Striking Gold, The Swedish Way

A few months ago a colleague and I started an unofficial, fairly impromptu food sharing scheme. Ok, scheme doesn’t sound too unofficial. In reality, we both have an interest in food and we have exchanged leftovers a few times.

He has so far received a jar of rhubarb compote and some ricotta and herb stuffing. I have fared much better, with foraged mushrooms and, just last week, a small jar of hjortron jam.

Hjortron, cloudberries in English, look rather like yellow raspberries. They are packed with vitamin C, have a rather unusual, musty, bitter-sweetness and only grow wild (pretty much exclusively in a northerly belt that stretches from Alaska and Canada, across northern Scandinavia and into Russia), never cultivated. The latter usually means that they come with a price-tag not for the faint hearted; it’s not for nothing they are known as Norrland’s Gold.

Apparantly Björn’s (to give my colleague his name) in-laws had been walking in the wilds and had gathered a whole load of hjortron. They promptly turned them into jam, that being the best use of the bitter little berries, a small jar of which found its way to my desk in the week.

With Björn as a colleague I have struck gold

And so it sits in my fridge, waiting for the perfect moment to eat it up. Most say it goes best with vanilla ice cream, its creamy-sweetness the perfect foil to the jam’s tart-bitter kick. I like it just as much with a ripe brie, or even a pungent goat cheese.

Maybe I will have both. Either way, it’s time to start digging around for some leftovers  for Björn

If you are lucky enough to come across some cloudberries, here’s what to do with them:

 

  • 500g cloudberries
  • 25g sugar

 

Rinse the berries well and  place them in a large saucepan

Add the sugar and shake the pan gently till the berries and sugar are combined (do bot stir)

Slowly warm up the pan and let the berries simmer gently for 15 minutes, removing any scum than settles on top and shaking (not stirring) every so often

Pour into a hot, clean jam jar that has stood in an oven at 110C for 20 minutes

Let the jam cool in the jar, then it’s ready to go

 

  • Monica-USA

    Rob, it seems like your friend is a gold mine you better hold onto him. The berries sound wonderful. I just tried this morning some Ligonberries and found them to be quite delicious kind of similar to our Cranberries but not as tart. Happy cooking! :o )

    • robhincks

      I know, that’s why I intend to keep hold of that job. I’m so impressed that you managed to get hold of some lingonberries (Seattle’s finest maybe?). Aren’t they the best!

      • Monica-USA

        There is a little store in downtown Poulsbo that imports things from Europe and so I found a small jar there. I loved it!! Now if only I can get the nerve to try the salty licorice candy!! :o )

        • robhincks

          Don’t even go there. salt licorice is the candy of the devil. It’s about the only thing I don’t like here in Sweden

          • Monica-USA

            ha,ha…thanks for the warning.

  • Janerowena

    With such a low proportion of sugar to fruit, I am guessing that the jam won’t keep all that long. However I suspect that won’t be a problem.

    • robhincks

      You are right, but it doesn’t usually last more than a few days in my house

  • Youma

    Waffles with cloudberry jam and vanilla ice cream is food for gods.

    • robhincks

      You’re not wrong