Fried camembert with hot cloudberry jam and parsley

Long time no post, and to “celebrate” my comeback on the blog I’ll give you a highly prized and hard-to-find treat. A classic – and easy to make – Swedish dessert from the 70’s, but still going strong: Deep fried camembert with parsley and hot cloudberry jam.

The orange-yellow cloudberry resembles the raspberry and is commonly found in wet bogs and mashes in the northern parts of Scandinavia. This exclusive berry is often called the “Nordic gold” and makes an exquisite jam.

Hjortron_cloudberry

Those of you who, unlike me, don’t live in a cloudberry tight area, nor has a Scandinavian deli around the corner can always try IKEA in search for the jam.

Deep fried camembert with cloudberry jam and fried parsley

Fried camembert with cloudberry jam2

Ingredients

I won’t give any measures, just adjust to the numbers of servings.

  • Camembert cheese (or brie will do too)
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Panko or breadcrumbs
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 1 bunch parsley/2-3 servings
  • Cloudberry jam (or jam of your own choice)

Method

Start by washing the parsley and shake it dry in a clean tea towel. Be sure there is no surface moisture left or it will spit nastily when later hitting the hot oil.

Cut the chilled camembert (or brie, as I am using this time) into equally sized wedges.

Camembert cheese

Pour flour into a plastic bag, add the cheese wedges and carefully shake until the pieces are coated all over.

Coated with flour

Beat the egg in a bowl and sprinkle the panko or breadcrumbs onto a plate.

Dip the wedges in the egg,

Dip in egg

and roll in panko or breadcrumbs until completely coated.

Coated in panko

Place the coated pieces  on a plate, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.

Heat the cloudberry jam (or jam of your own choice).

Heat the rapeseed oil in a deep-sided, heavy-based pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into it. The oil should come at least 2-3 cm up the sides of the pan.

Fry the camembert wedges (two at a time) until crisp and golden. If the oil isn’t deep enough to cover the pieces, turn them and make sure all five sides are fried.

Frying camembert

Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

Add the sprigs of parsley into the oil and fry until crisp and brittle. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Plate up.

Fried camembert with cloudberry jam_redigerad-2A bite

Enjoy!


Swedish Cheesecake Day

According to the Swedish calendar November 14 is the day when Emil and Emilia are the names of the day meaning that all boys named Emil and all girls named Emilia can celebrate a little extra.

Since 2004, November 14 is also the Swedish Cheesecake Day or ‘Ostkakans dag’. Cheese means ‘ost’ in Swedish and cake means ‘kaka’, cheesecake, but not as in ‘American cheesecake’.

The Swedish cheesecake is traditionally produced by adding rennet to milk and letting the casein coagulate. Then cream, sugar, eggs, flour and almonds are added to create a batter, so I suppose a more correct translation would be ‘curd cake’.

Since the process of curding milk is somewhat complicated I’ve instead simplified the recipe by using cottage cheese as a base to simulate the curd texture of the dessert.

So here is to all you Emils and Emilias out there, a real Swedish ‘Ostkaka’ to celebrate your name day!

Swedish Cheesecake

Ostkaka, served with cloudberry jam

Ingredients

Ostkaka, ingredients

  • 500 grams cottage cheese
  • 50 grams chopped or ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 2 bitter almonds
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla
  • 300 ml creme fraiche
  • 4 eggs, divided into yolks and whites
  • 6 tbsp flour

Method

  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees
  • Mix the cottage cheese quickly with hand blender and add the creme fraiche.

Ostkaka, cottage cheese

  • Add egg yolks, flour, sugar and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Ostkaka, batter

  • Add the ground hazelnuts and bitter almonds.

Ostkaka, almonds

  • Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (do the upside down-test) and fold gently into the batter.

Ostkaka, eggwhites up side down

Ostkaka, fold in eggwhites

  • Pour batter into a greased tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cover with waxed paper if the surface tends to burn,
  • Serve luke warm with jam and whipped cream.

Ostkaka, 3 kinds of jam

Ostkaka, served with cream and jam

Salmon and beetroot patties with parsley creme – and strawberries for dessert

For the last couple of weeks winter has taken a new, tight grip on Sweden with cold icy winds and night temperatures down to minus 20°C. Thus a perfect opportunity to check what’s actually in the freezer, clean and defrost it while the food can still keep cold outside on the balcony.

Was I amazed at what I found in there on the shelves? Yes, to say the least. Since long forgotten lunch boxes that could almost walk out of the freezer on its own, tiny bags of “handy-stuff” left overs as grated cheese, herbs, slices of frostbitten bread, a hot dog, a salmon, a bag of chicken drumsticks and last but not least lots and lots of berries; blueberries, strawberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, cranberries and raspberries. I pick and pick and fill the freezer up but can never bring myself to make something out of all those berries because I never know if I will find new ones next summer.

It is a quick fix to thaw a salmon fillet, so I decided to let that one become the backbone of the dinner together with shallots, capers and beets that I found in the fridge. And for dessert some of those strawberries with vanilla quark and crumbled Finn crisp.

Salmon and beetroot patties with parsley crème (Salmon à la Lindstrom)
4 servings

Ingredients

Ingredienser

  • 600 grams of salmon fillet
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 ml finely diced pickled beets
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Salt and pepper

Methods

  • Cut the salmon fillet into smaller pieces and run in the food processor.
  • Mix with remaining ingredients and season.
  • Fry a piece of the mixture and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Shape into hamburger-sized patties and fry for a few minutes on each side.

Stekning
Parsley Creme

Gurka till sås

Ingredients

  • 100-200 ml finely chopped pickled cucumber
  • 1 bunch finely chopped parsley
  • 200 ml crème fraîche or quark

Mix all ingredients into a sauce and serve with salmon patties and a salad of kidney beans, broccoli and spinach and you will have a delicious and healthy meal rich in omega-3, iron and calcium.

Upplagt

Strawberries with vanilla quark and Finn crisp crumbles

Upplagt i glasIngredients

  • Fresh or frozen (but thawed) strawberries, sliced
  • 400 ml vanilla flavoured quark
  • 15 pieces of Finn crisp
  • A handful of roasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts or almonds.

Methods

  • Crack the finn crisp in pieces and put in a plastic bag. Crush them finely with a rolling-pin and mix with the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Open the cabinet door and take out those beautiful glasses you inherited from Grandma but never use.
  • Layer the ingredients starting with crumbles, strawberries, quark and then start all over again.
  • Top with strawberries.

Dessert ovanifrån

Bon appetite!

Fat Tuesday or Shrove Day

Semlor från bageriet 2Today is Tuesday, but not just any Tuesday. It is FETTISDAG or Fat Tuesday, one of the busiest day of the year for most Swedish bakers. When the stores open at seven or eight in the morning they have to be ready for the onrush of customers who all want to get their hands on a “SEMLA”.

Originally the semla (semlor pl) was only eaten on Fat Tuesday, which was the last day to party and eat fat and nutritious food to cope with the 40-day Lent until Easter. Those of you who like numbers and math might already have noticed that there are more than forty days until Easter, but don’t worry. It was perfectly OK to still feast on a Sunday, so Sundays didn’t count.

But like so many other religious rules / traditions even this one was hollowed out over time. With the arrival of the Protestant Reformation, the Swedes stopped observing a strict fasting for Lent. Instead, it became tradition to have a semla for dessert every Tuesday during the seven weeks of lent.

Nowadays bakery-made semlor go on sale just after Christmas (sometimes even before) and are available every day until Easter. This is usually followed by a collective, nationwide moan about how the sale starts earlier and earlier each year. But still, also for the faithful it’s difficult to resist the temptation of a semla and by the end of January most of them have already capitulated. But for a true faithful, this is cheating! No semla before Fat Tuesday!

Fat Tuesday also coincides with the International Pancake Day, but here in Sweden the focus is on the semla. In Sweden every Thursday is Pancake Day, a common Thursday dinner consists is pea soup followed by pancakes with jam.

What is this so talked about semla? Well, actually just an ordinary small, wheat flour bun, flavored with cardamom – and filled with the most delicous almond paste and whipped cream. The word semla is originally deriving from the Latin for semilia, meaning finest quality wheat flour.

Semla, fettisdag

This is how you prepare a semla or cream bun

  • Bake the buns from your own favorite recipe or buy plain wheat buns
  • Cut off the top of the bun
  • Scoop out some crumbs in the center of the bun and mix the crumbs with almond paste and a little whipped cream into a semi loose paste.
  • Fill the hollowed bun with a spoonful almond paste and pipe whipped cream over the filling (up to 2 cm).
  • Put the lid on top and sift some icing sugar over.

There you have your semla!

And the best way to eat a semla? Well, some like it with a cup of coffee while others prefer to put it in a bowl and let it soak in hot milk, then called a “hetvägg” (hot wall!) .

Semla, hetvägg

So why not try a semla, in one way or another, and if you don’t have time today, you still have another six Tuesdays ahead of you.

Wine jelly with cloudberries, raw cream and rolled wafers

The amazing and exciting weeks of the Olympics are over. As usual, no major success for the small country of Sweden, only eight medals altogether and, as always, in odd sports like skeet i.e, that you rarely hear about but every four years. And our true superstars with bundles of world records and WC titles faltered under the pressure and could not deliver.

Based on what I’ve seen and heard on TV and radio, GB’s hosting of the games seems to have surpassed all expectations and what a reward and triumph with all the medals! Congrats!

After being glued to the TV for two weeks now the abstinence and emptiness is taking over, and what do one fill that emptiness with? Some food perhaps, or a little dessert? Well, what about something made of the yellow gold of “Norrland” (the north of Sweden), the deliciously tasting cloudberries that grows on mires and mashes. There is also the red gold, meaning the lingonberries, but their time is still to come.

Wine jelly with cloudberries, raw cream and rolled wafers

Rolled wafers

About 35 wafers

A year ago I was given a cake iron by a friend and now was time to test it. It was a little tricky before I figured out how much batter that was needed to cover the iron without spilling over onto the stove, and how long the cookies would be baked without getting burned. It took a couple of “trial and error” before they turned out OK, so don’t give up. The recipe can easily be halved.

This is what you need

  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 250 g of butter
  • 150 g of plain flour
  • 100 g potato flour
  • 1 dl cold water

This is how you do

  • Melt butter and allow to cool
  • Beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy and add the cooled butter.
  • Stir in flour and potato flour.
  • Add the water.
  • Preheat cake iron (both sides) over medium heat on top of stove.
  • Lightly brush inside top and bottom with melted butter.
  • Pour about 1 tablespoon batter onto center of hot iron and close.

  • Bake about 1 minute on each side until cookie is lightly browned.

  • Remove cookie from iron with help of a fork or knife inserted under cookie and quickly roll cookie, by hand or with help of a pin.

  • Let cool seam-side down on rack.
  • Cookies become crisp as they cool.
  • Store baked cookies in airtight containers.

Wine jelly
Serves 6

This is what you need

  • 2.5 – 3 sheets of gelatin
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 dl water
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 dl cloudberries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries or whatever will work just as well)
  • 2 dl dessert wine (sweet), such as Tokaj, Muscat or Sauterne

This is how you do

  1. Soak gelatin in cold water.
  2. Mix water and sugar with cloves and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Squeeze water from gelatin leaves and let them melt in the warm syrup.
  4. Add wine and cloudberries and let cool.
  5. Portion wine and berries into 6 glasses and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.

Raw cream

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 0.5 dl powdered sugar
  • 2 dl whipping cream
  1. Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Whip the cream until stiff and mix with egg mixture.
  3. Shape the raw cream into small “eggs” with the use of two spoons and place on top of the wine jelly and serve together with a rolled wafers.

Pea soup, punsch and saffron pancake

Over the past 20 years, Easter weekend has always been spent in our little summer cottage, our Paradise, in the north of Hälsingland. One of our Easter traditions is to invite friends and neighbors on Good Friday for a get together on the frozen lake and treat them with my homemade pea soup, punsch and saffron pancake.

This year was no exception and we enjoyed a seven hour joyful gathering in the sun with friends, food, drinks and music.

If you ask a Swede what’s for dinner on a Thursday the answer would most likely be “Pea soup and then pancakes for dessert”

Pea soup, or as we say ‘Ärtsoppa’, is a traditional Swedish dish you’ll find on almost every restaurant’s Thursday menu. It is also a popular dish when you invite a lot of friends for an informal party, simply because it is easy to make in large amounts, it doesn´t cost much and most people like it. At least if they have the punsch to go with it.

Punsch is a Swedish liqueur with the base ingredient of arrack that’s often served (then hot) with the pea soup. The peak of the Punsch consumption in Sweden occured during the nineteenth century when it became part of the cultural life and festivities in the universities’ student associations at the time and still is.

Saffron pancake (saffranspannkaka) is a traditional dish from the province of the island Gotland (the larges island in the Baltic Sea) that’s served with blue raspberry jam (salmbärssylt). Blue raspberry is a cross  between raspberries and blackberries and grows wild on Gotland.

Here are my homemade versions of pea soup and saffron pancake, so enjoy!

Pea soup

Serves 6

  • 500 grams of dried yellow peas
  • 2 liters of water
  • 2 + 2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 300-400 grams of salted pork
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet (and coarse-grained) mustard (Swedish mustard is often sweetend)

Just double the ingredients if you want a larger amount. The soup is also perfect to store in the freezer for meals to come.

  1. Rinse and soak the peas along with 2 teaspoons salt for 6 – 12 hours.
  2. Boil fresh water with peas, pork, the remaining salt (don’t take all at once, remember the pork will add some salt too) and herbs.
  3. Let simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours
  4. Remove the pork when tender and add the onions, whole.
  5. Cut the pork into cubes and add at the end. Season with mustard (and salt) to taste. Let it simmer for 1,5 – 2 hours.
  6. Taste the peas to make sure they are completely cooked and soft.

Serve with mustard on the side and a shot of hot (or chilled punsch).

 

Saffron pancake

This is what you need to serve 10-12Preheat oven to 200 degrees

  • 4 x 500 gram rolls with rice porridge ( I make it easy for myself and buy rolls with ready-made rice porridge, but of course you can cook your own.
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 dl of single cream
  • 1 gram of saffron
  • 0.5 dl sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla sugar
  • 100 grams of finely chopped almonds
  1. Whisk eggs, cream and almonds mixed with sugar and vanilla sugar together.
  2. Fold into the rice porridge and mix well.
  3. Pour batter into a greased dish and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a stick that the cake has set and the stick comes out dry.
  4. Cover with waxed paper or foil if the cake starts to get too much color.
  5. Serve lukewarm with “Queen’s jam” (drottningsylt – a mixture of blueberries and raspberries) and whipped cream.