MARGARETA – the name of the day

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In the Swedish calendar, every day has a name or two, male or female, associated with it. The week that officially starts July 18 and ends with July 24 contains six women’s name in a row. First up is Fredrik though – I suppose he sees himself as the cock in the henhouse when followed by fabulous and honorable ladies like Sara, Margareta, Johanna, Magdalena, Emma and Kristina. The Swedes call it fruntimmersveckan or the ladies’ week. Or less nice, pee-week, as it is statistically proven to be one of the wettest weeks of the year.

This is also the week when weeklies are overflowing with delicious recipes dedicated to the cock and his hens.

Today MARGARETA was the name of the day, and Margareta, that’s me! So this is my treat, an ordinary sponge cake, nothing fancy, with raspberry and blueberry jam between the layers and covered with whipped cream. On top of that, freshly picked wild strawberries, and served with a nice cup of black coffee. Can’t be much better!

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So, if you have a Johanna, Magdalena, Emma or Kristina among your loved ones, why not surprise them with a homemade cake or tarte on their day.

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Wild raspberry pie with blueberry meringue

First the cloudberries ripened, then the wild raspberries and now the blueberries, all larger than ever och very good-looking and tasty!

The best berry season in a hundred years the locals say, how they can now know. Myself, I can truthfully just agree that it is the best in at least 27 years! And the amount of berries that we have picked has, besides the luxury of being able to have fresh berries for breakfast every morning, turned my summer into a real “jam session”; cloudberry jam, raspberry jam, blueberry jam, mixed raspberry and blueberry jam (also called queen’s jam), marmalades and all sorts of cakes filled with berries. And here is a treat with the latter, a wild raspberry pie with blueberry meringue.

Wild raspberry pie with blueberry meringue

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Ingredients

Pie dough

  • 125 grams butter
  • 300 ml plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • half a beaten egg (save the other half for the filling)

Filling

  • 400-500 ml raspberries
  • 200 ml cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 0,5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 eggs + 1 egg yolk (leave the egg white in room temperature until it’s time for the meringue)

Meringue

  • 1 egg white
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 100 ml fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions

Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add half a beaten egg and process until dough just comes together.

Pie dough

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work top and roll to a disc big enough to line the bottom and sides of a pie plate.

Bake pie shell in 200 degrees for 12-15 min.

Let pie shell cool, then fill it with the fresh raspberries.

Pieshell with raspberries

Mix cream, milk, cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Let the mixture cool slightly before adding the eggs and egg yolk along with the vanilla sugar.

Pour mixture over raspberries ….

Pie filling

…and bake in 175 degrees for 20-25 min, until the cream and egg mixture has set.

Baked pie

Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt in a clean and dry mixing bowl until soft peaks form.

Add the sugar gradually and continue whisking until all the sugar has dissolved.

Gently fold the blueberries into the egg white and spread the meringue on top of the raspberry filling.

Bake in 175 degrees for 20 minutes.

Meringue

Let the pie cool before serving.

Baked merengue

May Day cake aka Ambrosia cake

For the sun-worshiping Swede this past weekend/holiday is perhaps one of the highlights of the year. The Last Day of April, Eve of May Day, Walpurgis Night, there are many names for this holiday and in Swedish we simply say Sista april, Valborgsmässoafton or Valborg

This long awaited holiday definitely puts an end to winter, no matter what the weather is like. It’s now the hibernating Swede is brought back to life again.

The name of the holiday originates from the English missionary and nun, Walburga, who was canonized May 1st (about 870), but that is the only connection there is to this saint Walburga.

This is also the time of the year when the cattle are let out to pasture for the first time after the long winter and far back in the 18th century huge bonfires were lit to protect the livestock from both predators and supernatural beings.

The tradition with bonfires still lives though, but nowadays Valborg is just another opportunity to bring friends and family together, have a bite to eat and later in the evening take a walk to the nearest local bonfire and welcome SPRING with speeches, songs and eventually some very colourful, but perhaps not so eco-friendly, fireworks.

So, what do the Swedes eat on this holiday? Well, if the weather is nice Valborg marks the start of the barbecue season and when you pass by the gardens you’ll most likely find the whole block wrapped up in smoke and smells pretty close to the famous London fog. Besides that, the meals can be anything from a fancy three-course meal to just a nice piece of pie or a bowl of  soup.

With 1st of May (International workers’ Day) as a public holiday in Sweden this weekend is really long lasting. For me and Devoted husband and some of our friends this is the day when we bring out our bikes and do our first three hour tour to Vada Church where we have our lunch in the lee of the church wall.

To surprise our friends I got up early this morning to bake and bring along this May Day (not Mayday) cake, commonly known as Ambrosia cake. This is a true Swedish classic when it comes to cakes.  

May Day cake aka Ambrosia cake

  • 150 grams of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 deciliter of sugar
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 deciliter of flour
  • (optional: zest or juice from half a lemon

Glaze

  • 2 deciliter of icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of orange juice (or water)
  • about 50 g candied orange peel

Preparations

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

  1. Grease and flour a ring mold, approximately 22 cm in diameter.
  2. Melt butter and let cool.
  3. Beat egg and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Stir in flour and baking powder.
  5. Add melted butter and stir until batter is smooth.
  6. Pour batter into mold and bake for about 40 minutes.
  7. Cover with waxed paper if the cake tends to get burned.

The glaze

  1. Mix icing sugar with orange juice and spread on top of the cool cake.
  2. Sprinkle with candied orange peel.
  3. Leave in the fridge for the icing to harden, then eat and enjoy.