Delicious raspberry slices

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter as they are called in Danish are a classic in the pastry shops and bakeries in Denmark. They were invented in the 18th century and consist of a two thin cakes – usually made from shortcrust pastry – put together with raspberry jam and then iced. The mother of the painter Anna Anker popularized them in the 19th century when she was the proprietor of the famous Brøndums Hotel in Skagen in northern Denmark, where painters and poets used the gather. The story goes that the novelist H. C. Andersen would travel all the way to Brøndums Hotel to eat these particular raspberry slices – they were that good.

I remember as a child when my grandmother used to make them for me – I would sit on her kitchen table and eagerly wait for the icing to dry. To my childish and impatient mind it always seemed to take forever, but it was worth the wait. The crispy pastry, the sweet yet slightly sour raspberry jam and the thick layer of icing on top was perfection to me and my sweet tooth, and today I think it makes for a very nice treat for a cup of tea.

This variation is raspberry slices is made gluten free with oats and not wheat flour, but if you want to make them exactly like the classic then replace the pastry in the recipe with shortcrust pastry and cut half a portion into rectangles.

Raspberry slices
Makes 6-8 slices

300g oatmeal
150g butter
75g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 egg yolk

Raspberry jam
200g raspberries (frozen are fine)
125g caster sugar
Maybe a a squeeze of lemon juice
– or a glass of good quality raspberry jam

150g icing sugar
Sprinkles or freeze-dried raspberries

Start by blending the oatmeal as fine as possible until it turns into relatively fine flour. Mix with icing sugar, vanilla and the butter. Work in the butter with the dry ingredients until the consistency is like course breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and mix until it turns into a pretty firm dough. Let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Roll the pastry thinly out as a rectangle and cut the pastry into smaller rectangles. I personally like a bit of a rustic look so I just cut them out by rule of thumb – something like 5cmx10cm.

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Place the pastry on baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius or until they are lightly golden. Let them cool down completely.

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Now for the jam. Place raspberries, sugar and a tiny splash of water in a pot. Bring to a boil and let it gently simmer while stirring regularly until it turns quite thick. It takes about 20-30 minutes. Taste the jam and if needed add a bit of lemon juice so the jam isn’t too sweet.

When the jam is cold spread a medium thick layer on one half of the pastries and place the other half on top.

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Make the icing from icing sugar mixed with a bit of water. Spread over the raspberry slices and sprinkle with freeze-dried berries or colourful sprinkles.

The raspberry slices should be kept in an airtight container and will keep for at least 2-3 days.

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Raspberry slices or hindbærsnitter - a classic Danish sweet treat

Strawberry tart – a taste of summer

Strawberry tart with almonds, vanilla custard and chocolate

Strawberry tart with almonds, vanilla custard and chocolate

I always use some of the wonderfully sweet summer strawberries we have in Denmark during June, July and the beginning of August for a strawberry tart with chocolate, almonds and a thick vanilla custard. It is probably my favourite summer treat and is perfect both as a sweet accompaniment for an afternoon cup of coffee or as a beautiful centerpiece dessert at a dinner party.

I will not lie, this is a relatively time consuming tart as you have make the shortcrust pastry, the almond filling and the vanilla custard, but all the components themselves are relatively easy to make. And when you take the first bite of your homemade strawberry tart and taste the crispy pastry with its dense almond filling combined with the silky, vanilla perfumed custard, the slightly bitter chocolate and the sweet ripe strawberries then you know exactly what summer heaven tastes like.

Strawberry tart
For 6 people

Half a portion of shortcrust pastry
500g strawberries (preferably organic)
75g dark chocolate (70%)
4 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly (or any other sweet red jelly)

Almond filling
150g marzipan
100g soft butter
100g golden cane sugar
2 eggs
50 wheat flour
The seeds of half a fat, good quality vanilla pod

3 egg yolkes
2dl fullfat milk
50g golden cane sugar
The seeds of the other half of the vanilla pod
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 sheets of gelatin (4 grams in total)

Start by making the shortcrust pastry. When it has been in the freezer then pre-bake it for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius until slightly golden.

Meanwhile make the almond filling. Knead the marzipan with sugar and vanilla and add the butter little by little until the mix is homogeneous. Mix in the eggs in one at a time and then finally add the flour. If the mass starts to split then add a bit of the flour between the eggs.

Pour the almond filling into the pre-baked tart shell.

Strawberry tart with almonds, vanilla custard and chocolate

Bake the tart for another 15-20 minutes until the filling has set and is golden. Chop the chocolate very fine and divide on the hot tarte filling so it melts. If it doesn’t spread on its own then help it along with a spoon until the filling is covered.

Strawberry tart with almonds, vanilla custard and chocolate

For the custard start by soaking the gelatin in lots of cold water for ten minutes (or follow instructions on the package). Mix the rest of the ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring it to a boil while continually whisking. Let is gently boil for a couple of minutes until it has thickened quite a bit.

Strawberry tart with almonds, vanilla custard and chocolate

Remove the pot from the stove. Squeeze most of the water from the gelatin and then melt it in a pan over low heat with the little water still clinging to it. Mix carefully into the still warm custard. Cover it with clingfilm and let it cool down completely. The custard should be very thick, but that is the intention.

Put the custard on the cold tart with filling. Hull and half the strawberries and arrange them neatly on top of the cusard. Melt the redcurrant jelly in a saucepan over low heat and brush it evenly onto the strawberries.

Serve the tart for some very lucky guest!
Jordbærtærte, færdig1, august 2013

Grandma’s sweet buttermilk horns

Kærnemælkshorn, færdige2, maj 2013 Kærnemælkshorn, færdige1, maj 2013

My grandmother was a keen cook. She was always in her kitchen baking and basting, pickling and poaching. She was every good at using seasonal ingredients and throughout her life she collected recipes from newspapers, magazine friends and family. When she passed away a few years ago I inherited her treasure-trove of recipes and whenever I need a recipe for a classic dish I always look take out her fabulous collection which she meticulously kept in a little black box on index cards neatly written in her small handwriting – it has never failed me yet.

A week ago I was sitting in a small Copenhagen cafe with a friend. They had a tray with freshly baked ”kærnemælkshorn” – buttermilk horns – on the counter, and I simply had to have one. They took me right back to my grandmother’s kitchen and sitting on her kitchen table looking at her rolling out the dough for my favourite treat. Later in a nostalgic mood I took out my black box of recipes and voilá – a recipe for buttermilk horns from 1961, thank you grandma!

Buttermilk horns are an old school Danish classic and a real treat, somewhere between a pastry and a bun. They are made from a buttery yeast dough with buttermilk – don’t worry they don’t taste like buttermilk – rolled around a creamy almond filling and finally sprinkled with sugar and chopped almonds just before they are baked. They make a delicious afternoon treat for tea or a wicked breakfast on a special Sunday morning.

Grandma’s sweet buttermilk horns
Makes 20-24 buttermilk horns

300g butter
500g wheat flour
50g caster sugar
2 dl buttermilk
10g fresh yeast
A pinch of salt

Almond filling:
10g butter
100g caster sugar
100g marzipan (at least 60% almonds)

An egg for brushing
A handful of finely chopped almonds
A handful of nib sugar

Start by making the dough. Mix together flour, salt and sugar and work in the butter until the texture is like coarse breadcrumbs. Lightly heat the buttermilk until it is a little warm and mix with the yeast. Pour the liquid into the butter and flour mix and quickly mix together until it is just smooth. Do not knead the dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least 5-6 hours.

Grandma's sweet buttermilk horns

For the almond filling, knead the marzipan with the sugar and then work in the butter until the texture is smooth. The almond filling can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.

Divide the dough in two. Roll each into a circle using a bit of flour, so the dough does not stick. Each circle should have a diameter of around 35-40 cm. Cut each circle into ten or twelve triangles.

Grandma's sweet buttermilk horns

Place a large teaspoon of almond cream on each triangle and roll them up starting at the broadest end. Make sure to fasten the ends securely so the buttermilk horns do not come apart in the oven.

Grandma's sweet buttermilk horns

Brush the horns with egg and sprinkle them with finely chopped almonds and sugar.

Grandma's sweet buttermilk horns

Bake for 18-22 minutes at a 180 degrees Celsius.Keep an eye on them during the last third of the baking time so they do not get too dark.

The buttermilk horns are best served fresh out of the oven, but they also taste great when they are cold – if you like you can reheat them in the oven for a few minutes just before serving. They are also great to freeze and this way you always have a treat for unexpected company. Simply wrap the unbaked horns carefully in plastic or put them in an airtight container. Bake from frozen at a 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes.

Kærnemælkshorn, færdige, maj 2013