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Recipe homemade Swedish ‘julmust’

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Julmust

Never heard of julmust? If you’ve already been to Sweden around Christmas or Easter, or had a close look in the foodmarket at Ikea, it will ring a bell. Julmust is a soft drink that is very popular in Sweden around Christmas. In December the sales of julmust even exceed those of coca-cola! The Swedes drink about 40 million liters of julmust every year. Yes, that is an average of about 4 liters per Swede! With the recipe below you can serve homemade julmust during your Swedish julbord.

The origin of julmust

Julmust

The original recipe for julmust comes from Robert and Harry Roberts. It was originally intended as a non-alcoholic variation on the Christmas beer, julöl. Father and son invented the drink at the beginning of the 20th century in Örebro. To this day they are the only makers of the syrup for the julmust. Bottling is now done by various companies.

Recipe for homemade julmust

Because it’s so hard to get in Belgium (I don’t go to Ikea very often now), I experimented with a Swedish recipe for julmust (from land.se). In Sweden it is only available around Christmas (and around Easter but with a different label).

It is not really difficult to make your own julmust, but it does take some work. Don’t be put off by the fact that you have to make a ‘soda start’ first. That ‘soda start’ is a bit like the mother dough for a sourdough bread. You can continue to cultivate the soda start by adding a teaspoon of grated ginger and a teaspoon of cane sugar every other day.

I have to admit, some ingredients are not so easy to find in the stores and I brought them from the ICA in Sweden.

How do you make the ‘sodastart’ for your julmust?

You need a jar/bottle of about 4 liters. Make sure it is very clean before you start the whole adventure. You will also need a thin kitchen towel and a sturdy elastic that goes around the opening of your jar/bottle to keep the towel in place.

Put half a liter of water together with 2 tablespoons of finely grated ginger, a tablespoon of cane sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of fine sugar in the jar. Mix well. Cover your jar with the towel and close with the elastic. This way the sodastart can ‘breathe’. Stir this mixture well twice a day and leave it in a fairly warm place for 4 to 6 days. As soon as you hear bubbles and/or see bubbles while stirring, your soda start is ready. We are almost half way through the recipe for julmust. Or almost, haha.

Ingredients julmust

  • 1 dl raisins
  • 3 dried figs
  • 3 to 4 plums
  • 1 dl ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 dl dried juniper berries lightly ground in the mortar
  • 2 pomeransskal (e.g. from Sancta Maria)
  • 2 muskotblomma (also from Sancta Maria – note: this is not nutmeg!)
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 cardamom pods (also from Sancta Maria)
  • 2 star anise
  • 4-5 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid (I bought it at the health food store)
  • 1 + 2.5 l water
  • 400 g dark raw sugar
  • 2 dl soda start (recipe above)

Preparation homemade julmust

  1. Mix the fruit, herbs, citric acid and 1 liter of water in a pot and let it boil for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and let it melt. Remove the pan from the heat and add another 2.5 liters of water.
  3. Put a lid on your pot and let it sit for about 12 hours.
  4. Get 2 dl of your sodastart through a sieve and mix with the above mixture.
  5. This should now be left at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, covered with a kitchen towel.
  6. If you hear a fizzing sound when you move the mixture, your jul must is ready.
  7. Pour the julmust into well-cleaned glass bottles.
  8. Let the bottles stand at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  9. Then place the bottles in the refrigerator to to stop fermentation. You can store the julmust for up to 4 weeks.

If you keep ‘feeding’ your sodastart, you can make this recipe for julmus over and over again.

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Recipe Swedish julmust - christmas soda
7 November 2021
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Midsummer inspiration: pavlova with red fruits

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Recept voor midzomer: pavlova met rode vruchten

For midsummer I wanted to bake a delicious summer cake with lots of red fruits. I looked for inspiration in the Swedish cookbook ‘Sju Sorters Kakor’ and created my own version of their Pavlova recipe. Here’s my Pavlova with red fruits.

Maräng

Like many Swedes, I am a big fan of meringue or maräng. As a child, when we bought bread in the bakery after school, I was sometimes allowed to choose a meringue too. We called it ‘foam’. The bottom of a Pavlova is a meringue bottom so it won’t surprise you that a Pavlova is one of my favorite cakes!

What do you need for Pavlova

Benodigdheden pavlova
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 150 grams very fine white sugar
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 250 ml whipped cream
  • 25 grams white sugar
  • Red fruits (a lot): blueberries, juniper berries, raspberries, strawberries,…

Meringue recipe

Take a stainless steel mixing bowl (I have one from Kitchen Aid) and make sure it is very well degreased. You can also clean it with half a lemon.

Bereiding meringue

Add the egg whites and beat lightly with the whisk on the highest setting. Add the fine white sugar spoon by spoon. The next spoon should only be added when you see that all sugar is gone.

Bereiding meringue

Reduce the setting to medium speed and add the icing sugar, again spoon by spoon. Finally, I also add a spoonful of cornmeal.

Put the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Smooth it out in a circle.

Meringue

Put this in the oven at 100°C. Turn the oven off after an hour and leave the meringue in it until the oven has completely cooled down (and preferably even longer).

Do not remove the bottom for the pavlova from the baking paper until everything has cooled down completely. The meringue should still be a little moist in the middle.

For finishing

Whip the whipped cream with a little sugar and decorate it on top of the meringue. Finish with the red fruits.

Pavlova met rode vruchten

Variations on this pavlova are possible with figs, strawberries,…

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More on midsummer

20 June 2021
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Recipes for Swedish waffles (Våffeldagen)

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Recept Zweedse wafels

March 25 is Våffeldagen and so, like many Swedes, I bake waffles. The typical Swedish waffles are heart-shaped. In the absence of a heart-shaped waffle iron, I just baked rectangular waffles. And of course that is fine too! A Swedish friend gave me 2 recipes for the Swedish waffles that she regularly bakes, depending on what she has at home.

Recipe 1: Swedish waffles

Ingredients

  • 300 grams (liquid) flour
  • 500 ml of whipped cream
  • teaspoon of salt
  • teaspoon of sugar

Preparation

Mix half of the whipped cream with the flour. Beat the rest of the whipped cream and gently mix in the other half.

Recipe 2: Swedish waffles

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of butter
  • 350 grams of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 750 ml of milk

Preparation

Melt the butter. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the milk and then the melted butter.

In the waffle iron

Make sure your waffle iron is warm, grease the first waffle with a little butter (use a baking brush) and fill your waffle iron 3/4. Your waffle is ready after 2 minutes.

Toppings for Swedish waffles

With waffles and pancakes I, as a Belgian, mostly think of sweet toppings such as sugar, whipped cream, jam,… But I also like the Swedish heart-shaped waffles with savory toppings. Below you find some inspiration:

  • whipped cream with jam
  • whipped cream with berries
  • salmon, sour cream and dill
  • Skagenröra with “lojrom” and red onion flakes

For something a little different, you can mix a tablespoon of cinnamon into your batter for the sweet version or a tablespoon of chopped dill for the savory version.

Disclaimer: the photo is of my breakfast at Gripsholms Värdhus in Mariefred.

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Recipe: Swedish waffles
25 March 2021
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