Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush: Mulberry and Buttered Einkorn Crumble

Mulberries remind me of a childhood spent climbing trees, scraping knees, catching fireflies and sneaking off to the beach with my best friend – Matt.  Military brats, we grew up on Okinawa in a time when summer meant that mom would open the door at breakfast and you weren’t expected back until dusk.

We’d pack our bags with a sandwich and enough change to buy a Watchamacallit before walking to the local marina where we’d search the reef for treasures, torture play with the sea cucumbers, fight aliens, talk astronomy and pluck mulberries from the trees – eating them by the handful – until our bellies were full.  My mother would warn me not too – telling me I’d get sick, catch worms.  I never did catch worms, but her perturbed warnings left me with a perpetual love of the illicit mulberry of my childhood.

With no mulberries nearby me now, I recently picked up a few pounds at the farmers market – a rare offering – to make this simple mulberry and einkorn wheat crumble.  I love the rich dark flavor of the mulberries and how it brightens at the touch of a little balsamic vinegar.

mulberries

Once cooked, mulberries take on a flavor similar to blueberries only a bit earthier.  Like most berries, mulberries are also rich in antioxidants – particularly reservatrol which is also found in grapes and wine.  Like many antioxidants, some data show that reservatrol reduces oxidative stress and may also mitigate the risk of cancer – particularly skin and gastrointestinal cancers.

Mulberries grow wild all across the country, but if you’re not lucky enough to find a wild mulberry tree, you can often find them at farmers markets during the late spring and summer.

what’s einkorn?

Einkorn is the first wheat – the original wheat.  Before selective breeding and hybridization changed wheat into what it is today, there was einkorn – a grain enjoyed by epi-paleolithic man and the first wheat cultivated when the fertile hills of ancient Turkey and Palestine blossomed with the dawn of agriculture, and, subsequently, civilization 11,000 years ago.

Unlike modern wheat, einkorn is not hybridized and contains a shorter genetic structure (14 chromosomes as opposed to 42).  The gluten structure in einkorn is also functionally different from the gluten molecule in modern wheat, and some research suggests that just like rice, millet or other grains, it might be suitable for the gluten-intolerant.

Like all grains (and pulses) einkorn should be soaked overnight in warm and slightly acidic water which helps to facilitate the deactivation of naturally occurring antinutrients found in the bran of the grain.  In preparing Mullberry and Buttered Einkorn Crumble, simply soak about 1/2 cup einkorn wheat berries in enough warm water to cover them by two inches, stirring in about 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  Drain it through a fine-mesh sieve, rinse well and boil it in about 1 1/2 to 2 cups water until tender.

where to find einkorn

Einkorn is not yet widely available.   While you may be able to find a limited number of einkorn cookies and pastas at a well-stocked health food store, einkorn wheat berries and high extraction einkorn flour are not as easily found.  I purchase my einkorn berries and flour online from a company that practices truly sustainable, biodynamic methods (and offers bulk pricing and free shipping).  Check it out.

where to find unrefined cane sugar

This recipe for Mulberry and Buttered Einkorn crumble also calls for whole, unrefined cane sugar.  Whole, unrefined cane sugar is a traditional sweetener made by boiling down sugar cane juice until it crystallizes.  It retains its full retinue of minerals and is not bleached or processed further.  You can find good quality whole, unrefined cane sugar in most health food stores and some well-stocked grocery stores; however, you can often find it online in bulk (see sources).

Mulberry & Buttered Einkorn Crumble

mulberry crumble

By Jenny Published: June 20, 2012

  • Yield: 1 crumble (8 Servings)
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Ready In: 55 mins

Mulberry and Buttered Einkorn Crumble is a simple dish. The flavor of mulberries is similar to blueberry, though less acidic. This dish also calls for einkorn flour and einkorn wheat berries (you can find them online) as well as unrefined cane sugar which also find online.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mulberries (trimmed of little stems and rinsed well)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups high extraction einkorn flour (divided)
  • 3/4 cup whole, unrefined cane sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup cooked einkorn wheat berries
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss mulberries together with balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Mix well, but take care not to bruise the berries. Layer the berries in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  3. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups einkorn flour with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and butter - about two minutes or until well-combined. Beat in cooked einkorn berries and crumble, by hand, over mulberries.
  4. Bake the mulberry crumble for 45 minutes or until the berries bubble and the crumble turns golden brown on top. Cool before serving.

Don’t Miss a Thing!

Inspired Real Food Recipes
Delivered to Your Inbox

What people are saying

    • jenny says

      It’d be lovely with blackberries! I’d drop the balsamic vinegar since blackberries are so naturally acid.

  1. Jeanette says

    We actually are blessed to have a large mulberry tree in our backyard. I was thrilled to find it when we bought the house since I have very fond childhood memories of my sister and me eating them at my grandparents every summer and returning to their house with purple stained hands and feet from stepping on all those that were on the ground. Our mulberries are all done for the season though being in the South. Wish I’d had this recipe a month ago. You have , however, piqued my interest in einkorn and I look forward to learning more about it. Meanwhile, we do have blueberries so I’ll try the recipe with them. We’ve been eating them mostly fresh with raw cream or over oatmeal and cream so the crumble will be a nice cooked treat. Thanks!

  2. annie says

    as children growing up on long island, the mulberry tree, which was immense, and the blueberry patch of a couple hundred shrubs, kept us pretty busy with munching and picking for the ‘rents. i still love mulberries the best. i was pleasantly surprised to find a mulberry tree at the bottom of the street here in asheville, the dark red stains all over the sidewalk. i gingerly picked up any that were not crushed and savored that old familiar sensation… love mulberries… …

  3. Jinni says

    Looks good. Our mulberry season started and ended last week. They were good, though. Will have to keep this in mind for next year!

  4. Ashley says

    Thanks for this recipe and the lovely pictures! I do have a question that I have wondered about since reading about einkorn on your site…should you soak the flour since it is not sprouted? If so, how do you go about doing this when there is no liquid in the recipe? Should I soak the flour then put it in the dehydrator? Thank you!

    • Jenny says

      High extraction flour has most of the bran and germ removed through sifting (a super traditional practice that wasn’t mentioned in NT). Since most of the bran or germ have been removed its phytate content is lower. I usually use it for sourdoughs, and don’t stress about the occasional unsoaked recipe.

  5. Shauna says

    Small world! I live in Denver now . Went to Kadena High from 85-89. I miss gate 2. Thanks for your awesome site!

  6. Meran says

    Mulbrrry trees are easy to grow! I planted one four years ago… This year, we’ll have enough for even the birds. (squirrels haven’t found them yet, knock on wood) . I have a great source. Contact me if you want it :)

    Meran

  7. says

    how interesting: i love finding out about “new” (at least to me!) ingredients!
    (p.s. I am a long time subscriber -and lover- of your site…just have not gotten around commenting yet, for lack of time more than anything!)

  8. says

    Jenny, this is the very first time I have ever come across a recipe online or even in a book using Mulberries.
    We live in KS and they grow very wild around here. We’ve got 7 trees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>