Monday, March 20, 2006

Cooking Estonian: barley mousse

Need an unusual dessert for a weekday night? Have no money and need something cheap to satisfy your hungry sweet tooth? This dessert should do the trick then. All you need is some barley flour and sugar in your cupboard, fresh milk in your fridge and some of that redcurrant juice you made from last summer's berries in your chiller cabinet. Failing that, a shop-bought cranberry juice will do.

A similar pudding made with manna/semolina - mannavaht - is very common in Estonia, and much loved by children. Another version - rukkijahuvaht - uses rye flour. Whereas semolina version yields the fluffiest mousse, this is lovely as well. A proper nursery food.

Estonian barley mousse
Serves 4

500 ml water
100-150 ml sugar
200 ml plain cranberry or redcurrant juice
200 ml barley flour

Bring water and sugar to boil and stir, until sugar dissolves. Add the juice.
Stir in barley flour, whisking very vigorously to avoid any lumps.
Simmer for a few minutes, until the 'porridge' thickens.
Take off the heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk with an electric mixer until light and foamy (you're dealing with barley flour here, so the mousse will inevitably be a bit heavy).
Divide into dessert bowls and serve with cold milk.


Antti said...

mannapuuro is amongst the fondest memories from my childhood. especially next morning when it's cold and cuts nicely with a spoon, with granny's strawberry-blueberry-raspberry soup

Anonymous said...

Olen odrajahu Eestimaalt kaasa toonud. KAs on seda v6imalik ka siit osta? Ma pole kusagilt leidnud.

Pille said...

Antti - 'mannapuuro' is really nice, too, though I like it hot with a dollop of jam or butter.. Mmm. This is more like 'vispipuuro'.

Anonymous - nn health food poodides on odrajahu saada. Mina ostsin poolekilose paki Edinburghi Taluturult. Tootjaks "Heatherslaw Corn Mill Traditional Cereals".
(Ja ikka ei suuda ära mõistatada, kellega tegu on;)

Antti said...

Ah - vispipuuro - or rather punapuuro as my mom calls it or punis as Anna and I call it. Sooooo goood. But I prefer it cold too. With milk obviously. Mom always asks if I want it when I go home, but lately - sadly - I have chosen not to have it because of the unmentionable-thing-I'm-on... Sadly you can't have proper lingonberry-punapuuro, but currants would work okayish too I guess. Cranberry-punapuuro would be very interesting indeed!

Jasmine said...

How interesting -- I always learn so much in your blog ...have I said that before? Oh well :)


Clivia said...

It is so interesting to read about Estonian food, I didn´t know anything before even though I have been to Estonia quite a lot. This summer I really have to go back and practise my new knowledge, it is going to be so much fun to shop for food in Haapsalu now.

Thredahlia said...

Hee, mannavaht ise korjatud jõhvikatest. Minu jaoks on see see ainuke ja õige. Järgmisel päeval ja ohtra piimaga. Vanaema tegi seda nii ja nii kaua kui mäletan. Vahel tuleb isu ja tellin sööklast, aga see pole kunagi see... Jälle üks idee teha midagi, mida pole ise katsetanud.

PS! Tegin hapukapsasuppi ja täiesti söödav elamus oli. Vahel ikka peab härjal sarvist haarama. :D

Pille said...

Antti - punapuuro:) We sometimes call it 'roosamanna'. And yes, vispipuuro _always_ cold, _mannapuuro_ usually hot (and preferably not with milk). Cranberry-punapuuro is delicious, and this summer my mum made some really tasty and intensely-coloured blackcurrant one (so basically any tarter berries from our garden do the trick).

J - I think you have:) But that's a good thing, no?

Clivia - don't think you'll find barley mousse on the menu, but you might just find mannavaht or the semolina version in some diners. You never know.. Any Haapsalu house mum would be able to whip one up for you, just ask!

Thredalia - jõhvikamannavaht on mõnus, sõstra oma ka (mu ema tegi sel suvel mustsõstramoosijäänukeist imehead mannavahtu).
Ja tore kuulda, et hapukapsasupp maitses. Kas see tähendab, et ma pean nüüd piima-hapukapsasuppi proovima????!???

Thredahlia said...

:D Juhul kui sul motivatsiooni jätkub ja sa kuskilt retsepti leiad - mina vanaemalt küsida ei julge :D ta arvaks, et ma olen libedama ilmaga pea vastu maad ära löönud.

Pene said...

I've been reading Silvia Kalvik's "The Cooking of Estonia" (English version) & there is a chapter on Porridges & Gruels. I grew up with oatmeal porridge, with brown sugar on top, which I'll always prefer. Barley Porridge Scones sound worth trying out. But the superstitions are very interesting to read!!

Pille said...

To my dear readers in Tartu, Estonia:

Thredalia - Sa võid ju vanaemale väita, et ülikoolis on vaja:)

Pene - I have that book, though my version is called "Estonian cuisine". Not sure whether 'cuisine' is the right word in this context:) It's full of very rustic and nutritious dishes, though most of them need to be slightly adapted for modern tastes and kitchens. I also like her book on folk calendar dishes, which I use quite often. That's only available in Estonian though. And yes - barley porridge scones or plain barley scones (odrajahukarask) are definitely worth trying out. Or you can just come and check my blog in a few weeks - I'm hoping to bake them soon..

pia said...

i just received my estonian cuisine cook book by s. kalvik. am very very disappointed in it. think it is the most unappetizing cookbook i have ever seen and i am estonian.

Pille said...

Pia - but that's the cookbook of peasant food!? Rustic, humble, poor cuisine. I like reading what my great-grandparents were eating, and many of the recipes have been adapted to my modern kitchen.