September 9, 2012

Creating Mulberry Magic

It's mulberry season. I didn't muck about. I stuffed my face with as many mulberries as I could reach from the ground. Then I went and lugged the ladder down to the tree. Got myself a plastic container, climbed the ladder and proceeded to pick new season mulberries till my container was filled. I can't tell you how rewarding it felt. Only the night before I was watching tele and Mathew (whatshisname) from Gourmet Farmer, as he picked blackberries from nearby bushes. I was sooo envious.

Today however I'm gleaming with purple lips and anticipation as I wonder what I'll make. Mulberry Crumble came to mind, but I felt like trying something different.  I recall the times when my mother-in-law made a quick pastry, stewed blackberries, banged it on a plate together with cream and ice-cream. What I recall, is the honest simplicity and the real taste of ingredients singing with flavour. So. A concoction of mother-in-law's dish it is.

Pate Sablee (sweet pastry)
adapted from Pastry by Michael Roux

250g plain flour
180gm butter, coarsely grated
100g pure icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 fresh free-range egg yolks
  • Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt. With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips.
  • Little by little, draw the flour into the centre and work the mixture delicately with your fingertips until you have a homogeneous dough.
  • Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To bake; roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper; line a pastry flan or baking dish with dough. Bake blind; for 10mins in a preheated 180degree oven; remove weights and finish baking for another 5mins or till completely cooked.
  • I used about 3/4 of the pastry dough. It will keep well in the fridge for a week.
  • Keep cooked pastry in an airtight container if not using immediately.
A beautiful, rich, sweet pastry to complement the sweet yet slightly tangy fruit.

Stewed Apple
Take 2 large green apples, peel, chop into even smallish chunks, place in 3/4 cup of water and sugar to taste. Cook till apples hold shape but are cooked through. Drain liquid. Allow to cool.

Stewed Mulberries
Remove stalks, place in saucepan with water covering half the mulberries. Add sugar to taste; stew for about thirty minutes; keep lid on saucepan. Allow to cool.

Assembling the dish
Cut a wedge of pastry and place onto plate. Carefully combine the stewed apple with the stewed mulberries. Spoon onto the pastry. Add pouring cream till desired along with a scoop of ice-cream.

I'll take this homely old-fashioned dessert any day over the coloured foam, salted caramel, edible flowers and artistic restaurant plated sweets they ramble on about these days.


  1. Now that looks good. I have made that pate sablee before and found it very very short. I was making litte jammy dodgers and it was nearly impossible to roll. How did yours go?

  2. Hmm. I can well imagine you had difficulty rolling small pastry cases. You're right. Pate sablee is too short. I made one large pastry case and then cut wedges out as needed. It was absolutely delish, however next time I'm going to try a pate sucree which is supposedly more crispy and contains less butter.

    For this arvo though, I'm going mulberry picking and will then make a mulberry jam. The tree is loaded and the birds are having a field day, so I better get in quick and get my share.