Fruit Soup is stewed dried fruit, with a consistency of a thick soup, tangy and especially good served chilled on a hot day with thick cream or yogurt on top. Before canning and the year-round availability of fresh fruit, dried fruit was the only way for people to preserve fruit for the winter. It is a generic recipe and families each had their own favorite combination of fruit. I use fresh and canned fruit as well as dried when I make Fruit Soup. Some families use big or small pearl tapioca and some use the granular “minute” tapioca, which is faster. My family would have a gallon jar in the fridge and people would eat it anytime during the day as a snack, dessert, or addition to breakfast. Do not cook this in a acid/metal reactive pan such as aluminum or iron; stainless or enamel cookware is best.
FRUIT SOUP (Version One)
- 2 quarts water (reserve 2 cups)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1cup dried apricots
Simmer until fruit is almost soft. (Fruit may be soaked night before to speed up) Soak ½ cup tapioca in 2 cups of reserved water to soften, add more water if needed. Add softened tapioca to cooked fruit and continue to cook until tapioca is transparent. Stir often as tapioca sticks easily. Some people add sugar to taste as it finishes cooking. If it is too thick, add fruit juice such as apple juice. Store in glass jar in fridge.
FRUIT SOUP (Version Two)
- 1 quart water (or combination water and leftover fruit juice)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- About 1 ½ cups of dried fruit
- 2 tablespoons tapioca granules
You can use any combination of dried apples, peaches, apricots, raisins, or prunes, (Light on the prunes as they are stronger than the other fruits) or use a store bought mixed dried fruit. Reserve some of the water to add to tapioca to soften. Add fruit to water and cook with cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods until soft. Add softened tapioca and continue cooking until tapioca is transparent. If mixture is too thick you can add more fruit juice to thin it. I sometimes add canned cherries or pineapple to my mix. I drain the fruit and reserve the juice to combine with the water. I don’t add the canned fruit until I add the tapioca at the end. After the soup cools and thickens I sometime add vanilla or fresh orange or lemon juice to freshen up the taste. Store in glass jar in fridge.
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ c light molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 egg
- 2 ¼ cup All-purpose flour -- sifted
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg until light and fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients; add gradually to the butter mixture. Form the dough into small walnut-size balls. With floured fingers, press the balls into flat circles on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the gingersnaps from the cookie sheet as soon as they are cool and seal in a covered container to preserve their crunch. Makes 4 dozen. Recipe adapted from Meal-Master online.
- ½ cup oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup molasses (light, not blackstrap)
- ¼ cup water if needed (or less)
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp clove
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice (optional)
Beat oil, sugar, and molasses in mixer. Combine dry ingredients, and gradually add to sugar mixture. If dough is too stiff, add some of the water. It should be a stiff dough about the consistency of clay. Can be rolled out and cut into shapes or can be molded by hand. One way to shape cookies is to pinch off pieces the size of a small walnut, roll it round in your hand, and then flatten it on a saucer of sugar mixed with cinnamon. Lift it up and put it on cookie sheet, sugar side up. This recipe works great for ornaments and ginger houses, as it is very durable. It is also great for kids to use because it contains no raw eggs and you can’t over work it. I shape trolls out of it with stringy hair and tails; it doesn’t matter if parts of the cookie are thicker. (If you sculpt thicker cookies you may have to lower the oven to 350.) It is a crunchy gingerbread and good for dunking. Bake at 375 until a little golden brown on the edges.
Rommegrot is a sort of rich pudding or porridge. When people cooked on wood stoves Rommegrot would be left to simmer on the back of the stovetop and the butterfat from the cream would rise to the top. People would eat it cold or warm. It is very rich and is Scandinavian Comfort Food. It is served at Christmas and also is a favorite to leave out as a gift to the Tomten.
SCANDINAVIAN ROMMEGROT (Modern Version)
- 1 qt. milk
- 1 c. half & half
- 1 c. butter
- ¾ c. flour
- ½ c. sugar
- ¼ c. butter
- Sugar & cinnamon
Heat milk and half and half; do not scorch; set aside.
In large, heavy pan, melt 1 cup butter and add flour, cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in milk, cook, stirring frequently until mixture bubbles and thickens. Stir in sugar. Pour ¼ cup melted butter on top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm or cold. Makes ½ gallon.
SCANDINAVIAN ROMMEGROT (Traditional Version, Avis Sandland, Clearbrook, Minn)
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1 tsp salt
- Cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top
Bring cream to a boil for about 15 minutes, be careful not to scorch. Gradually sift flour into cream, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Allow to simmer, skimming off liquid butterfat that rises and reserve. When most of the butter has been skimmed off, add the warm milk and stir until smooth, while adding the salt. Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and some of the reserved butter.