Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Limoncello

Beverages, DrinksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Limoncello.

Limoncello.

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made from hard alcohol, lemon zest and sugar. It’s like bringing the sent of the lemon zest into a drink. Could you imaging anything better? - Not really, right? My first encounter with limoncello was with a store bought version. And I was really disappointed. The synthetic lemon flavor were really off-putting.

Fast-forward 5-8 years. Our lemon tree was booming with fruits. I wanted to give homemade limoncello a try. Trying to preserve the fantastic lemon flavor, without getting the bitterness. Especially the latter have been the pittfall for others, or so I was told. So I was a bit nervous when it was time to taste my own batch. I tasted the lemon-infused vodka, and it was strong, very STRONG. Tasting the final result, finally calmed me. I had been able to create what limoncello should taste like. A sweet lemon taste, without the bitterness. And served over a lot of ice, it was just perfect.

You can serve the lemoncello over ice, mixed with sparkling water or in cocktails. Or you can pour it over ice cream or in this delicious Limoncello/Liquorice Tiramisu.

Makes 8 x 475 ml bottles.

Ingredients:

  • 25 organic lemons

  • 1.75 liter 100 proof vodka (I used a blue Smirnoff)

  • 1300 g sugar

  • 1.75 liter water

Directions:

Wash the lemons with a brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax, pat the lemons dry.

Steeping the lemon zest.

Steeping the lemon zest.

Peel the lemons with a sharp knife or a potato peeler. Be careful to only get the yellow zest, cutting away any of the white part, otherwise the limocello gets too bitter. Place the lemon zest in a large, glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the vodka over the lemon peel, tighten the lid of the jar. Give the jar a gentle swirl, to make sure you get the best extraction of flavors.  Store in a cool, dark place for 15-40 days, swirling the jar daily. I’m not sure if the swirling is totally necessary, but I did it anyway. The longer the mixture rests, the better the end taste will be. I had mine in a cool hallway closet.

When the now lemon-infused vodka is ready, strain out the bulk of the lemon peel, set aside.  Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large pan over high heat.  When boiling, remove pan from heat and stir in the lemon peel. Let the mixture sit and cool to room temperature. Strain out and discard the lemon peel.  Carefully mix the syrup with the lemon-infused vodka, and filter the entire mixture through a funnel into clean bottles. I have a fine mesh strainer for my funnel, so I won’t get any small lemon particles in my limoncello.

As soon as the limoncello is chilled, it is ready to drink. The flavor and texture will be best ice-cold. I store my limoncello in the freezer, but it freezes solid. I guess the alcohol content is too low to stay liquid.

Serve the limoncello over ice, perfect for sipping on a hot day.

Enjoy!


Danish Kringle

Brunch, Cake, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
fullsizeoutput_2411.jpeg


This old fashioned pastry became famous in Denmark, when a very popular TV-host from a gardening show raved about it as the worlds best kringle. The recipe originates from Anne Magrethe in Hirtshals. She was a kogekone a kinda cook for when you had large family parties at a kind of community center. You got home cooked style food from a cook who was used to scaling up the amount of food. It was kinda catering before we had catering.

I do agree that this pastry or kringle is really good. It have a nice flakiness without being a lamination of traditional pastry. You can add raisins or some kind of jam as filling. I like it best when it is more traditional.

Makes 4.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 200 ml lukewarm water

  • 300 g  butter, room temperature

  • 50 g  live yeast or 4 teaspoons dry yeast

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 eggs (+ more for egg wash)

  • 450 g  all-purpose flour

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

Filling:

  • 225 g butter, room temperature

  • 225 g sugar

  • 100 g marzipan (almonds paste), grated


Sprinkles:

  • raw sugar

  • almonds slivers

Directions:

Mix water, yeast, sugar, eggs and diced butter together in the stand mixer bowl. Let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Add flour and salt and knead the dough together. Do not over-knead the dough. Let the dough rise in a warm spot in the house for about 30 minutes.

Mix together the filling and put it in a piping bag, cutting a dime sized hole.

Preheat the oven 425℉ (220℃). Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

IzxYpDOsSWyxtWTwVUwqlQ.jpg

The dough is kinda sticky, so place the dough onto a well floured surface. Divide it into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out to a narrow rectangle, about the length of your baking sheet. Pipe the filling onto the middle of the rectangle leaving a small piece without in both ends. Fold the dough over the filling, and Pinch the ends tightly, to keep the filling inside. Gently press a dent lengthwise in the middle of the pastry. Place 2 pastries on each baking sheet. (I know, I’m a rebel, I did 3 and one). Brush on some egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and almond slivers. Let the pastries rise for about 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for 15 minutes until dark golden brown.

Let the pastries cool on a wire rack. Serve the pastries slightly warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Salted Almonds

SnacksTove Balle-PedersenComment
Salted Almonds

Salted Almonds

Salted almonds are a perfect snack pre-dinner, with an afternoon drink or when you are craving something salty. And they are really easy to make. You can change them up with whatever spices you like. Today I added some smokiness with smoked paprika.

Make a small bowl full.

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml water

  • 3½ tablespoons sea salt

  • 2½ teaspoons smoked paprika

Directions:

Boil the water and dissolve the salt in it. Add the paprika and the almonds. Let it come to a boil. Take off the heat, and let the almonds soak for about 20 minutes.
Drain the water from the almonds, and spread the almonds in an even layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the almonds at 300℉ (150℃) for about 20 minutes. Let the salted almonds cool completely before eating.

Enjoy!

Preserved Lemons

Tove Balle-PedersenComment
Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

When life gives you lemons…… You preserve them!

Becoming a lemon tree again.

Becoming a lemon tree again.

Our lemon tree is having a very productive year. 🍋🍋🍋🍋🍋
When we moved into our new house, we were lucky that it came with a lemon tree, or rather a lemon hedge. It was cut into a cube, not leaving much room or air to produce much fruit. This summer we decided to let the lemon tree become a real tree again. I think both the tree and we are liking the change.

When you have an excess of fruit you want to preserve the fruit for later use. Lemons gives some challenges in this department. I juiced a lot, and froze it into cubes, to use in drinking water later on. I’m leaving some on the tree, so I have fresh lemons for cooking and baking. And then of course I had to try to preserve lemons in salt and its own juice. These preserved lemons are great in Moroccan food, with seafood or lamb dishes. I cannot wait to use my own preserved lemons.

Preserved Lemons.

Preserved Lemons.

Makes 1 jar filled.

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 lemons, number depends on size of lemons and jar.

  • salt

Seasoning:

  • 1 bay leave

  • 5 black peppercorns

or

  • 1 dried red chili pepper

  • 5-8 red peppercorns

Instructions:

Wash the lemons thoroughly. Cut off the top of the Lemons. Slice the lemons open in quarters, leaving the ends attached.  Just slice down a little over ¾ of the way. Put about a tablespoon salt on the exposed flesh, then close up the fruits to reshape them.

Put 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a dry and sterile jar.

Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding a little more salt, and the chosen spices between layers. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

Let the lemons ferment on the kitchen counter for the first 3 days, shaking the jar a few times daily to distribute the salt and juice. After 3 days transfer the jar to the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 4 weeks before using. 

To use, take the desired amount out with a clean fork. Rinse the lemon, under running water to remove excess salt. Normally you will remove and discard the pulp. But for Chicken with preserved lemons & green olives, I use the pulp as well.
Preserved lemons will keep up to a year in the refrigerator.

In most countries preserved lemons are not stored in the refrigerator, they're simply kept in a cool, dark place. I've added the recommendation to store in the fridge based on USDA guidelines. Store them according to your own preference.

Enjoy!

Mrs. Hobbs's Italian Rosemary Cookies

Cake, Christmas, Cookies, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
Italian Rosemary Cookies

Italian Rosemary Cookies

These cookies are to die for!!!

How my friend and the whole world kept this recipe away from me, for so many years, it’s beyond my understanding.

If you only are baking one cookie this year, make it this one!

Makes 60-70.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g butter, salted and room temperature

  • 400 g sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 30 g raw pistachios, finely chopped

  • 10 g (3 tablespoons) fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  • 450 g all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 orange, the zest

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add 1 egg at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated, befor adding the next. Mix in orange zest, rosemary, and pistachios. Sift flour, sant and baking powder and incorporate it in the dough.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each part into a log (2 inch in diameter), wrap in Glad wrap, shape the log into a square, by pressing the log onto the kitchen counter. Refrigerate overnight. Try to make a smooth surface to get an even look on the finished cookies. Well, the dough were very soft, so I didn’t get the smooth surface on my logs. 🙃

Cut the logs into thin cookies and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake until golden around the edges, about 5-7 minutes at 350°F. Cool cookies on the pan on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!