The Danish word Hygge has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as more of us embrace the concept of a cosy lifestyle.
What does cosy mean to you?
Yes, warmth and comfort come to mind but so does good food, healthy lifestyle and mindfulness. At California Prunes we too are looking to the Danes and taking on board the same principles of Hygge. In looking through the recipe archive we realised that Hygge isn’t dependent on cold climates and snow, it can be just as relevant in the California sun, for instance, appreciating the moment when the plums are at the perfect moment for harvesting.
As we approach Valentine’s Day we wanted to collate some recipes that embody Hygge, that can be as enjoyable to make with loved ones as they are to eat. They are healthy and hearty, reminiscent of times past and can be savoured. Wouldn’t that be a Hygge way to spend a few hours? The oven warms the kitchen and the aroma of the baking ingredients permeates the air, *insert sigh here…
To inspire your Hygge baking experience, below are a few suggestions for some recipes to explore.
We can start with a Caramelised Pecan and Prune Tart. You can make this ahead and eat cold with some whipped cream or serve it warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream or custard. In our experience, it rarely has time to get cold before it is devoured.
- 100 grams pecans
- 175 grams double cream
- 175 grams sugar
- 1 tablespoon walnut or pecan oil
- 175 grams pitted and coarsely chopped California Prunes
- 1 short crust tart shell, pre-baked
- 60 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until they smell nutty and are a light golden colour which should take from 3 to 5 minutes. Increase the oven to 200°C.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, mix the cream, sugar and walnut oil. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer slowly until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the pecans and prunes and stir together. Let this stand for 15 minutes.
Pour the filling into a pre-baked pastry case distributing the nuts and prunes evenly. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is a combination of creamy white and russet caramel and looks like rice krispies.
Cool the tart in the tin on a rack for 15 minutes before loosening the tart with a thin paring knife.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. With a fork, using a back and forth motion, drizzle threads of chocolate onto the top of the tart, distributing evenly. Cut into pieces and serve.
For an afternoon treat to accompany a delicious hot chocolate you could add a slice of California Prune and Apricot Flapjacks. This is one recipe you might like to get the kids involved in if you aren’t going to get stressed by any mess they make – that would defeat the object of Hygge!
- 75g California Prunes, chopped
- 150g rolled oats
- 2 tbsps bran
- 100g light muscovado sugar
- 75g butter or margarine
- 50g clear honey
- 65g coconut flakes
- 50g dried ready-to-eat apricots, chopped
Grease and line an 18cm (7”) square cake tin. Place the oats and bran in a mixing bowl.
Place sugar, butter and honey into a saucepan. Heat gently until melted. Pour mixture into dry ingredients, stirring well.
Stir in the coconut flakes, California Prunes and apricots. Pour into prepared tin. Place in pre-heated oven
at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 and bake for 20 minutes.
Score into 8 bars and leave to cool.
Finally, here is a recipe that you can really take your time over: the California Prune Fruit Loaf. Enjoy the kneading process, get into the rhythm of baking and have a little me time while the rich California Prune Fruit Loaf bakes.
Here is Rosemary Shrager to show you how…
If you have embraced the Hygge lifestyle in your baking, share your ideas with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We will happily and hyggily* share the best ideas.
*totally made up word but submitted to Oxford English Dictionary for future editions.