A talk with M tonight led me to discover this little berry he says:
“i once went to sweden, and they served this thing called cloudberries… can’t find here …tastes like a burst of nectar infused with cream and everything nice”
Thomas Tillman started making cordials 12 years ago in the back yard of his village home in Sweden. Now his hobby has become a company that supplies organic jams and cordials throughout Sweden and Britain. But Tillman has a refreshing attitude to business: ‘If the pressure is too hard from some food chain, we say no thank you and go fishing instead.’
Sweden has a rich berry heritage. Its long summer days, when the sun hardly sets, plus dry, cold winters, mean there are plenty of wild berries – blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries – growing in the forests. ‘When I was young, families would pick berries to make jam or saft [cordial] to sell to the great saft producers in Sweden,’ recalls Tillman, 39, who still lives near Grangärde in Dalarna, a tranquil area of lakes, pine forests and wooden farmhouses in central Sweden. ‘All sorts of people did it, wealthy and poor. There are not so many people doing this now.’ (This hobby is even enshrined in legislation: it is everyone’s right in Sweden to walk in the forest and pick mushrooms and berries, even if the land is privately owned.)
And there is something called CLOUDBERRY CREAM with lavender and vanilla. All my favourite things! I can imagine it is like eating a cloud. What a fascinating thought!
700g whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthways
60g caster sugar
160g Tillmans Arctic cloudberry jam
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh lavender
Pour the cream into a large bowl. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add to the cream, along with the sugar. Whip until stiff, then gently fold in the jam and lavender. Serve immediately in small bowls or a large trifle bowl.
Or how about Scandinavian Cloudberry Layer Cake? Irving must be sighing now…
6 medium eggs
230g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
165g plain flour, stirred before measuring
350g Tillmans Arctic cloudberry jam
500g whipping cream
15g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line two 20cm round cake tins with parchment paper. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until frothy. Slowly beat in the sugar and continue beating at high speed for five minutes until light and lemon-coloured. Beat in the vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour thoroughly. Divide the batter evenly between the two tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched in the centre. Allow to cool in the tins.
Loosen the edges and remove them from the tins. Split the layers to make four in all. To assemble, place the bottom layer on a cake plate and spread with whipped cream. Top with the second layer. Spread with ¾ of the jam. Top with the third layer and spread with more whipped cream, then top with the fourth layer and spread with the remaining jam. Frost the sides and top of the cake with about half of the remaining cream. Put the rest of the cream into a pastry bag with a star tip (if desired), and press on to the cake decoratively, on top and around the edges. Refrigerate until ready to serve.