Vappu

Today is May Day, Vappu in Finnish. Vappu comes from the Swedish term “Valborgsmässoafton” (Walpurgis Night) a traditional festival for Spring. The celebration actually begins on the evening of last day of April and continues to 1st of May.

Vappu can be compared to a big street Carnival in Finland, everyone is soooooo happy, go out to have picnics and party outside. People wear decorative clothes, children get huge colored helium balloons, you can throw serpentines and wear your “yliopilaslakki“, the cap you receive when you graduate in High School (lukio). The same cap is used for “crowning” statues in towns around the country. 

Also, as part of the tradition, people enjoy Sima, a sparkling drink that you can make yourself at home, usually accompanied by tippaleipä (a traditional Vappu fried cake), rosette (fried pastry) or munkki (donuts).

According to Finnish Wikipedia sima is considered to be mead but differs a lot from its counterparts by being much more sweeter and flavored with citrus fruits. Its alcohol content is very low too.

Honey might have been used to make Sima in the old times but nowadays the flavors are given the most by brown sugar and lemons. Believe me, it is a very refreshing beverage!

Sadly, I didn’t have time to make Sima last year… The beverage needs to be prepared in advance,  takes about one week for it to become ready. 

 

Sima

Sima – Traditional Finnish Mead 

Recipe adapted from here 

  • 4 l water
  • 500 g brown sugar (because I prefer a darker sima with deep flavor. If you want lighter, use 250g brown sugar and 250g caster sugar)
  • 1/2 dl honey
  • 2 organic lemons (juice and zest). Alternatively, remove the rinds and slice the lemons. 
  • 1/5 tsp fresh yeast (about the size of a pea)
  • sugar and raisins for the bottles

Utensils:

  • a big clean bucket (I used a 10L bucket) or a big pan with loosen lid
  • 4-5 bottles with caps (if you don’t have glass ones, use clean plastic soda bottles, well washed and dry)

Boil 2 litres of water and put the sugar into the bucket. Pour the boiling water over the sugar and stir to combine. Once the sugar is totally dissolved, add the rest of water, honey, lemon juice and zest (or the lemon slices)

Let cool to lukewarm, then stir in yeast (dilute it in a small amount of water and add to the mixture). Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours (and up to 48 hours), until surface begins to bubble slightly. 

On the second or third day you can bottle the sima. Strain the liquid into clean glass bottles or plastic ones. Add to each bottle a couple of raisins (3-5) and 1 tsp of caster sugar. Make sure the caps or lids are barely screwed on. Don´t close too tight!! Leave space for the gas to escape otherwise you will get too much pressure to your bottles.

Sima is ready when the raisins float on the surface (on day 5 or 6): takes about 3 days at room temperature or a week refrigerated (the temperature affects how quickly the beverage ferments).

Once ready, tighten the caps and put the bottles in the fridge. If you fear it is getting too much carbonated, release any gas from bottles that are too tight.

Keep in cool and serve chilled! 

Consume in one week

Obs:

You can easily double the recipe. Use 1/4 tsp fresh yeast for 1kg of sugar (half white half brown). 

The raisins are added in the “secondary fermentation” to control the amount of sugars and to act as an indicator of readiness for consumption — they will swell by absorbing carbon dioxide and rise to the top of the bottle when the drink is ready (from Wikipedia article on Sima)

 

Tippaleipä

Hauskaa Vappua! Happy 1st of May friends!!


This post was written by karaimame exclusively for Acquiring Taste. All writing, images and other materials in this blog remain the property of Acquiring Taste and cannot be used without permission.

M´s Cheesecake

October 25, 2010

M´s Cheesecake

Some years ago I tried this cheesecake in a potluck lunch with friends. It was just delicious and the idea of that cheesecake stayed in my mind.

The lady who baked it and I became very good friends. I value her friendship a lot and we try to keep in touch whenever it is possible (she is not living in Finland at this moment).

Anyways.. I was thinking about making some sort of cake to celebrate my wedding anniversary and I wanted to try something different  this time. Talking this and that with my friend “M” , suddenly her cheesecake came to my mind and I had (HAD) to ask her for the recipe ^_^.

And lovely as she is, she promptly sent it to me! =)

“M” suggested to serve the cheesecake with bilberry/blueberry jam. Unfortunately we didn’t have it at home and I was too lazy to make some with my frozen blueberries. I served with the jams we had in the fridge. Each from the family could choose what jam they wanted on top.

Ja “M”, kiitos  reseptista! Arigatou! Olet tosi suloinen!

M´s Cheesecake

M´s Cheesecake

Yield a 18 cm cheesecake (about 12 small slices)

  • 6 – 8 Digestive biscuits, finely crumbled (I used 8, about 120 g total). Digestive cookies are similar to graham crackers.
  • 40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 pack Philadelphia cream cheese (200 g, full fat)
  • 2 dl (200 ml) cream
  • 70 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used the lemon zest too, even if not mentioned in the original recipe)

Heat oven to 180 °C

If you didn’t brake your biscuits yet, put them inside a strong freezer bag and smash using a rolling pin (or use your hands, a meat hammer.. think about something that bothers you and release the anger on those biscuits! ^_^)

Mix the crumbs, butter and milk. Press onto bottom of 18 cm springform pan, line based with greaseproof paper.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and the rest of the ingredients. Pour over crust.

Bake for about 40 min until slightly golden or center is set.

Refrigerate after it cools from the oven. I left it inside the pan for the night in the fridge.

To serve, remove the rim of the pan by running a knife around the rim (I used a wooden knife because I didn’t want to damage my pan). Remove the rim carefully and “slide” the cake to the serving plate.

Slice and top with fresh fruits or jam and serve.

My notes about the recipe:

The cheesecake was very good and very easy to make (like “M” said!), perhaps too big for our small family. I will try to half the recipe next time and see how it comes out.

I prefer a more “tangy” taste for a cheesecake and would add more lemon juice ( update: reading about the subject I figured out to use sour cream instead. Should definitely bake another to compare! :P). Anyways, I fixed it by eating my slice with a big dollop of my homemade apple-lemon jam (and cherry jam the next day). ^_^

My girls got disappointed they couldn’t decorate a “normal” cake for the wedding anniversary so I allowed them to use some sprinkles…

Heh (♡:lla to Mr mies!)

M´s Cheesecake

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