Multekrem, Revisited

It had been nearly four years since I wrote about cloudberries and the Norwegian dessert, multekrem, on this very blog. It was time to revisit the subject.

Multekrem

Multekrem

I would run into my towering Norwegian pal Pål (with the cool little bubble over the “a”) over the intervening years at school. Pål had brought polar cloudberries that his parents had smuggled in frozen from Norway to our house for dinner, and I was smitten. The cloudberries, folded into whipped cream, became multekrem — one of the most heavenly flavors ever. (Appealing, perhaps, to my northern DNA…) The salmon-colored cream would often enter my head for no reason at all, like a beautiful song from the past.

Whenever Pål at school, I’d reach up and give him a hug and whisper, “Multekrem.” On one such recent occasion, I got the answer I’d been dreaming of. “I’ve got some,” he said softly.

“Really!?”

“Yes, would you like some? My parents brought me more than I can eat.”

I hugged him and may have even kissed his prickly cheek.

Hjortron

A few days later, he handed it to me like an illicit delivery — a solid, frozen, bright orange clump of cloudberries that I carried home like the cat that caught the canary.

Cloudberries are always wild, never cultivated, tend to grow in swampy, boggy places on mountains in the far north, and as you may gauge from the above photo, are not overly abundant where they do grow. I imagined Pål’s aged parents tirelessly working the side of a damp, chilly mountain for the bag of cloudberries I now possessed. And felt slightly sad — albeit in that “Yay for me!!!” kind of way. Wherever you are, Mr. and Mrs. Engstad, I thank you.

I fluffed the whipped cream, folded the cloudberries in to create that telltale pale salmon magic. And for a week, whenever I felt the urge, I opened the fridge and scooped toward my gaping maw a spoonful of multekrem.

Pål

Pål

Pål quit his job and now sits vacationing on a sunny beach in Cancun, far from the reindeer he grew up with. And I sit on my mountain in Topanga, dreaming of fluffy clouds of multekrem.

*   *   *

Norwegian Multekrem
serves 4 – 8, depending on portion size

1 lb. ripe cloudberries, raspberries, blackberries or marionberries
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
mint sprigs for garnish

In a large bowl, combine cream and sugar. With the dull end of a butter knife, scrape the vanilla beans from the pod into the mixture (save beans for flavoring something else later). Using an electric hand blender (or by hand with a whisk for the bold of heart), whip the cream mixture until fluffy and stiff. Fold in the berries, fluffing as you go.

Serve in individual bowls, garnished with a sprig of mint if you’d like.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda
    Aug 29, 2016 @ 21:06:05

    I think I want to try this recipe with figs when my fig trees finally produce (hopefully next year). But if I ever come across cloudberries….

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Aug 29, 2016 @ 21:58:16

      Figs, that would be interesting! I might soak them in wine, sprinkle liberally with sugar and caramelize in the oven first.

      You must be able to find some nice wild berries as far north as you are, no?

      Reply

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