Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scandilicious Baking - Signe Johansen

The Jam pan emerges
I've been at home all day waiting on plumbers, I had offered to hold keys for some of my neighbours so had the whole day around the flat which has been a real treat. The plumbers were polite, timely, tidy, and generally charming - so much for stereotypes - all that remains is to see how good a job they did... 
Not ripe, but cheap, fruit

It had briefly occurred to me that I could spend the time at home cleaning and doing paperwork, but I opted instead for experimenting with 'Scandilicious Baking' and chose to make greengage and vanilla jam, there are also Santa Lucia buns hopefully proving in the now reclaimed airing cupboard. 

Still looking pretty
It really has been a case of experimenting because I've been using what I had to hand rather than strictly following the recipe. The jam recipe is an interesting one and sometime I'll try Signe's version. For 2 kilos of fruit it calls for 350g of fructose which I just didn't have so I used ordinary sugar - and in ordinary quantities which meant 1.5 kilos of sugar. I'm curious about how a jam with so little sugar would set - does fructose do different things I wonder? Annoyingly someone turned up at just the wrong moment (not the perfect plumbers, but a friend of a neighbour looking for keys) and the greengages started to catch on the bottom of the pan, and though I thought I'd got setting point I'm not so sure now so will probably have to reboil the lot tomorrow. Also I have jam in my hair. Taste wise though the vanilla is wonderful with the greengages and it might be quite nice to have it runny enough to go well in yoghurt.
Not so pretty but almost ready

I've wanted to make Lucia buns for about 25 years now, and you may well ask why it's taken me so long. They are traditionally eaten on the 13th December, which just happens to be my birthday, and ever since an aunt with a Swedish boyfriend told me about them I've wanted to try them, now I have a recipe I'm not waiting till December. I must admit to being a bit nervous about these buns, they should be 'S' shaped with currant - or in this case sour cherry - eyes and I've always struggled with shaping dough. I want them to look pretty, know practice is the answer, but lack technique. 

Almost good enough for a nice buns pun
'Scandilicious Baking' is a lovely book with plenty to inspire in it. The recipes are a good mix of the  traditional from all over Scandinavia - though generally with a Signe twist, things which reflect contemporary trends in baking, though again with a Signe/Scandinavian twist, and things like Brownies that no baking book seems to be complete without. What I really enjoy about it though is the view North; there's nothing new about a seasonal approach to ingredients but the flavour combinations are just a little different, and so is the presentation. It's no surprise that Scandinavian food is finally having it's moment, just a wonder it's taken so long. 


  1. I've been really enjoying your Scandilicious posts. Thank you.

  2. I'm on a bit of a cookbook binge at the moment, I think I need to get out of the kitchen whilst I still have some jam jars left...