Scandi tip #8: More Lucia

Remember I told you about St Lucia celebrations at the Scandinavian Kitchen? Well, it is next week it is happening, on Tuesday the 13th to be precise, that is the Lucia day.

Even if you can’t see a live Lucia you can still celebrate the day in proper Scandi style with glögg (Swedish mulled wine), ginger bread and saffron buns.

The picture is from this website.

Homemade glögg, 70 cl

Translated and adapted from this recipe.

1 bottle red wine

1 whole cinnamon stock

20 cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

4 cardamom kernels, crushed

300 ml caster sugar (start with 200 ml if you don’t want it too sweet)

1 tsp vanilla

some grated lemon zest

Pour the wine into a large sauce pan. Add the spices and leave it for at least an hour and a half. Before serving, add the sugar and vanilla and heat it up without boiling. Pour through a sieve to remove the spices. Serve in a small cup (espresso size) with almonds and raisins.

The King’s ginger thins, about 300

675 g plain flour

1/2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

250 g softened butter

150 ml whipping cream

250 g caster sugar

1/6 l golden syrup

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground ginger

1/4 tbsp ground cloves

1/2 egg

Mix the flour with bicarb and add the butter. Pinch the flour and butter into crumbs with your fingertips. Beat the cream until stiff and add sugar, syrup, the spices and the beaten half egg. Incorporate the flour mixture into the cream mixture until you have a smooth dough. Leave it covered in the fridge over night.

Knead the dough until glossy on a work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out thinly. Use cookie cutters to form cookies and place them on parchment paper on a baking tray. Bake in 180C until golden (about 6-7 minutes). Let them cool on the tray or another flat surface to keep their shape. Let them cool fully before you put them in tins.

Saffron buns, about 30-40

50 g fresh yeast or the equivalent of dried yeast

150 g butter

500 ml milk

100 ml caster sugar

1 egg

850 g plain flour

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 g saffron

Melt the butter and mix with the milk, warm it up until finger warm. Crumble the yeast in a mixing bowl and add some of the milk mixture. Let the yeast dissolve and add the rest. Add the cardamom and saffron (use a pestle and mortar to break it down with a tablespoon of sugar), sugar and egg. Mix it and start adding the flour bit by bit. Mix with the dough hooks on an electric whisk and add flour until the dough lets go of the side of the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough, cover it up and let it rise for 30 minutes. Knead the dough and cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a roll and cut it in four, then cut each piece in half so you have 8 pieces of the same size. Shape each piece into a Lucia-shape (see the photos) and put raisins in them. Leave to rise on a baking tray. Beat an egg and glaze them before baking. Bake in 225C, high up in the oven until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes). If your oven bakes unevenly like mine, just turn the tray around after 5 minutes.

Use one (or two) of the large pieces of dough to make the vanilla buns. Roll it out thin (2-3 mm thick) with a rolling pin. Spread on softened butter and sprinkle plenty of vanilla sugar on top. Roll it up from the longer side and pinch the edge together with the bun so it doesn’t open lengthwise. Cut into 3 cm wide strips and place these with the cut down in a cake case. Glaze with beaten egg and sprinkle some sugar pearls (Swedish sugar) or caster sugar on top. Bake as above.

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