A sweet way to end your holiday meal
Nunavik students offer recipes using local berries
Students from Tasiujaq and Kangiqsualujjuaq have been busy cooking up recipes with the many berries that grow around their communities.
As part of the Purple Tongue project, students and researchers have been working together to find new ways to use Nunavik’s native foods. This past summer and fall, students in Independent Learning Path classes in both communities each picked 60 kilos of berries.
The group experimented with the berries, coming up with different recipes.
And they’ve agreed to share two of them here; a berry puree – a simple preparation that makes a good base in many other recipes, including berry sorbet.
• 500 g or 4 1/3 cups of redberries (kimminaq), blueberries (kigutanginnaq) or blackberries (paurngaq) — or a mixture of all three.
• 500 g or 1 2/3 cups of unsweetened apple purée
• 250 g or ¾ cup of each: unsweetened apple purée and date purée. To prepare date puree, you’ll need 500 g of pitted dates and 500 ml of hot water. Pour the water over the dates, let them soften for five minutes, then blend until smooth.
• 250 g or ¾ cup of each: unsweetened apple purée and banana puree (2-3 ripe bananas, blended)
To prepare the purée, you’ll need a food scale, a saucepan, a hand blender or food processor and air-tight containers or glass jars.
1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, pour berries and a small quantity of water (1 teaspoon) so that the berries do not stick. Cover with a lid.
2. Simmer over medium heat until berries are tender and loose. Stir regularly.
3. Once cooked, purée berries using a blender. If you prefer to remove seeds, sieve the mixture.
4. Add unsweetened apple puree (or one of the two mix) to berries purée and mix. If you want to use the purée and proceed with the roll ups recipes, stop at this step.
5. If you want to freeze the purée for further use, put the puree in airtight containers and label them (type of purée and production date).
6. If you want to can the purée, heat again until the purée reaches 88 °C (190 ° F). Store the sterilized jars in a cool and dry place, away from light.
Now you’re ready to make berry sorbet.
• 1,000 g or 3 1/3 cups berry purée (any flavour)
• 200 g or 2/3 cup of brown sugar syrup
• 100 g or 1/3 cup of date or banana purée
1. Prepare the brown sugar syrup by incorporating 100g of brown sugar into 100g of water. Mix well and heat to obtain a smooth and syrup texture.
2. Weigh the berry purée and the other selected fruit puree (date or banana).
3. Mix all three ingredients together.
4. Pour the mixture into an airtight freezable container and leave the preparation overnight (about 12 hours) in the refrigerator.
5. Put in the freezer at -18 °C (0° F) or less.
6. After 3 hours in the freezer, scrape the mixture with a fork and mix gently to incorporate air. Put it back in the freezer.
7. Once the mixture is completely frozen, serve in small portions of 125 g or store in the freezer for future use.
For a better texture, let the mixture sit a few minutes on the counter before serving.
Mélane Lemire, a Laval University researcher who helps to run the Purple Tongue project, said the sorbet can be made as described or frozen in cups with wooden sticks or in popsicles plastic moulds.
“The redberry-banana is undoubtedly one of our favorites,” she said. “Several combinations are possible, according to what you can find at the coop or your taste.”
— Compiled by Sarah Rogers