Easy Apple Cake

Or sheds are still full of the nice apples we picked a few weeks ago. As my husband pointed out, it is very nice to eat apple cakes (almost) every weekend, made from our own apples. And I like variety, so I took my big Danish baking book, and opened it at the apple cakes. I chose a recipe they call Let Æbletærte, which can be translated to either light, or easy apple cake, but since it is quite full of suger and butter, I chose to go with easy, because it is very easy to make, and results in a light texture. But not “light” from a diet point of view 🙂

apple cake collage

 

I have changed it a little bit, and here is the recipe I followed:

For the cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g sugar
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 125 g flour
  • breadcrumbs

For the topping:

  • 3-4 apples
  • 25 g chopped almonds
  • 1 sp sugar
  • 1/2 sp cinnamon

Method:

Beat eggs and sugar together until its hard, add melted butter and flour, mix it and spread it out in a baking form (about 26 cm in diameter), that is greased with butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.

Peel the apples and cut them into boat shapes. Mix them with half of the sugar and the cinnamon. Place the apple pieces on the top of the dough, and push them gently into it. Sprinkle rest of the sugar and chopped almonds on top. Bake it at 200 Celsius for about 30 mts.

Enjoy it warm, probably with a hint of whipped cream, or vanilla ice-cream 🙂

Easy Apple Cake

 

Danish Meatballs with a Twist

Today my blog is one year old, hurra, hurra, hurra, as Danes would sing it. So I came with a Danish recipe for the joy of all my dear readers 🙂

When it comes to meatballs, every nation has its own favourite. For example, in Hungary we love them made of pork, with lots of garlic and onions and paprika in them. Perfect finger food for a rainy autumn weekend, when the whole family on my Dad’s side is gathered to harvest the grapes on my great-uncles yard and start the process of making wine… but actually this is another story…

Now let’s talk about Danish meatballs. They call them Frikadeller, and they adore them 🙂 My husband is no exception. Frikadeller are made of half pork, half calf meat, and are eaten with boiled potatoes and brown sauce… yummy, I have to say 🙂 Of course when we first moved together, it was one of those dishes I had to learn to make, in order to become the perfect partner for life for a certain Danish boy with green eyes. Luckily I have my mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook, and she very kindly helped me learning to cook the Danish way.

Now let’s talk about minced meat in general. As a mother of two, and a loving wife of a guy who, if he could, would only eat meat, gravy, chips and candy, I need to find the tricky ways to make healthy food, without them noticing it. To be honest, I am quite lucky with my kids, because they like to eat fruits and vegetables, but their father is a suspicious man, and believes, that healthy food is tasteless food. I am on a mission to prove him wrong. And minced meat is my magic weapon! You see, you can hide a hell lot of things in minced meat! Take lasagne or pasta sauce for example. Onion, minced beef, tomatoes, plus I take a few carrotts, turnips, whatever, and grate them into the sauce. In a few meatballs or a meat loaf you can hide grated vegetables and fruits, and your family is eating one after the other, with a pleased smile on their greedy little faces, and they will never find out that they just got a portion of their recommended six-per-day. Hahaha (this is my evil motherly laugh)!

So when I make the Danish style meatballs, I usually grate some apples into them, and they are very nice with some berries like cranberry or blueberry popping up here and there. I made the blueberry version a few days ago, and to be even more healthy, instead of boiled potatoes and brown sauce I chose roasted autumn veggies with parmesan on top, and hummus. No complaints about that from my husband, who just got home from football practice, hungry 🙂 Originally I wanted to put aside a few meatballs, and pack them for my kids’s lunch box the next day – because they are perfect for this purpose – but somehow there was nothing left…

Danish Meatballs With a Twist

Here is the basic recipe for Frikadeller. This amount gives you about 20 pieces:

  • 0.5 kg minced meat (pork and calf mixed)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 sp flour
  • 2-3 sp breadcrumbs
  • 1 dl milk
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil and butter for frying

Optional:

  • grated apple of your choice
  • a handful of cranberries
  • a handful of blueberries

For making the mixture, you have to dice the onion, and mix it with all the other ingredients (except for the oil and butter). It is best for the mixture to sit in the fridge for about an hour before frying.

the mixture

For frying, melt and heat up the oil and the butter together in a large pan. With the help of two spoons, form the meatballs from the mixture. If they get sticky, dip the spoons in cold water, that helps. Fry the meatballs for a few minutes on one side, and when they are golden brown, turn them around, and fry for an additional few minutes.

fry them

And done. Easy-peasy 🙂

Enjoy them fresh and warm, or cold in your lunch pack.

Apple Season

Yes, yes. Early autumn can only mean one thing: Mother nature spoils us with all her treasures in the form of different fruits, berries and nuts.

When you ask me (if you ask me) what is the best thing about us moving out to the country side, to a house with an amazing garden is, I would answer: the apple trees we have in our garden.  And the freedom, and the fresh air, and the local community, etc… But for this post let us stick to the above mentioned apple trees.

Last year, unfortunately some disease attacked all the apple trees in the neighbourhood, we couldn’t really use the vast amount of apples our 3 huge trees give us. But this year, they are perfect 🙂 I don’t know much about different types of apples, but we got to know, that one of our trees gives apples you can eat directly from the tree, and the other two are cooking/baking apples.

And the season came, so it was time to harvest the apples 🙂 Perfect family activity for sunny, warm autumn weekends. A few weeks ago we started with the eating apples, as we got tired of picking them up one by one every day, because they started to ripen and fall of by themselves.

The apple tree

Being new to the situation, we were not sure what method to follow, how is it going to be the most effective way of harvesting our apples. So we kind of had to figure it out during the process 🙂 We started by handpicking the loveliest apples from the tree, but realised, that this way we would never get to the end, as the tree had hundreds of apples. So we went little wild, and started to shake them off. At one point my husband climbed up to the tree, and shook it as hard as he could. He was shouting a little while doing so, and as a result, Cherry started to laugh at him, saying “Daddy is a gorilla!” – Well, he really resembled a gorilla at that point 🙂

Once all the apples were on the ground, we collected them into hills, and sorted them. We put the nice ones into boxes, and the bad ones into trash bags, and those were driven to recycling. Kids were very helpful at sorting.

apple picking nr 1

We repeated the same this weekend, as the first night frost already bit the cooking apples, and that is when they are considered ready. This tree was a bit harder to harvest, as it is very high, impossible to climb up to, and is surrounded by a rose bush. So we climbed up on our ladder, and shook the brenches with the help of long sticks. this was very exciting, especially when Paddington climbed up the ladder behing his Dad, and started to shake it so hard, that they almost ended up in the rose bush. Luckily I have a very good reaction time, and caught the ladder before they fell off…

apple picking nr 2

These apples are yellow, and much more sour than the other ones, but perfect for winter storage and freezing.

Apples for the winter

Sunday I made some apple rolls, with the help of Cherry. It is based on the recipe of cinammon rolls, but I also added apples andcaramell sauce to it. They were yummie 🙂

apple rolls

Now, there is nothing left to do, but to keep the nicest apples for winter, and cut the others into small pieces, and freeze them. My husband said, he is looking forward to eating apple pies every Sunday this winter. Well, honey, if you bake them yourself, sure, why not 🙂

The Ebeltoft rainfestival… I mean applefestival…

Last week was the official autumn break for Danish schools, meaning that a lot of fun and family friendly activities were provided all over Denmark.

So we decided to take Friday off, pack up the family, and go to the Ebeltoft Applefestival. Ebeltoft is a lovely little town on the edge of Djursland (the part where my husband was born and raised), located at the seaside, on a hilly area, full of tiny little cobbler-stoned streets, charming houses, small craft- and artshops, giving home to the Glass Museum, and the Jylland Frigate, which is an old war ship from the 19th century, made into a museum. Ebeltoft is named after apples (æble in Danish), so it is not very surprising, that the city holds a festival dedicated to apples every autumn.

We really like to visit Ebeltoft, because it is simply beautiful there, and we like apples too, and the festival sounded fun, so we set out on Friday. It is about an hour of drive from here, and the closer we got to Ebeltoft, the more and more rain poured down on us… We really hoped that this tendency will stop very soon, because we obviously had our jackets on, but were not prepared for this kind of rain at all. As you can guess, the rain didn’t stop when we parked our car at the bottom of the city, next to the Frigate, so our first thing was to run into the nearest souvenir shop, and buy an umbrella. Now, being a little bit more rainproof, we began our walk in the city, to find the festival. Umbrella or no, we got soaking wet in no time, while following the signs leading to the festival. It was also lunch time, and the kids got whiny, so we entered the first grill place, had some sausage mix, warmed up a little, dried our jackets, and by the time we were done, the rain died down too. From that on it was only dripping, but hey, this is Denmark, so dripping rain is almost a default set-up.

Finally, after a few toddler tantrums from our sons part, and when we could see on each other’s faces with my husband, that we already truly regret coming here, we reached the premises of the festival, and things started to get better. First we spotted some candy apples, bought one for each kid, and it turned out to be the best decision ever, because the apples kept them occupied and happy for the rest of the day 🙂 Now, kids being taken care of, strolling happily beside us, holding our hands, licking the apples, we could really start to absorb the atmosphere and enjoy the festival. There were a lot of these red-striped tents, offering space for different crafts and goodies made of apples. Apple cakes, apple balls, apple juice, apple cider, you name it 🙂 There was also a huge tent housing all the talented craftsmen and -women of the area, it was a pleasure to see all of the nice things and get somewhat inspired by them.

Leaving this tent, we suddenly found ourselves staring at a little train. Obviously the kids, mainly our son, got very excited about it, so we went closer, and found out, that this little express is going around Ebeltoft, stopping at a few places. Since at this point we were quite far away from our parking car, kids getting tired, weather not getting better, we decided to jump on the little express, cuddle under some blankets, and get a ride 🙂 This also turned out to be a very good decision, children were super happy, and if they are happy, so are we 🙂 It was nice and warm under the blankets, and we didn’t have to walk, carrying the kids. Our little train choo-chooed around the city, between the cute little houses, and people were smiling at it wherever we went. We jumped off of it at the old town hall, went into some shops, then slowly walked back down to the parking lot.

All in all, it was a great day and a great experience. We might return next year… if it is not raining… 🙂