|Semla ~ a Swedish tradition|
During the past Christmas season, J & I did some ethnic cooking/eating. J was studying holiday traditions from various countries & cultures, so I made recipes from those places. I decided to continue that cooking/eating theme for Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras / and now for Easter. This time I looked to my fathers side of the family for some cooking inspiration.
|Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea|
On my fathers side of the family, we come from Scandinavian stock ~ my great-grandparents came from Sweden & Norway. I decided on ~ Easter in Sweden ~ I searched the web & found out about this lovely Swedish bun/pastry called Semla, it's served throughout Sweden this time of year. It's enjoyed from just before Lent & right through until Easter. It's a wheat bun, scented with cardamom, filled with almond paste, custard & whipped cream ~ I decided right then & there that I would have to try making it. Here is the first Semla recipe that caught my eye. The post has lots of interesting info on this Swedish Lent / Easter-time specialty, past & present.
|The hollowed out inside of the bun is filled with almond paste, custard, crumbled bread, cardamom & topped with whipped cream|
I kept on looking for more Semla recipes & after looking at a lot of online recipes, I came to the conclusion that I would definitely have to tweak a basic store bought, wheat bun Semla recipe. I'm not really a baker & I wanted something NOW, not something I would have to go to the store for, buy a bunch of stuff for, or to stress over. I wanted to make something that had similar flavors that would allow all of us the chance to enjoy a little bit of Swedish 'Lent / Easter celebration' food. I was in luck ~ I had a can of whipped cream, tub of Cool Whip & a pop'n'fresh can of wheat pizza dough in the fridge and a jar of almond butter, powdered sugar, vanilla/tapioca pudding cups, almond extract & cardamom in the pantry. Alright, I was ready to create my Semla!
|Semla Petit Four|
So, if you are not a stickler for having to follow traditional recipes to the letter & you want to try a Swedish Lent / Easter inspired pasty bun, give my adapted Semla recipe a try. I'm sure you will love it as much as we do.
Quick & Easy Swedish Semlamakes 6 buns
1 can refrigerated pizza dough, cut/divided into 6 pieces (buns) ~
bake at 350 degrees until 'buns' are done & golden, cool
Easy 'Almond Paste'
2 tbsp almond butter
8 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract (or to taste)
~ pinch of cardamom
2 vanilla/tapioca pudding cups
~ powdered cardamom
~ can of whipped cream or tub of cool whip (regular/lowfat/fat free)
1) make easy almond paste by mixing almond butter, powdered sugar,
almond extract & a pinch of cardamom ~ together until smooth
2) cut out a triangle 'lid' from each cooled bun & hollow out as much of the
inside of the bun as you can. Crumble the pulled out bread in a bowl &
mix with one heaping tbsp almond paste mixture & one heaping tbsp
pudding ~ blend all well (add a little milk or whipped cream it too dry)
3) fill the hollowed out bun with the almond/pudding mix, then top
generously with whipped cream/cool whip & sprinkle with a little
4) replace the bun lid, resting it gently on top of the whipped cream &
sprinkle filled bun with a little powdered sugar
5) repeat process with remaining buns
6) if using canned whipped cream ~ enjoy immediately
if using Cool Whip ~ store in fridge until ready to eat ~ use within one day
** If you wanted to make this even easier, just use store bought, unsplit buns or rolls ~ either from the bakery self-serve case or maybe even using some Kings Hawaiian Rolls ~ Ooo, I'll have to try that myself next time :)