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Wild Finnish strawberries and bilberries Berry pies and tarts  —  especially those made with the summer's first bilberries  —  are an essential part of Finnish summer.

Apart from the cake bottom, the following tart does not require baking.

sponge cake bottom:
1 egg
pinch of vanilla sugar
fresh wild strawberries (or regular strawberries)
fresh bilberries (or blueberries)
vanilla sugar flavoured whipped cream
clear honey (preferably Finnish polyfloral honey)

Prepare the sponge cake batter according to the instructions given here. Line a small, flat and shallow, preferably round cake pan (Ø about 18 - 20 centimetres) or a small jelly roll pan with buttered baking parchment. Pour the cake batter in the pan, smoothing the surface slightly with a spatula.

Bake the batter at 175 °C for about 7 - 20 minutes or until the cake feels firm and has started to colour around the edges. The baking time depends on the thickness of the batter. If baked for too long, the cake bottom will become hard and crisp. The result should instead be soft and spongy. In case the cake bottom turns out a bit dry, you may soak it with plain or flavoured sugar syrup.

Meanwhile, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with sugar and set aside. Let the sponge cake bottom cool for one or two minutes before turning it out on the sugared parchment paper. Remove the top parchment paper gently. If it sticks to the cake bottom, dampen it with some cold water, this will help to detach it.

Let the cake bottom cool. You may cut it into a desired shape, eg a circle, if it was not baked in a round pan. Place the cake bottom on the serving plate and spoon the whipped cream on it. (You will probably need about  150 millilitres of unwhipped cream.)

Raspberry tart Cover the cream with the mixed berries. If you are using regular strawberries instead of the wild berries, cut them in half. Just before serving, drizzle some honey on the berries. Serve the tart for dessert with coffee or tea.

You may also use any other berries you may like instead of the wild strawberries and bilberries. Raspberries were used to top the tart in the picture on right. Instead of being drizzled with honey, the berries were glazed with jelly made with jelly sugar.

Note: if eating bilberries for the first time, you should note that they will stain your mouth and teeth blue, though not permanently!

Recipe source: family recipe.


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