These yellow nordic berries smell fresh and a little sweet, but they trick you! The taste is quite sour and tart. But because of their fresh flavor, they go well with anything from fish to sweet cakes or marmalade.
And… They are super healthy and good for you!
Sea Buckthorn is rich in vitamins, especially Vitamin C, with each small berry holding as much vitamin C as a whole orange! The little yellow berry is also rich in healthy Omega 7 fatty acids (15-25%), which assists with the hormonal control as well as reduce the risk of diabetes II, atherosclerosis and overweight, according to resent research from Harvard University.
Sea Buckthorn is common along the Danish coast line, especially along the west and in the north and the good news is that late autumn is harvest time, as you get the best flavour when you harvest shortly before the first freeze.
The tricky thing is that It’s almost impossible to pick the berries. The way to get them is to cut the small branches holding the berries off the bush. The bushes and branches have long and prickly thorns, so wear gloves and bring a good basket to carry them home.
Once home, place the small branches with the berries in the freezer (so make sure you only cut branches in the size you can fit in your freezer), and leave them in there till the berries are frozen. To remove the berries from the branches, simply shake the branches over a large plastic bag, box or bowl. Use a fork to remove any berries that might not some loose with a simple shake. The berries can be juiced, pureed, dried and ground and used in so many delicious ways…
Below is an easy recipe for little Coconut Tops with a Sea Buckthorn puree, passionfruit creme and ground berry for decoration. Just note that the homemade passionfruit cream, needs to be made way in advance, to have time to thicken and set...
Buckthorn Coconut Tops, with passionfruit cream
(Approx. 20 stk.)
1 tbsp water
75g white chocolate
2g gelatin (1 sheet if solid, 2g if powder form)
Remove the pulp from the passionfruits and blend it. Using a sieve, remove the seeds. Place the blended pulp (without the seeds) in a small pot and let it boil for around 5 min. Add the sugar and water and let it simmer till it thickens. Leave to cool for a minimum of 3 hours before using.
If using Gelatin sheets, place in water till soft then remove. If using powder, it can be whisked directly into the mixture.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the cream in a small pot and hear till its almost boiling but not quite. Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir. Once the chocolate has dissolved add the gelatin powder, or the soft gelatin sheet. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover with cling film and leave to set over night.
Once the cream is set, whisk gently and add the passionfruit compote. Place in a piping bag when ready to use.
Buckthorn Coconut Tops
350g coconut flour/ground coconut
100g good quality butter
1dl buckthorn puree (boil the berries and push through a sieve)
100g white chocolate
Freeze dried Buckthorn, grounded
Whisk the eggs and sugar till fluffy. Add the coconut flour, melted butter and buckthorn puree. Mix everything together and place in a piping bag. Make little ‘tops’ on a baking tray, making sure to leave a small opening in the top. (Make sure to use baking paper on the baking tray)
Bake the little coconut tops around 12-15min on 170 degrees. Take them out and leave them to cool.
Once the tops are cool, place the white chocolate in a water-bath and melt slowly. Once melted, dip the bottoms of the coconut tops in the chocolate and sprinkle with the freeze-dried Buckthorn immediately before the chocolate dries. Leave the tops upside down for the chocolate and decoration to dry.
Once dry, turn over and, using a piping bag, fill the tops with the passionfruit cream. You can decorate the top with coconut flakes or sprinkle if a little buckthorn.
Tastes absolutely delicious! Sweet, but tart.
NOTE - If you are short of time, you can easily make these little tops without the passionfruit cream. Simple make the tops without a hole in the top, and you can simply dip the top in the white chocolate as well as the bottom for decoration. Simple and fast.