Skånsk egg cake
Äggakaga is a traditional dish originating from Skåne in southern Sweden. I think it is at its best served hot straight from the pan, but at one time it was made for farm labourers helping with the harvest in the autumn (fall) because it could be easily wrapped up and eaten in a field for lunch.
Although I have translated it as egg cake it is not really a cake in the normal sense of the word as it is eaten as a main course. It is more like a thick pancake, but fluffier.
In Skåne it is called äggakaga, but in the rest of Sweden it is called äggakaka. Skåne was ruled by the Danes for many years and so some of their words and their dialect still have a Danish influence. When they pronounce äggakaka it sounds more like äggakaga, which is how they spell it. As the dish originates from Skåne I have stuck with the Skånsk spelling.
Swedes often join words together but sometimes, when that leads to several consonants in a row, they lob in an extra vowel, so ägg + kaka becomes äggakaka. Unfortunately it is not consistent (or obvious to me!) when a vowel will be added, but that's languages for you! John Duxbury
• Use really fresh eggs from a good supplier.
• Swedes usually serve äggakaga with fried slices of rimmat sidfläsk (salted pork). I have suggested using streaky bacon which looks similar, isn't quite as salty and is generally much easier to obtain. However, if you can find some salted pork, I suggest you try both to see which you prefer.
• If you like to flavour the äggakaga with bacon then fry it in the fat left over from frying the bacon instead of using butter. (Many Swedes prefer to cook the äggakaga in the same pan as they have used to fry the bacon.)
• Äggakaga is much easier to cook in an oven, but the flavour and texture tends not to be quite as good. To do so, preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F, gas 7, fan 200°C), pour the batter into a buttered ovenproof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the egg is set.
• Serve äggakaga with apple wedges that have been fried in butter or the bacon fat. As apples grow well in Skåne, this is especially popular in southern Sweden.
• Even if you are only making äggakaga for two people, make sufficient for 4 as it keeps well and can either be eaten cold or reheated in a microwave. A warm wedge of äggakaga topped with rårörda lingon makes a delicious lunch when served with some good bread and a light salad or cold meat.
|600 g||(1¼ lb)||unsmoked (green) streaky bacon|
|150 g||(1¼ cups)||plain (all-purpose) flour|
|700 ml||(3 cups)||milk|
|240 ml||(1 cup)||rårörda lingon|
1. Cooking äggakaga needs all your attention, so fry the bacon first (in two batches if necessary), pat dry with kitchen towel and keep warm.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and half the milk together until you have a thin lump-free batter.
3. Whisk in the rest of the milk and the eggs.
4. Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and wait until it nut-brown. Reduce the heat to half.
5. Pour in the batter and using a wooden spoon or spatula start lightly lift up the egg from the bottom of the pan as it cooks, so that eventualy all the egg is cooked. Only stir the middle, leaving the edges to firm up and hold the shape of the äggakaga. Keep an eye on the bottom to ensure it doesn't get burnt. Once all the egg is cooked and no runny egg remains, raise the heat a bit, scrape down the edges of the äggakaga and generally tidy up the appearance. Check that the underside is nicely browned and then gently easy the edges away from the side of the pan.
6. Take a large plate and rinse it in cold water. Put the plate on top of the pan and wait for one minute. Turn the pan quickly, so that äggakaga ends up bottom-side up on the plate.
7. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and when melted slide the äggakaga back into the pan. Tidy up the äggakaga again and fry for another minute or so until the bottom is golden brown, shaking the pan occasionally.
8. Cut the äggakaga into eight wedges and serve directly from the pan. Top the wedges with fried bacon and garnish with rårörda lingon and chopped chives.
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