We sat around the dinning room table, my Mom, sister, Mormor (mom’s mom) and I. Mom poured coffee into antique tea cups and I dusted powdered sugar over plump semlor. Mormor reminisced about her grandfather’s Swedish farm, Ybby. She has a painting of this farm hanging in her living room.
“The last time I had raw milk was when I was in Sweden”, she said as she poured fresh raw milk into her coffee cup. “When we used to visit the farm they had all kinds of stuff like that – homemade cheese and bread…it was so good.”
She was just a girl when she would visit with her brother, sister, and mother. My Mormor is on the right.
Mormor said they would pour warm milk into bowls with the semla – that’s the traditional way to eat it. I decided to add coffee to mine. Maybe it’s mixing cultures because it tastes a lot like Italian tiramisu. I imagine my great-great-grandfather may have tried his semla this way back in the days on the farm.
You’ll never guess what made me want to make this recipe in the first place.
That’s right, a stamp. My Mormor and her Swedish friend, Ruth, (Yes, the one who gave me the recipe for Mazarinmuffins.) send me all the stamps from their foreign correspondence. Many of them boast of Sweden’s delicious pastries and baked goods.
Semla is a cardamom bun filled with almond paste, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but there are similar ones all over the internet. Mormor said these were smaller than usual, but the size was perfect for tea time.
Makes 16 Semlor (Semlor is plural for Semla, in case you were wondering. I was… :)
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 1/4 c. milk
- 5 t. yeast
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. ground cardamom
- 4 c. flour
- 1 egg
- 1 T. water
- 1/2 c. milk
- 200 g. almond paste or marzipan
- powdered sugar
- 1 c. whipping cream
- 1 t. vanilla
For buns –
Melt butter. Add milk and yeast. Let sit 3-5 minutes. Add salt, sugar and egg and beat well.
Combine baking powder, cardamom, and flour. Mix two cups of flour mixture into butter mixture and beat to combine. Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and glossy. Coat with oil, cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Turn out onto a bread board and cut into 16 pieces. Shape into round balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 450. Beat together egg and water. Brush rolls with egg mixture and bake 8 minutes, or until golden. Cool to the touch.
Cut the top off the bun with a serrated knife. Use a fork to make a well in the center of the bottom part of the bun. Reserve the centers for the filling.
For filling –
Combine almond paste and milk in a bowl. Add bun centers and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Spoon into the hollowed buns.
Whip cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. Pipe or spoon onto filled buns. Place the top of the bun on the whipped cream and sprinkle with powdered sugar.