Hey there, welcome to your crash course on mummelad. You’ve probably come across this sticky sweet treat and wondered what exactly it is. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Mummelad is a traditional jam that’s been enjoyed for centuries in parts of Northern Europe. Made from a blend of mashed fruit, sugar, and pectin, mummelad has a thicker, chunkier texture than regular jam. It’s often described as a fruit paste or fruit cheese.
Traditionally, mummelad was made as a way to preserve fruit for the winter when fresh fruit was scarce. Housewives would spend hours peeling, coring and mashing fruit to make giant batches of mummelad. These days, you can find mummelad in specialty food stores and farmers markets, with flavors ranging from black currant to gooseberry to rhubarb. It’s delicious spread on bread, used in pastries, or eaten straight from the jar when you need a burst of intense fruit flavor.
So now you’re in the know. Mummelad is a sweet spread that deserves more time in the spotlight. Read on to learn about the history of mummelad, how it’s made, and creative ways to use it in your cooking and baking. Your new favorite treat awaits!
What Is Mummelad?
Mummelad is a traditional Swedish fruit spread, similar to jam or preserves. It’s made from fruit, sugar, and pectin and has a thicker, chunkier consistency than jam. The most common fruits used are apples, pears, plums, cherries, and raspberries.
To make mummelad, fruit is first cooked down with sugar until soft. Then pectin is added to help it gel as it cools. Mummelad tends to be less sweet than jam, allowing the flavor of the fruit to shine through. It’s usually made in small batches using local, seasonal fruit.
Mummelad is delicious on toast, scones, or pancakes and also pairs well with cheese. It can be used in place of jam in most recipes. Many Swedes enjoy mummelad throughout the day, using it as a spread, dip, or topping.
A few tips for making your own mummelad:
- Use fully ripe, seasonal fruit for maximum flavor.
- Add sugar to taste. Start with less, you can always add more.
- For extra pectin, toss in some unpeeled apples or a lemon.
- Cook the fruit until soft before adding pectin. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour into sterilized jars. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or can according to canning guide for longer shelf life.
Homemade mummelad is a delicious way to preserve summer fruit and share the flavors of Sweden. Why not give it a try with your favorite fruit? The results are sure to spread joy.
The History and Origins of Mummelad
Mummelad has been around for centuries, with its origins tracing back to 17th century Sweden. This fermented fruit spread has a tart, tangy flavor and a thick, jam-like consistency.
The Fermentation Process
To make mummelad, fruit like apples, pears, plums or berries are mashed and combined with sugar, water and wild yeasts. The mixture is then left to ferment for several months. During this time, the wild yeasts break down the fruit’s natural sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
After fermentation, the result is a thick, sour and mildly alcoholic fruit paste. The alcohol content is usually around 3% ABV. Mummelad can be eaten as is, but it is more commonly used as a topping or filling in pastries. It has an intense, complex fruity flavor with acidic notes.
Mummelad was originally created as a way to preserve seasonal fruit for the winter. The natural fermentation acted as a preservative, allowing the fruit to last for several months. While refrigeration has made preservation less necessary, mummelad remains popular in Sweden and Norway as a traditional spread. Homemade and artisanal versions are still commonly made and sold at farmers markets.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try making your own mummelad at home. All you need is ripe fruit, sugar, water and a little patience while the wild yeasts work their magic. With its tangy, boozy kick and deep, layered fruitiness, mummelad can be a revelation for those used to conventional jams and preserves. Spread it on bread, swirl it into yogurt or serve it with cheese – once you taste mummelad, you’ll be hooked!
How to Make Homemade Mummelad
Making homemade mummelad is easier than you might think. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some patience while it simmers. Here’s how to make a batch of this traditional fruit spread.
- 4 pounds of fruit (apples, berries, stone fruit), washed, cored and chopped
- 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is)
- 1⁄4 cup of lemon or lime juice
- Combine the fruit, sugar, and citrus juice in a large pot. For apples and stone fruit, you may need to add a bit of water, around 1⁄2 cup.
- Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens and the mixture thickens. This usually takes 30-60 minutes.
- To test if it’s ready, place a spoonful of the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes. If it firms up, it’s done. If not, continue simmering and stirring for 10-15 minutes and test again.
- Once ready, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use an immersion blender, food mill, or food processor to puree the fruit until mostly smooth. For a chunkier spread, just mash the fruit or pulse it briefly.
- Ladle into sterilized jars. Seal according to canning instructions or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Making mummelad, jam, preserves, or whatever you like to call it, is a rewarding kitchen project. Customize the recipe by using your favorite mix-ins like citrus zest, spices, or liqueurs. Homemade mummelad also makes a wonderful gift—if you can bear to give any away! Enjoy your delicious creation on bread, scones, or straight from the jar.
Different Flavor Variations of Mummelad
Mummelad comes in a variety of flavors, allowing you to choose one suited to your tastes. The most common types are:
The classic flavor, made from a blend of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and sometimes other berries like blueberries. Tart and sweet, this versatile spread pairs well with scones, toast, yogurt or ice cream.
Sweet orange marmalade, made from oranges, sugar and sometimes a splash of lemon or lime juice. Thick-cut marmalade with chunks of orange rind has a slight bitterness that cuts through the sweetness. Perfect for breakfast or in glazes and marinades.
Made from cherries, sugar and sometimes almonds or Amaretto liqueur. Deep, fruity cherry flavor in a thick spread, chunky or smooth. Spread on pancakes, top cheesecake or use in cocktails.
Spicy and sweet jam flavored with fresh ginger, sugar, and sometimes citrus like lemons or limes. The ginger adds zing and warmth. Delicious with scones, on toast or paired with meats like ham, duck or chicken.
Chunky spread made from dried figs, sugar, lemon juice and spices like cinnamon sticks and cloves. The figs give it a deep, earthy sweetness accented by warm spices. Traditionally served with cheese and crackers but also used in sauces and chutneys.
Whether you prefer tangy berries, sweet citrus, or spicy ginger, there’s a flavor of mummelad to satisfy your tastes. Try different varieties to discover your favorites, then get creative by incorporating them into glazes, cocktails, or desserts. With so many options, you’ll never get bored of mummelad!
Where to Find the Best Mummelad
When it comes to mummelad, there are a few places that stand out as having the best selection and quality.
Farmers markets are a great place to find artisanal mummelad made locally in small batches. The vendors are often the producers themselves, so they can tell you all about the ingredients and process used. You may find unique flavor profiles featuring local fruits like marionberries, quince or mulberries. Since the mummelad is made in small quantities, the flavors tend to be very fresh. Check your local farmers market schedule to see when the popular mummelad vendors will be there.
Specialty Food Stores
Upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods Market and locally-owned specialty food stores typically have an excellent selection of mummelad, especially varieties made with organic or sustainably-sourced ingredients. They work with small-scale producers from around the region to offer mummelad you won’t find anywhere else. The staff are also very knowledgeable about the products and can provide recommendations based on your tastes.
For the widest selection of artisanal mummelad from around the world, check out online retailers like Food52, Mouth.com and Artisanal Premium Foods. They source mummelad from independent producers using traditional methods and high quality, often organic, ingredients. You’ll find an array of flavors ranging from sweet apricot or strawberry to savory tomato or chili pepper mummelad. Shipping costs can be high due to the weight, so you may want to place a larger order to make it worth the cost.
The key is finding mummelad that is made in small batches with all natural, fresh ingredients and lots of care. Whether at your local farmers market, gourmet grocer or online, keep an eye out for these hallmarks of quality to ensure you get the best tasting mummelad. Buying from independent producers also supports small businesses in your community. Happy mummelad hunting!
So there you have it, everything you need to know about mummelad. Whether you want to make a batch as a gift for friends and family or just keep some on hand for your own enjoyment, now you’ve got all the info to get started. Mummelad is surprisingly easy to make and so versatile – you really can’t go wrong. Next time you’ve got a surplus of quinces or crab apples, give mummelad a try. You’ll be hooked after the first taste of that sweet-tart, spiced flavor. Happy cooking and bon appetit! May your kitchen be filled with the warm aromas of simmering fruit and spices. Here’s to homemade comforts and simple pleasures.
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