Although ripe cloudberries are golden amber in color, the syrup they produce is a luminescent dark pink. Thick and flavorful, mixed with carbonated water, the syrup makes refreshing Italian sodas. This morning, it topped our Belgian waffles.
We’ve already turned about 20 pounds of freshly picked cloudberries (click here to see cloudberry photos) into two kinds of jam as well as sorbet. Our most recent venture out on the tundra yielded another eight pounds that I hadn’t counted on. When I asked a berry-picking friend what she thought I should make, she enthusiastically replied, “Syrup!”
The syrup, which is easy to make, turned out a beautiful dark pink color. I hadn’t expected this because the fruit I started with was a lovely salmon color. The seeds seemed to color the juice. I made freezer jam with the remaining pulp in order to save every luscious part of the berries. I thought if the “pulp jam” didn’t look good, it could still be used as a key ingredient in fruit breads. Any kind of berries could be used to make this syrup with an adjustment to the amount of sugar used.
Aqpik (Cloudberry) Syrup
Ingredients: (Yields 4 cups syrup)
- 10 cups of berries
- 4 cups of water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- Place berries and water in a large pot. Cook on medium high heat.
- Boil berries for about 15 minutes.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Elevate strainer over a bowl so that syrup can drain through cheesecloth and into the bowl. (I used a strainer that stands by itself set on a wire cooling rack set on a large mixing bowl.)
- Place berries in pot and puree them using an immersion or stick blender.
- Pour pureed berries and all liquids from pot into cheesecloth lined strainer.
- Let berries sit in strainer for at least two hours to drain off liquid.
- Take the liquid that has drained into the large mixing bowl and put it in a pot.
- Add sugar to the pot.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until syrup boils.
- Skim off any foam and discard.
- Pour juice into canning jars to freeze or into decorative bottles to refrigerate.