Despite lots of heavy food, sugar, alchohol and grey winters the Danes are a surprisingly healthy bunch. Their legendary rye bread has a lot to do with that. Makes 1 loaf or multiply quantities by 2.2 for two.
4 liters unfiltered apple juice
a bottle of brown rum
200 g unrefined sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
10 star anise
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 tbsp cardamon pods, lightly crushed
Heat everything except the rum together and stand for at least a couple of hours. Adjust sugar and lemon juice to balance the toddy’s acidity.
Just before serving heat to below boiling, add the rum and serve immediately. If your guests are thirsty, make lots!
From: Camilla Plumb
Duck for christmas in Denmark. The sauce is time-consuming but delicious. A good thing about traditional food like this is that every last piece of the luxury ingredient (duck in this case) gets used to full advantage.
a whole duck, washed, patted dry and seasoned
6 cox orange apples, cored and sliced
300 g prunes de-stoned
liver from the duck, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
neck and giblets from the duck
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
200 ml red wine
150 ml double cream
cornflour dissolved in little cold water (optional)
Trim extraneous fat from the duck and melt in a pan. Brown the apple in the fat, add thyme, prunes, liver, season well and stuff the duck. Fasten both ends with kitchen needles. Put on a grill over an oven tray, breast down and bake at 165’C for 40 min per kilo. Turn the duck over after 2/3 of the time. Turn the heat up to 190’C for the last 10 mins to ensure crispness.
At an opportune point remove the juices and fat collecting in the oven tray to a large frypan (juices can be collected later too). Add onion, garlic and duck remnants and fry til soft. Add wine and bayleaf and reduce. Add boiling water to cover, season and simmer.
When the duck is done, remove from oven and rest uncovered 20 mins.
Sieve sauce and skim off excess fat if you wish. Return to pan, add cream and thickening if desired, simmer up gently, check final seasoning.
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
200 ml elderflower cordial diluted to drinking strength
juice of 1 lemon
Put pineapple with elderflower in a 180’C oven for 15 mins or just tender. Add lemon juice to taste.
Serve with drained yoghurt or vanilla icecream
A classic of the Danish family table, freshened up a bit.
300 g minced salmon
300 g fine minced white fish
1 cooked potato (preferably baked) peeled and mashed
1 carrot, grated and squeezed dry
2 eggs, beaten
100 ml milk
2 tb flour
Combine fish meats well and season. Add egg, flour and milk gradually while mixing to a smooth consistency. Mix in carrot and potato. Season again and chill in the fridge for 30 mins to stiffen it up.
Fry dollops of the mix in half oil / half butter over medium heat. Turn and flatten a little. Both sides should be mottled brown and the fishcake cooked well through.
Serve with lemon wedges and/or remoulade, a sticky adulterated mayonnaise that you need to be Danish to enjoy.
This naturally begs comparison with asian fishcakes, but is rather more processed and possibly the easiest way of getting oily fish into children I know. Could easily by jazzed up with chilli, lemongrass or other fresh herbs.
A very rich version of a Danish tradition, to be eaten hot with black coffee. Not for the health conscious.
26 active yeast
100 g sugar
rind of 1 lemon
2 tsp ground cardamon
200 ml milk, lukewarm
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
raisins or currants
Prove yeast in the milk, add everything else except butter and knead to a sticky dough. Let rise until doubled in size (quickest would be 2 hours). Next roll the butter in. Roll dough out very thin and butter the top. Fold dough over itself a few times, roll out again and repeat twice more. Sprinkle with raisins/currants.
Form rolls. Take a handful of dough and fold the sides in towards the middle until the roll is springy and glossy. Put on greased baking paper, well spaced out, and brush with egg. Bake at 200’C for about 10 min. They should be pillowy soft inside.