Picking wild mushrooms and berries is a tradition held close to the heart in Finland. It’s held so dearly that there is a law to protect it: it’s Everyman’s Right to pick the fruits of the forest (even from private land).
Those berries and mushrooms are definitely one of the best things about eating in Finland. Chanterelles, cepp, supilovahveroita (this is where my translation skills hit their limit), korvasienejä, blueberries, lingonberries, cloud berries and many more. These are amongst the things I would miss the most were I to move home.
Thinking of that stuff now, brings to mind so many awesome, yummy things I should put up here, when I get the time: supilovahvero quiche, Salmon with chanterelle sauce, cloud-berries and ‘bread-cheese’.
This past autumn we went mushroom picking with friends out in Nuuksio National Park. I should say beforehand that you need to know what you doing when picking mushrooms. You need to know which ones to take and which ones to definitely not take. And as was more the problem on this occasion, you need to know where to look.
So after spending some moments raving, this is ironically not a recipe about mushrooms but rather about berries. Although we saw many people with baskets full of chanterelles and other treats with didn’t manage to find almost any mushrooms. We did find lots of lingonberries though.
I’ve never seen lingonberries outside of Scandy. They’re small, bright red, plump beeds that are quite acidic. They’re generally not the thing that you would enjoy by themselves, as you would, say strawberries or raspberries. But that’s not to say, they’re not good. They’re great as an accompaniment to something else for example. They’re traditionally often made into jam – though they still retain a bit of they’re sharp bite even sweetened. And either as jam or raw eaten with savoury foods like meatballs, spinach pancakes or then with caramel sauce for desert as they are here.
It’s a bit of a yin yang vibe: sweet with sour, warm and gooey with icey and crunchy. It’s just really good. And if you happened to have picked the berries and made the sauce yourself, then I’m sure that makes it taste better.
If you can’t get lingonberries then cranberries would be a close enough substitute, I reckon.
Courtesy of foodwishes:
- 250ml white sugar
- 5T butter, cut in slices
- 125ml heavy whipping cream
- Put the sugar in a pot over a medium high heat and bring it to a darkish caramel. I guess you need a bit of experience to do this but basically dark enough to just before it would become to turn on you and become bitter and start to burn. This you really have to watch like a hawk, as a caramel can turn to acrid, burnt sugar in less time than a trip to answer the frontdoor. And of course when dealing with 120C and up, molten sugar it pays to be careful as you could burn yourself quite horribly.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter.
- When that’s melted and incorporated, whisk in the cream.
- It will still look thin, but that’s just because it’s still filthy hot (be careful around caramels as molten sugar can seriously burn you badly). When it’s cooled to an edible temperature remove the lingonberries from the freezer, spoon over the caramel and serve immediately.