrees). Don’t let it boil or it’ll split.

Chill the custard before churning in an ice-cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions. (Which, if they’re anything like mine, will be wholly unintelligible having been translated literally from the Italian by a primary school linguist.)

Once churned, scoop into a container and pour over some of the puree. Swirl it through the ice-cream with a fork to create a beautiful rippled effect. Freeze for a further 2 hours to allow it to firm up, then serve.

Other tasty things to do with mulberries….

P1020755 mulberry

Blend the puree with some yogurt, oats, milk and a little honey for a delicious smoothie.

Warm some whole mulberries in a pan and serve with duck breast and beetroot remoulade…. very pink, but very tasty.