This is my entry to the latest edition of Sugar High Friday. SHF No# 22: Can You Can? is hosted by Nicky & Oliver of the beautiful Delicious Days blog. Although jam-making, salting cucumbers and preserving in general was an essential part of my childhood late summers and early autumns, my jam-making days have been scant in Edinburgh. I did make some jam last year, including some fabulously tart redcurrant jelly and cinnamon-scented cherry tomato jam evocative of Christmas. I hadn't planned any such kitchen tasks for this year, due to my soon-to-happen return to my homeland. But then I changed my mind..
My recent post about picking cloudberries in Estonia was quite popular, giving me a cheeky idea for this SHF edition. I am aware that sadly these exquisite berries (click on the photo on the right to see them in their full glory) are rather difficult to get hold of in most countries in their fresh form, though IKEA helps to satisfy cloudberry cravings with their cloudberry jam (hjortronsylt) and Lapponia produces a beautiful cloudberry liqueur that really tastes and smells of the real thing. But if none of these are available, then try this jam.
The idea comes from Finland, where this type of jam is known as 'lakattoman lakkahillo' or 'köyhän miehen lakkahillo', the former meaning 'cloudberryless cloudberry jam' and the latter 'poor man’s cloudberry jam'. Although it doesn’t taste like cloudberry jam, it’s a delicious and not overly sweet jam with the honey-orange hue of carrots and seeds from the gooseberries reminding us of the real thing. I've increased the ratio of gooseberries to carrots, and have considerably reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe. If you’re feeling slightly naughty, you may add a dash of Lapponia lakkalikööri to the cool jam.
Fake Cloudberry Jam
(Vaese mehe murakamoos)
500 grams of nice & crisp organic carrots, peeled & coarsely grated
500 grams of red gooseberries, topped & tailed
300 grams of sugar
Put grated carrots and cleaned gooseberries in a large saucepan and add a tiny drop of water (couple of spoonfuls will do). Bring slowly to the boil, releasing juices from carrots and gooseberries, and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
Add sugar, simmer for another 15 minutes.
Let stand, covered, for 24 hours.* Bring to the boil again, simmer for 5-10 minutes and then pour into hot sterilised jars.
Keep in a cool place.
Yields 2-3 small jars.
* You can also pour the jam into jars straight away. I find the jam sets slightly better (thicker) when you let it stand and then reheat.