Peaches and Cream

Peaches and Cream: Elegant Simplicity

Elegant Brioche au Sucre

Apple Tart, Pie and Antique Noritake

Elegant Apple Pie
M-J de Mesterton’s Elegant Apple Pie with Appliqué

Antique Noritake
Apple Tart and Antique Noritake, by M-J de Mesterton

M-J’s Recipe for Elegant Apple Pie Appears on The Elegant Cook

M-J's Original Almond-Lemon Flavoured Faerie Cakes
M-J’s Original Almond-Lemon Flavoured Faerie Cakes

Below: Hosting a Tea Party; Formal Tea; the True Definition of “High Tea” is “Workingman’s Supper”

Afternoon Tea, Explained ("High Tea" is Merely a Workman's Supper)
Afternoon Tea, Explained
(“High Tea” is Merely a Workman’s Supper)

Christmas Recipe: Povitica, or Walnut Roll

pavatitsapotica My mother, Lorraine, wrote and published this recipe in her book, The Pasty of the Copper Country. I have written my own interpretation of the recipe here:


Dough for Six Twelve-inch Loaves:

2 packages of active dry yeast

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 cup of soft butter

2 cups of scalded milk

4 egg yolks, beaten slightly

1 cup granulated sugar

About 9 cups of sifted flour (I prefer unbleached, white flour)

Dissolve the yeast in warm water.

Combine scalded milk, sugar, salt, and butter. Cool until lukewarm. Stir slightly beaten egg yolks into yeast mixture. Add 4 cups of flour, mixing thoroughly. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time, forming a stiff but not sticky ball of dough. Knead the dough until it is soft, light and smooth. Place it in a greased or buttered bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let dough rise in a warm place for an hour and a half, or until doubled in bulk.

Walnut Filling for Six Twelve-Inch Loaves

1 lb. finely ground walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of cream or half & half

1/4 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups of granulated, white sugar

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1 teaspoon of salt

4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Process walnuts until they’re finely ground. Heat cream in a large saucepan until almost boiling. Pour this cream into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and let it melt. Mix the walnuts, sugar, salt and vanilla bread crumbs into the hot cream and butter. Then, gently fold your stiffly beaten egg whites into the walnut mixture. Divide the risen dough into six equal parts; do not knead. With a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a large rectangle. Spread thickly with the walnut filling. Roll this jelly-roll style, pulling the dough thinner as you go along, so that the filling will be thick between the dough layers. Twist the ends of loaves to seal them. Place loaves on greased cookie sheets (or, use French bread loaf pans). Let the loaves rise in a warm place for an hour. Bake them in a 375* oven until lightly browned. After cooling for 15 minutes, remove loaves from the pans. and butter the tops of them lightly. Povitica (also spelled “pavatitsa”, “pavateca”, potica, and povatica) may be wrapped and frozen. Copyright M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Survival, December 2008

Leipäjuusto: Make Your Own Finnish Cheese

Photo by Teemu Rajala, Finland
Leipäjuusto with Cloudberry Jam: Photo by Teemu Rajala, Finland

Click Image to Enlarge Recipe

My mother gave me a booklet in 1985, when it was published: Kitsi Finnish Foodways, a publication of Suomi College (now called Finlandia University) for FinnFest 1985. My copy of Kitsi is yellowed. My dear,  departed mother, who worked at Suomi College’s Finnish-American Heritage Center  for  more than twenty years, drew the illustrations on Kitsi’s cover. Leipäjuusto is an unusual creation that I really like with rye bread, when in Finland. Here is the recipe for making your own Finnish Squeaky Cheese.Update: I’ve just found my mother’s friend, Beatrice Ojakangas’ blog, where she hosts a richer recipe for leipäjuusto.

Here is a recipe for Finnish Apple Cake, by Beatrice Ojakangas, the Queen of Scandinavian Cooking

Makes 12 servings
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
dash salt
3/4 cup light cream or undiluted evaporated milk
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/2 inch
Cinnamon sugar: 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together; add the eggs and beat until light. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the cream mixture alternately with the cream. Mix until batter is smooth and spread into the prepared pan.
Insert the apple slices so that the outer edges of the apple slices are up. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and dry. Serve warm.
~~Copyright Beatrice Ojakangas, The Finnish Cookbook, 1964