Happy Easter / Glad Påsk, everyone!
I really had every intentions of posting this recipe for my family’s delicious filled scones last week… but between travelling to the US, having guests, and Easter holidays, I just didn’t seem to fit it in anywhere! Luckily, this long holiday weekend has been filled with a mix of family time and downtime… which sounds about right considering my husband has 4.5 days off work!
Easter is a really big deal here in Sweden… not really for religious reasons, so much as tradition. To start the Easter season in Sweden, we have to go all the way back to Fat Tuesday. Traditionally Swedes ate Semla buns (a cardamom bun stuffed with almond paste and whipped cream) to fatten everyone up before Lent! Of course, people today don’t fast in Sweden… and you can buy Semla buns from January all the way to Easter, not just on Fat Tuesday… but the tradition is still there (and I for one enjoy it!).
Then comes the Easter holiday break… a day off for Good Friday and a day off for the day after Easter (“Easter Monday) means at least a four day weekend for most working people. Chris’s work was nice to give everyone a half day on Thursday as well (which was probably because most of the office was gone anyways, since school kids were off all week). And in forty days from now, he’ll get another day off work for “ascension day”… who knew there were so many days for celebrating Easter?! We are definitely thankful for this time off, to relax and spend time with family…. something that we notice is incredibly valued in Swedish culture. The happiness we felt during this break was matched by my favorite Swedish decoration… the Easter feather sticks! You see these everywhere and I think they’re so fun, so we had to get some for our home too…
Swedes do most of their celebrating on Easter-eve, with a big family dinner full of classics like meatballs, gravlax (cured salmon), prinskorv (small hot dogs), and a new one for me this year, Janssons Frestelse (think potato gratin with anchovies)…. and of course, lots of shots of snaps! Many of these dishes can be found at other Swedish holidays, like Christmas, but it still is really special. We went to my aunt’s for Easter this year and everyone was talking about how much they had been looking forward to the Janssons Frestelse… even my cousin’s adorable 5 year old daughter!
The idea of celebrating Easter-eve can seem a bit weird for an American who is probably used to celebrating with a breakfast on Easter morning… so Chris and I decided to host a little American-style brunch for my aunt and family on Easter! We made these orange sticky rolls (SO GOOD), an asparagus and leek quiche, scrambled eggs, bacon and a fruit salad…
I know what you’re thinking… “But what about the Easter Scones?!” Well, remember how Chris has had this long weekend off? We actually decided to make them on Good Friday, to celebrate the start of a nice long weekend off work :).
But last year I DID make them for Easter breakfast when my sister was visiting… and I think my family has probably made them for Easter in the past… they are really just my family’s go-to fancy breakfast for something special, be it mother’s day, birthdays, or just any old day when everyone is home from work or school :).
And these really are something special… not your typical boring scone! For one, they are filled with cream cheese and raspberry jam which melt together as everything bakes, and then comes out as an oozing surprise from the middle of each scone… YUM YUM YUM.
The scone dough is actually special as well… blended in with the typical scone dough is both coconut flakes and almond paste, giving it a delicious nutty taste and texture. I also don’t love dry scones, so the extra moisture is a big plus for me.
Finally, the other fun part about these scones are that they are topped with shaved or slivered almond pieces, which you can use to decorate any way you’d like! Last year I topped each scones with the first letter of everyone’s name… this year I shaped the scones in a sort of “egg shape” and tried to decorate them like Easter egg patterns… we’ve also just put the almonds on top in no particular design (and they still tasted good, I promise!).
Although it is probably too late for you to make this for Easter (sorry, again!!) remember that these are perfect for all special occasions or even just to celebrate having a day off work :). Hope you enjoy and HAPPY EASTER!
Raspberry and Cream Cheese Filled Easter Scones
- 2 cups flour / 4.7 dl mjöl
- 2 tablespoons sugar / socker
- 2 teaspoons baking powder / bakpulver
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup finely shredded coconut / 1 dl riven kokos
- 3 ounces almond paste / 85g mandelmassa
- 4 tablespoons butter / 56g smör
- ⅓ cup milk / .8 dl mjölk
- 1 egg / ägg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract / vanilj
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract / mandelarom Filling:
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese / färskost
- 4 tablespoons raspberry jam / hallonsylt Topping:
- 1 egg / ägg
- 1 teaspoon water / vatten
- slivered almonds / mandelspån
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Place the butter and almond paste in the freezer for a few minutes, until very cold (or in the fridge for longer).
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, coconut, and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut the almond paste and butter into small ½ inch / 1.25 cm pieces.
- Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter and almond paste into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbles.
- In another bowl, stir together milk, egg, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Split the dough in half and form four, flat circular pieces out of one half of the dough, placing them on a lined baking sheet.
- Spread cream cheese on each circular dough piece, then top with jam.
- Make four flat, circular pieces out of the second half of dough for the tops.
- Place each one on top of the filled bottoms and press down well on all the edges, pinching them tightly so no filling spills out while baking.
- Mix the egg yolk with the water to create a egg wash, then brush the tops of each scone.
- Decorate the brushed tops of each scone with almond pieces.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Wait a few minutes for the filling to cool down, then enjoy!