The following recipes for Christmas dishes come from the greatest classic of Danish cookery literature ever: ‘Frk. Jensens Kogebog’ (Mrs Jensen’s Cookery Book). This cookery book, which contains most traditional Danish dishes, was first published in 1901, and is still found in most Danish homes.
Recipe for Duck with Apples and Prunes
And med æbler og svesker
1 duck (3000 g)
1 tsp salt
150 g prunes
¾ litre of water
3 tbsp duck fat
2 tbsp flour
Rub the duck with salt. Fill it with apple slices and prunes and close it with meat pins. Place the duck on a grid over a dripping pan and place giblets and neck in the pan. Roast the duck for 2½ - 3 hours at 160C, for the first 45 mins with the back upwards. After 45 mins, the fat is poured away and the water added. The duck can be browned later if it is not crisp, roast for approx. 10 mins at 225C. Check that it is thoroughly done. Leave to rest for approx. 20 mins in the turned-off oven before it is carved.
Pour away the gravy and skim it of fat. Melt the duck fat for the sauce in a saucepan. Stir in the flour. Gradually whip in the gravy. Boil the sauce for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with potatoes, both white and caramelised, sour-sweet red cabbage, pickled large cucumbers or gherkins, jam or halved steamed apples with jelly.
Recipe for Caramelised Potatoes
1 kg small boiled and peeled potatoes
85 g sugar
75 g butter
Rinse the potatoes in cold water and drip dry.
Melt the sugar in a frying pan until golden. Add the butter and put the potatoes in the mixture when the butter has stopped fizzing. Brown the potatoes over a brisk fire while stirring.
Caramelised potatoes are not suitable for re-heating, for then they will not become shiny, but dull and furry.
Serve with Christmas roasts, boiled cured saddle of pork and ham.
Recipe for Rice à l’Impératrice
Ris a l’amande
1 plateful of cold rice pudding (3/4 dl pudding rice boiled in ½ litre of milk)
25-50 g almonds
1-2 tbsp sugar
vanilla-flavoured sugar or the content of ½ vanilla pod
to taste, a little pale port or sweet sherry
2 dl double cream
Blanch the almonds and chop them roughly. Stir almonds, sugar and vanilla into the rice pudding. To taste, flavour with a little sweet sherry or port. Whip the cream and fold it into the rice pudding. Pour the dessert into a serving bowl.
Serve with cherry sauce or other fruit sauce.
Recipe for Buttermilk Apple Dumplings
Æbleskiver med kærnemælk
5 dl flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
grated peel of 1 unsprayed lemon
approx. 4 dl buttermilk
oil or butter for baking
Mix flour, salt, sugar, cardamom, baking soda and grated lemon peel. Beat egg yolks and buttermilk together and stir in the flour. Leave the batter to rest for approx. 30 mins. Whip the egg whites and fold them into the batter, then pour it into a jug.
Heat up the apple dumpling pan and pour a little oil or melted butter into each hole. Three quarter fill each hole with batter. Turn over the dumplings when they begin to stiffen and rise at the edges. Before the dumplings are turned, a thin sliver of apple or a little apple sauce may be added to each. Turn the dumplings several time during the baking.
Test whether they are done by pricking them with a wooden or knitting needle. If any batter sticks to the pin, they are not yet done.
Keep the apple dumplings hot in the oven. Serve with jam and sugar.