Already in November I celebrated Christmas the Scandi way with the book club. It’s a nice little tradition and this year we outdid ourselves with carol singing! It was so much fun and the perfect way for me to get into the Christmas spirit.
We started the evening with the loveliest mushrooms salad on crostini, plenty of prosecco and my epic Christmas playlist.
Then we moved on to the main meal of Jansson’s frestelse (grated potato baked with onions, anchovies and cream), two types of meatballs, a salad with pear and walnuts and this kale and almond quiche with Swedish Herrgård cheese.
But the pièce de résistance was Mary-Louise’s pecan and almond pie for pudding. So lovely and timed well as it was around Thanksgiving!
Kale and almond quiche with Herrgård cheese, serves 8-10
120 g softened butter
300 ml plain flour
1/2 beaten egg
500 g kale, trimmed, rinsed and parboiled
50 g almond slivers
200 ml matured Herrgård cheese, grated (matured cheddar works as well)
100 ml cream
200 ml milk
salt and pepper
Pinch the pastry together and coat a pie dish with it. Use a fork to make small holes in the pastry. Pre-bake it for 10 minutes in 180C. Leave to cool.
Squeeze the water out of the kale and chop it. Add salt and pepper to the kale and place in the the tin. Scatter with almond slivers and add the cheese.
Beat eggs, cream and milk. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Pour into the tin and press the filling down so it’s all covered with the egg mixture. Bake in 180C for about 40 mins (until set and golden brown).
I made this lovely caramel tart ages ago for the office and although the pastry case looks a bit dark (I was so worried it would taste burnt, but it didn’t) everybody loved it. Phew! it’s very easy to make, just keep an eye on the pastry in the oven.
The original recipe calls for two chocolate truffles (one white, one brown) to be piped on top, but I just decorated it with whipped cream and it worked well too.
Caramel tart, serves 8
Adapted from Erik Lallerstedt’s recipe.
300 ml plain flour (180 g)
100 g butter
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
100 ml double cream
45 g caster sugar
50 ml golden syrup
1/2 vanilla pod
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp orange blossom honey
100 g unsalted butter
Dark chocolate truffle:
100 g dark chocolate
150 g unsalted butter
White chocolate truffle:
100 g white chocolate
150 g unsalted butter
Make the pastry and cover a pie dish with it. Bake in 200C for 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool. Place all the ingredients for the caramel, apart from the butter, in a saucepan and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod, add the pod as well and remove it later. Add the butter. Leave to cool and pour into the pastry case. Place somewhere cold.
Truffle: Break up the chocolate and melt in a bain marie with knobs of softened butter. Stir continuously until smooth. Leave to cool until good piping consistency, then pipe onto the set caramel.
It was time for the monthy cakes again on Friday. This time I made a Tosca cake, a very cherry chocolate cake (recipe to come) and this fresh lemon meringue pie.
I really like lemon in cakes as the acidity masks the fat and makes the cakes to appear light.
Lemon meringue pie, serves 10
Adapted from this recipe.
200 ml plain flour
100 g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water
2 lemons, zest and juice
1 orange, the juice
100 ml water
2,5 tbsp maizena corn flour (for thickening)
100 ml caster sugar
75 g butter
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
200 ml caster sugar
1 tsp lemonjuice
Add the butter and flour to a food processor and mix it into crumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg yolk and water and blitz to a dough. Knead it in a bowl for a few minutes. Either roll out and cover your dish or press it into the dish. Pick wholes with a fork and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.
Once the crust has resten, cover with baking parchment and ceramic beads and blindbake for 15 minutes in 175C. Remove the parchment paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150C.
While the crust is baking, prepare the curd and the meringue. Wash the lemons and grate the zest and add it to a saucepan. Add the juice and the juice from the orange too. Add the water, sugar and maizena. Bring to the boil and let the mixture thicken while stirring. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir while it melts.
Divide the yolks and the whites in two bowls (3 yolks and a whole egg in bowl for the curd and 4 whites in another mixing bowl for the meringue). Beat the yolks and the whole egg together and add to the curd on low heat. Beat with a whisk while the mixture thickens, do not let it boil. Put aside.
Beat the egg whites foamy, then add some of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Add the rest of the sugar bit by bit while beating, until very stiff peaks and a glossy meringue. Add the lemon juice and beat a little while longer.
Assemble the pie: Add the warm lemon curd to the warm pie crust and cover with the meringue. Bake in 150C for an hour in a low oven. Leave to cool before serving.