, , , , ,

Last week, my mother-in-love and I made Cloudberry Jelly and Cloudberry Shrub

What are Cloudberries? And Shrub? Isn’t that a bush, you ask?

Well, more on shrub later, but these gorgeous beauties are cloudberries.

Aren’t they lovely? They look like a sunset. =)

Cloudberries are a part of the raspberry family and sort of look like raspberries, but that’s where the similarities end. They are sweet with just a hint of tartness and have high Vitamin C content. They are found growing wild all across the northern hemisphere, and are particularly prized as a delicacy in Norway.

The campus I work on has them growing profusely, so I picked 2 quarts of the beauties. =)

How to Make Cloudberry Jelly

It is intentionally jelly and not jam. Jam involves the whole fruits being cooked down and canned, which is delicious in most cases. However, cloudberries are not only very seedy but are also a bit hairy – the ‘hairs’ are leftover stamens from the cloudberry flower. Perfectly edible, but not not what you want sticking out of your jam.

Jelly involves straining the juice out of the fruit and only canning the juice. So that’s what we did.

Step One

Wash and sort through your berries and sanitize your canning jars. This can be done either in the dishwasher or by soaking them in the sink in very very hot water.

Step Two

Use a food mill to press the juice out of the berries.

Step Three

Place your juice on the stove to start simmering while you gather your sugar (we had 4 cups of juice, so we used 5 1/2 cups of sugar), and your pectin.

Step Four

Add your pectin THEN your sugar. Stir to dissolve and bring to a boil.

Adding a packet of pectin

Once the jelly is at a hard boil (which means that bubbles continue to form even as you stir), set your timer for 1 minute. Your jelly will rapidly change before your eyes!

It will begin to froth and foam

And then . . .

It will become a raging, bubbling, swirling vortex about to leap out of your pot! DO NOT STOP STIRRING! It may look like it’s about to overflow out of your pot and cover your kitchen with a sticky, soupy, orange-y flood, but it won’t if you keep stirring!

When your timer goes off, pull the pan off the heat and let it settle. There will be foam floating on the top. This will make your jelly look cloudy and clumpy, so take a spoon and carefully skim it off. Save it, because it’s still delicious to spread on toast!

Clean, de-foamed jelly

Our saved foam

Step Five

Quickly ladle your jelly into your canning jars, filling them just to the top of the rim. Cloudberries seem to have a high amount of natural pectin, as this jelly began solidifying VERY fast!

Step Six

Make sure the rims of your cans are free of stickyness, seal them with lids and rings and place them in a waterbath canner. Fill the canner with water up till it covers the cans and bring it to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.

Step Seven

Pull your jars out of the canner and set them on a towel to cool. They should cool for at least 24 hours before being moved. You also want to hear a ‘pop!’ from each can, signalling that the lid has sealed.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor! =)

Now, if you’ve been patiently waiting, we’re on to shrub.

Firstly, what is shrub, you ask? Shrub is a vinegar/fruit syrup. A dollop or two of syrup is added to a glass of club soda, water, or lemon-lime soda to create a tangy, refreshing drink for the hot summer months. Shrub dates back to Colonial times – it’s an American tradition, y’all. ;D

How to Make Cloudberry Shrub:

Step One

We took a few of the leftover whole cloudberries we had from our jelly making as well as the leftover seeds and pulp leftover in the foodmill for flavor. Put the cloudberries in a pot with just enough white vinegar to cover them.

Scraping out the foodmill

Step Two

Place on stove and bring to a boil.

Step Three

Strain your vinegar fruit juice. There are many methods of achieving this outside of using an actual strainer and cheesecloth. I’ve been known to suspend my shrub mixture in coffee filters or many layers of paper towels, tied up with rubber bands and held by tongs. It helps immensely to drain it into a measuring cup. You’ll see why in the next step.

Step Four

Once you’ve drained ALL the juice out, measure it. Ah, see? The reason for this is that how ever many cups of juice you have, you want to add that many cups of sugar to it. We had about 1 1/2 cups of juice, so we added 1 1/2 cups of sugar to it.

Let the sugar dissolve and bring the mixture to a boil again.

Ladle it into jars, cap and refrigerate. They’ll keep forever.

How to Enjoy Shrub:

Get a tall glass. Put 1-2 Tbls of shrub mixture in the bottom of your glass (unless you’re like my husband and adore the taste of vinegar). Fill the rest of your glass with club soda, lemon-lime soda, or any other beverage you think would taste great with a tangy flavor added to it. Throw in a few ice cubes. Enjoy! =)