This is so Finnish and probably one of the dishes that really remains in
my mind from my childhood. Allspice is very popular in Finland; its taste is a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper and it can be ground or in berry form. If you are not sure that what you have got in your spice rack is, in fact, allspice, then use less than indicated here and add a little more later (I once ended up with a very licorice-tasting mince meat). You can use ordinary cream instead of the sour cream here. You can also use a bought jam if you can find one, but this jam is really so quick and simple to make.
Soak the bread in the milk in a large bowl for about 30 minutes or until it has absorbed all the milk and is very soft. Add the mince, egg, onion and allspice and season with salt and pepper. Knead together well with your hands, then form into small balls about the size of walnuts, rolling them between your palms so that they are compact and won’t fall apart when cooking.
Heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry the meatballs in batches, turning them once during cooking. (You will have to work quite quickly and take care not to burn the butter and oil. If necessary, wipe out the skillet between batches and start again with a little less butter and oil.) Transfer the cooked meatballs to a heavy-based saucepan with any onion that is on the bottom of the skillet and continue with the next batch.
Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and mix with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Add the remaining butter and let it melt. Continue cooking, stirring almost continuously, until it is a golden color. Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly pour in 2 cups hot water, standing back a bit. Mix in quickly, then return the pan to the heat. Stir in the sour cream and mix well, then carefully pour over the meatballs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, covered, over very lo
Serves: 4 - 6
Lingonberry or Cranberry Jam
- 1 1/4 pounds (5 cups) frozen or fresh lingonberries or cranberries
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 small apple, peeled and cored
Rinse the berries, if necessary, then drain well and put them in a nonreactive bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Leave overnight, turning once or twice.
Coarsely grate the apple and put it into a jam-making pan or other heavy-bottomed saucepan with the grated lemon zest. Strain in all the juice from the berries and add 2 wooden-spoonfuls of berries, leaving the rest of the berries in the bowl for now. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the apple is very soft and the entire mixture has thickened. Add the rest of the berries and heat through for 5 to 8 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars. Seal tightly and turn upside down. Cover with a cloth and let it cool completely, before turning upright and storing in a cool place. The jam will keep for a couple of months but, once open, keep it in the fridge and use fairly quickly.
Makes about 2 cups.
Reprinted with permission from ©Tessa Kiros Falling Cloudberries, by Tessa Kiros, published by Andrews McMeel
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