Ah - a lovely brisk walk on snowshoes this morning - which ended when I dropped the camera in the snow. The sun was up, the temperature was perfect (15 degrees), and making the Finnish fruit soup reminded me to dust off my snowshoes and get out into winter.
This recipe was given to me by an amazing Finnish woman in West Barnstable who ran a summer bakery/cafe. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw their website and her name! Mama Ojala, I'm sending you a big hug many years later from your former kitchen helper and dishwasher.
Although fruit soup is a delightful winter dessert, usually served room temperature or slightly chilled, I do like it for breakfast, warmed and topped with a spoonful of yogurt. Because you usually have dried fruits in your pantry(you do, don't you?), it's quick to make, and definitely healthier than chocolate cake! The light syrup that results from simmering apricots, prunes, and currants is infused with a spicy flavor from the cardomom, lemon, and cinnamon sticks.
How to make about 4-6 servings:
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried, pitted whole prunes
3 T. dried currants
3 T. golden or dark raisins
3 cups water
2 cardomom pods, crushed with the side of a knife
2 T. red currant jelly (optional)
1 T. finely diced crystallized ginger (optional)
1 slice of fresh orange
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 apple, peeled , cored, and thinly sliced
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
In a saucepan, combine the apricots, currants, prunes, raisins, 3 cups water, cinnamon sticks and cardomom pods, and the lemon juice, currant jelly, and orange slice.
Bring to a boil, then turn off heat, cover and let sit 1/2 hour.
Add the apple, bring to a simmer, and cook about 10 minutes, making sure you have enough liquid so the fruit doesn't scorch.
Strain the juices into another saucepan, then mix the cornstarch with the water.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the strained juices, and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 to ten minutes.
Gently add the cooked fruits , heat a little longer, then remove from heat.
Store in a covered bowl in the fridge .