vadelmamunkit & sima / hallonmunkar & mjöd
There are two kinds of fried sweet goods traditional for May Day over here, doughnuts and May Day fritters (tippaleivät/struvor), which Americans at least would recognize as funnel cakes. The fritters are really more authentic, but as I don't have an army to feed and happen to prefer doughnuts, the choice had to be made.
This was my first time making jam-filled doughnuts, so some research had to be done into how to accomplish this miracle of haute cuisine. In the end, it turned out to be surprisingly simple.
As for the mead, every year I astound myself by managing to not blow up bottles or wind up with a flat sugar syrup instead of this wonderfully refreshing fizzy delight. I wouldn't call this foolproof, because I've seen the former happen (my mother is still traumatized fifteen years after the fact). I do believe the recipe comes from the side of the bag of brown sugar, except I use more lemons.
makes about 35 smallish doughnuts
150 ml sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cardamom
500 ml lukewarm milk
50 g fresh yeast
150 g butter, softened
~1½ l flour
1-1½ l oil for frying
Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and blend with the egg mixture. Blend salt and cardamom with about half of the flour and stir into the liquids. Work in the softened butter, then add the rest of the flour, a little at a time until you have a soft, springy dough. (You may need a bit more flour than specified, but try to use as little as you can as this will make the doughnuts softer.) Cover and let rise for about 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
Divide the dough in two, roll out to a thickness of about a cm (scant ½-inch), and cut out circles with a cookie cutter or glass. Flatten these a bit, dot a teaspoon or so of jam onto half of the dough rounds, then top each with another round and pinch the edges of the two rounds together firmly. With a cookie cutter (or glass), trim off the edges so you have a neat, round jelly-filled disc. Repeat with the other dough-half and then the scraps. Cover with a towel and let rise while you heat the oil.
Fry in hot oil for about a minute and a half on each side, until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels, then toss in a plastic bag with some caster sugar to coat.
The jam inside these is VERY HOT. Let them cool properly before trying to eat.
250 g soft brown sugar
250 g caster sugar
2 large organic lemons
4 l water
1 ml fresh or dry yeast
Dissolve the sugars by bringing them to a boil mixed with about a liter of the water. Add the rest of the water to the sugar mixture together with the juice and peel from the lemons (large strips are easier to deal with later on). Wait for the liquid to cool to lukewarm, then sprinkle on the yeast and stir. Let stand at room temperature for about 24 hours, stirring occasionally, then pour (strained through cheesecloth) into clean bottles with tight-fitting caps. Before closing the bottles, drop a few raisins in each and sprinkle on about a tsp of sugar. Let stand at room temperature for about 3 days or in the fridge for 5 (safer). Serve cold.