Note that Finnish eggs are among the safest in the world to be eaten uncooked. To find out why, read here.
Resembling tiny snowballs, cranberries rolled in icing sugar are a traditional Finnish and Russian treat. They are made especially at Christmas time, when fresh, soft and juicy wild cranberries, perhaps rendered sweeter by being bitten by the first frosts, are still available.
Finnish cranberries sold in stores are always picked in the wild. They are smaller but much juicier and tastier than
North American (cultivated) cranberries. The latter are rather dry, woody and fibrous, thus being unsuitable to be used in this recipe.
juicy wild cranberries, fresh or frozen
Pick out the largest cranberries. If using fresh berries, clean or rinse them and let them dry on paper towels. Discard any crushed or pricked berries. If the fresh berries are very tart, freezing them will turn them sweeter. This can also be done after they have been coated with sugar (follow the instructions below).
Gently warm the icing sugar in a small saucepan without letting it melt. Sift a thick layer of the warmed sugar on a small plate or a shallow bowl. Lightly whisk the egg white in another small bowl.
Drop the cranberries a few at a time in the egg white, so that they are wholly covered in egg.
Using a fork, lift the berries out and shake off the excess egg white. Drop the berries (again, only a few at a time) in the icing sugar. Shake and tilt the plate so that the berries roll around in the sugar, obtaining a thick and smooth white coating.
Gently repeat the process if necessary. Place the berries on a parchment paper and let the sugar coating dry at room temperature. The sugared cranberries made with fresh, unfrozen berries can now be frozen before serving, if they are very tart. This will turn them sweeter. Serve the berries as candy.
Recipe source: traditional Russian and Finnish recipe.