Bakeapples. They grow in insect-infested wetlands, are a pain in the… ahem… neck to pick and are even worse to clean. Still every year hundreds of Newfoundlanders go to the marshes, buckets in hand, to collect enough of these orange-yellow berries to last the year.
We like to believe that the berries are uniquely ours or, at least, that they don’t grow many other places. It’s not true. The berries grow across the north and are known by a handful of different names including cloudberry, chicoutai and knotberry.
Thinking about our love of bakeapples (and the jams, syrups, cheesecakes and wines we create from them) I began to wonder about other people — these cloudberry and knotberry eaters — and their relationship with the berry. Are they as crazy about it as we are?
My search for the answer began, as it so often does, with a trip to Ikea…
Or the Ikea YouTube channel, anyway. The first bakeapple recipe came via Ikea Swedish chef1 Jorn who offers a nifty little ‘How to Make Swedish Cloudberry Triffle’ video:
Sticking with Sweden a moment longer, cloudberry sellers Swedish Juice Limited suggest that their cloudberry jam is “mind-blowing” eaten warm over camembert and, when served chilled, “it makes a new golden friend for brie…” but where it gets especially interesting, for me anyway, is when they offer up a collection of six recipes. All feature their cloudberry jam and sound rather good but I’d be especially interested in trying the whitefish with cloudberry sauce baked in paper & cloudberry cream with lavender & vanilla. The latter is a blend of cloudberry jam, whipped cream, vanilla bean and fresh lavender. I’m gaining weight just thinking about it.
Speaking of gaining weight, how about (all the way from Norway) a flourless dark chocolate cake with cloudberries? Check out the video below to watch Scandinavian cook Andres Viestad elevate our favourite berry, chocolate, espresso and cognac to lofty new alpine heights. It looks amazing.
And, as if that weren’t decadent enough, we haven’t even begun to explore the world of bakeapple alcohol1. Our own Rodrigues Winery gives us a lovely wine, Quebec gives us Chicoutai a cloudberry liquor and America is bringing the beer. Arctic Cloudberry Imperial Wheat beer was a limited release brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales in Delaware. They call the result a tribute to the heart of winter. Check out this video clip below.
So, judging from some of those recipes and videos, bakeapple-love extends far beyond out shores. There are so many great products and recipes out there… I can see I’ve got lots of eating ahead of me.
Do you have any bakeapple dishes I should add to the list?
1. Right here, I’m not making a Muppets joke.
2. It’s big, big world. A staggering number of bakeapples are consumed as alcohol!
Image: Hjortron by Phillipum, public domain.