My grandma’s garden is dear to my heart and is filled with lovely memories of summer days laced with fragrant jasmine, sudsy yellow backyard water slides and Mandy, the cranky old Corgy that hated all of us grandkids.
Down the back, past the lemon trees, sloping green lawn and Mandy’s final resting place is my own secret garden. The magnificent lady who lives here is comfortably nestled among a few other trees and is over half a century old. Her arms stretch regally across the width of the lower backyard and for just a brief time in the early summer, she presents us with little violet parcels of sweet, juicy goodness.
I was recently reminded of this long-forgotten lady and Grandma’s legendary mulberry pie while attending a children’s birthday party. The kids had gathered around a small mulberry tree in the backyard and were having a great deal of fun in shaking the fruit off it. Feeling nostalgic, I began to wonder if there would be any left on Grandma’s tree during my next visit the following weekend.
Come summer —well into my university years— I couldn’t wait to climb the tree and pick mulberries for Grandma that would eventually turn into a delicious pie for our dessert. The mosquitoes were always voracious and they too looked forward to their annual summer feast on my arms and legs as I picked the mulberries.
When I returned from my mission, my fingers were always stained in a deep purple hue. Grandma would then rub half a lemon over my fingers and they would be lovely and clean in no time – my clothes, not so much.
Later that afternoon, Grandma would make the pastry, stew the mulberries until they were sweet and jammy, finish with some sugar on top, then bake in the oven.
Dessert always seemed a very long way off when there was mulberry pie in the oven. Grandad was an even greater fan than I and would also wait eagerly for a slice of pie. He had a well-documented sweet tooth that Grandma lovingly indulged.
Sadly, Grandad passed away in 2004 and only one month short of their 60thwedding anniversary. As he was no longer around to enjoy it and I was away on extended overseas adventures, Grandad’s mulberry pie disappeared off the table for a number of years until brought back by popular demand this past summer.
As soon as I got to Grandma’s, I headed straight for the mulberry tree and as luck would have it, there were still just enough to make a small pie with. I was an excited child again!
Later in the afternoon, we raided the last of the berries and brought back the bounty to the kitchen. Grandma worried she wouldn’t be able to remember the recipe but butter and flour gently yielded to the rhymic kneading of knowing hands to form the shortcrust pastry, just like it had for many years before. Next, deep violet berries tumbled into a small pot, spitting as they hit the heat – subdued by a generous measure of sugar and the smallest dash of water. Soon after, the sweet, viscous filling was poured into the pastry case and topped with a sprinkle of sugar with a quick flick of the wrist.
Another few minutes longer, that familiar aroma of roasted berries and freshly baked pie came wafting out of the oven entwining with childhood memories. With homemade custard ready to be poured, a freshly brewed pot of tea for two on the table and a slice of long -awaited mulberry pie with my lovely Grandma, it was absolute heaven. Yes, the old cliché is so true, Grandma’s cooking always tastes the best and that’s because my grandma always makes it with love. Obviously, Grandad clearly knew he was onto a good thing!
Did you enjoy the story?
Now watch this beautiful homemade movie that one of my lovely readers made about my grandma’s mulberry pie. If you are in Australia, the talented videographer Josh Goss is available for hire and specialises in weddings.
For your own slice of mulberry heaven, I hope you enjoy Grandma’s recipe below;
Grandma’s Mulberry Pie
- 500g of fresh mulberries
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 100g of butter
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 ¾ cup of self raising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- Dash vanilla essence
- Separate the mulberries into two dishes. Put ½ the mulberries in a saucepan. Add a ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to the berries, simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and berries are soft and jammy.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cornflour to the mulberry stew to thicken. Set aside.
- To make the pastry sift 1 ¾ cup of self raising four and mix with 100g chopped butter (room temperature) and 2 Tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until ready.
- Roll two lots of pastry – one for the base and another for the lid of the pie to fit 20 x 30cm rectangular cake tin.
- Place pastry in the bottom of the tin to make a case, add the fresh mulberries then fill it will the mulberry mixture.
- Cover the mixture with the pastry lid and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes 200C until pastry is golden.
- Serve with custard, icecream or cream.
- To make custard, over a low heat place milk, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan a gently whisk until it thickens – about 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Amazing post!!! Keep them coming!
Awsome Gill! Congratulations. Look forward to reading more!
Great post! Has me hungry and nostalgic! Love your website too!
Thanks Jan 🙂
Loved the photography (esp your Grandma’s hands with the simple wedding band …reminded me of my late Grandma). Stunning post.
Looks delicious… Delivery?
Serena Star Leonard says
Yummmm! I am drooling, and the pictures are divine!
Vicky kennedy says
That made me miss my grandma in a big way! You’re lucky you have one, miss them so much when they’re gone. Trying this recipe tonight with the mulberries from my children’s grandmas tree, it just keeps going round n round. Thanks for recipe! 😉
HI Vicky – you are most welcome, yes Im super lucky to still have my amazing Grandma around to make the pie (hers always tastes the best!) – I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it – 🙂
My mum and I just made your nan’s pie and custard. It was delicious. Thank you, I look forward to making this recipe again and sharing more memories with my family!
Hi Shannon – you are most welcome. I glad you enjoyed the pie – I wish I could have it more often! 🙂
I just finished making (and eating) the mulberry pie this recipe made. It was absolutely wonderful! I had a little bit of trouble with the pastry but I got it to work. Perfect flavour for a summer evening.
Judy Cinzio says
I made this delicious pie and made pear cream and made it ready for a lunch with 7 people, and thought that we would each have plenty. The 23 more people arrived and I cut the pie into 30 pieces,and everyone said that it was the best they had ever tasted. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and now i am about to make it again. I am going to make one every time we get enough mulberries and put them away for later and just make the cream each time I get one out. Again, thank you, this recipe is the best!!!!!If you live near Brisbane, come and get some mulberries around early september. email me Judy.
Thanks so much Judy – I was just in Brisbane this weekend – what a shame! I would’ve definitely come to raid your tree! No mulberries in Melbourne unfortunately!
made Grandmas mulberry pie this afternoon. Used the processor to make the crumbs. Came out beautifully!
By Gillian says
Lovely – hope you enjoyed it 🙂
Thank you. Not only did I get the kind of recipe I wanted (without tons of sugar), but I was touched. I loved the pictures of Gran’s hands. One never sees that in ads! And I loved your story. My grandgirls used to pick our mulberries each year but they’ve moved half a world away. We had a bumper crop this year though so I had to start doing more with them. Sure wasn’t going to let them go to waste! Thanks again.
By Gillian says
Hi Sharron – you’re most welcome – this recipe is very dear to me as is my beautiful Grandma – so pleased you enjoyed the story and get to eat the pie!
Joshua Goss says
I have a mulberry tree in the backyard and decided to cook a pie. Found this recipe and it’s now a family favourite. I made a short movie about enjoying the process from start to eating. Thanks.
What a cool video!! I love that something so beautiful is inspired by a recipe… I think this could be my new favourite site… such passionate foodies and so positive about the important stuff – family and food… I am the world’s worst baker but about to change that starting with this recipe 🙂
By Gillian says
Thank you Jo. It was a lovely surprise when the video turned up in my inbox – I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog – yes it’s all about family and food for me 🙂
I made this pie yesterday and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Will be making this again.
By Gillian says
Youre most welcome Stacey – so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I normally don’t leave comments like this, but this is an amazing recipe with lovely story behind.
Thank you for sharing.
I have a mulberry tree and all we seem to do is stand there and eat a few when we pass it..then I thought about my hubby’s Gran and her mulberry pie she always made..she passed away a long time ago now and never thought of asking her for her recipe..your Grandmothers recipe is the first one I came across and I am going to make it..how could I not when I saw your Grandmothers hands..and knew it must be a special pie..cause it’s made with love!
By Gillian says
Thanks so much for your lovely message Deanne – it is indeed a special pie. My Grandma is collecting them as we speak so we can make them at Xmas time 🙂 I hope you enjoy it!
Ximena del Campo-Tapia says
Thank you Gillian for sharing this recipe. You bought me with your grandma story, I had to cook it, and of course, eat it afterwards! It was yummy delicious [seconds anyone?]
By Gillian says
You’re most welcome Ximena 🙂
Im making this pie tomorrow! My 91 year mulberry tree in my backyard in middle of town (Leeton NSW) Iv stewed the fruit tonight and see how we go
By Gillian says
Hi there Christopher – did you have any luck?
Gillian, you shared something so beautiful, our family have enjoyed your Grandma’s Mulberry Pie made with LOVE.
We loved your beautifully written account of the time you spent with your Grandparents. We have a mulberry tree in our garden and every year my husband helps our grandchildren climb the tree and feast on them.
We have a tub of warm water, soap and a towel in the garden to wash the worst of the ‘purple’ off before being allowed inside again.
Usually the mulberries left over from the ‘tree feast’ are washed and eaten with ice cream. This year I will make your grandmother’s pie and custard.