Skanör: lunch at Stationen

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Most restaurants I visit back home are in Malmö, the biggest city in the area I’m from, but in the summer there are lots of smaller places scattered by the coast and in the countryside. In winter, not so much, but there are a few exceptions, like relatively new Stationen in Skanör. I had lunch with my friend Cecilia and Fredrik here one day at the beginning of the year and it was nice to see the restaurant was full, even in January.

All three of us ordered their classic burger with slaw and fries which was really nice and the portion was very generous too. On top of that coffee or tea and cookies were included in the lunch option. This is fairly common in Sweden and I think it’s really nice as you can sit for longer.

Bäckatorget 10, 239 33 Skanör

Crunchy apple cake

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Some people, like my wonderful mother, love apple pies and cakes. I actually think she could live on it alone. I, on the other hand, am a little harder to please. Raw apples – delicious. Mushy cooked ones – not so much. I want set cakes, that provide a nice contrast to the soft apples.

This cake has the Hanna seal of approval; it’s cake-y, has a nice crunchy top but is still apple-y enough for the likes of my mother. Happy days!

Crunchy apple cake, serves 8-10

3-6 apples, peeled and slices

1 tbsp caster sugar

a little (1/2 – 1 tsp) cinnamon

3 eggs

190 g caster sugar

70 g plain flour

Place the apple slices in a lined springform. Scatter with sugar and cinnamon. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy and mix in the flour. Pour into the tin. Bake for 60 minutes in 175C. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

Winter Pavlova

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I made this lovely Winter version of Pavlova before Christmas, and if I had had time to post it before the holiday season I would have aptly named it Christmas Pavlova, but, as it’s now February, I think Winter Pavlova is more fitting. Clementines are still in season so nothing’s stopping you to make it right away. Or why not try it with blood oranges?

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Scandelights’ Winter Pavlova, serves 10

Clementine curd:

50 g butter

1 egg

100 ml caster sugar (80 g)

3 small clementines (or 2 larger ones)

Meringue:

140 g egg whites (4)

220 g caster sugar

8 g / 1 tbsp corn flour

4 g  / 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Decoration:

3 dl whipping or double cream

1 packet pomegranate seeds

4 clementines, cut into fillets (i.e. the wedges without the membranes) 

Clementine curd:

Zest the clementines and squeeze out the juice. Place in a saucepan with the butter and half the sugar. Heat up until the butter and sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Beat egg and remaining sugar pale and fluffy and add to the saucepan. Let the mixture thicken on low heat while stirring. It must not boil. Leave to cool. Store in the fridge. 

Meringue:

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by bit while beating until stiff peaks. Add corn flour and vinegar and fold it in with a spatula. 

Divide the meringue in two, shaping two circles on two parchment clad baking trays. 

Bake in the middle of the oven, for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the cooling oven with the door open until the oven has cooled down. 

Assembling:

Lightly whip the cream and cut the clementines into fillets (peel it, keep it whole and place a knife on either side of each membrane, cutting out membrane-free wedges). Place one meringue round on a cake plate. Spread with clementine curd. Spread with whipped cream and place the other meringue round on top. Spread with whipped cream and decorate with clementine fillets and pomegranate seeds. 

Creamy tomato sauce with sage

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I’m really struggling with the weather at the moment, and all the jokes about a Swedish person being used to the cold are so getting old. Fact is, I am not. In fact, most Swedish people (at least from my end of the country) hate the cold. And even though the winters are long and cold, the well-insulated houses help a lot!

Anyway, those cold windy days when life feels utterly miserable there are a few things that could cheer you up. Friends, wine and food. All three together is of course the best combination, but any of the three on its own can help too.

One evening when I actually had planned to make potato gnocchi but ran out of steam after walking home in the freezing wind from the tube, I settled for what I would have served my gnocchis with; a creamy, warming tomato sauce.

We all know that a great flavour combination is tomato and basil, but with sub-zero temperatures outside that felt way too summery. Instead I opted for another herb that feels just as Italian – sage.

I see this as my winter version of tomato sauce. And that splash of cream feels necessary to fight the cold too.

Creamy tomato sauce with sage, serves 3-4 

1 tin (ca 400 g) good quality chopped tomatoes 

1/2 tin water

ca 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp soft brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp dried sage (or about 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)

1/2 tsp each of oregano, rosemary and lovage

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 garlic clove, grated

salt, black pepper

50 ml single cream

Pour tomatoes and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it reduce and thicken. Add vinegar, herbs, garlic and sugar. Cook until it feels thick enough. Add the cream. Season to taste with salt, sugar and black pepper. 

Serve with spaghetti and plenty of grated Parmesan or Pecorino.