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Traditional Finnish Christmas Oven Baked Swede Puree

Updated on February 7, 2013

My family recipe for Finnish Christmas oven baked swede puree

How to make the traditional Finnish oven baked swede puree for Christmas?

As the holidays are approaching I thought to share some recipes with you. This recipe comes from an old Finnish tradition and is one of my all time personal favourites!

This delicacy takes me right back to my childhood Christmases with the white and crisp landscape all around me. For me, the real winter wonderland.

true christmas spirit
true christmas spirit

This recipe is for a huge amount. Enough to feed all of your family and friends. And maybe also their friends as well, following the true Christmas spirit.

But if 5kg of swedes sounds like a daunting task, start with just 1 kg and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

Like my Mother and Grandmother, I always freeze some of the puree I make, to savour even after the holidays.

1kg is enough for at least 10 people. It is a side dish for the Christmas feast, often served with the traditional leg of pork coated with a crispy mustard crumb decorated with whole cloves.

The other traditional oven baked side dishes we serve with pork in Finland are sweet potato puree and pureed carrots with savory creamed rice.

Enjoy! and Happy Holidays!

To make the traditional Finnish oven baked swede puree you need

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 - 2.5 hours

Serves: almost the whole village

Ingredients

  • 5 kg swedes
  • 3 l water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25 g butter and some for the top
  • 5 dl breadcrumbs
  • 5 dl double cream
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper
  • optional: 1 tsp dried and powdered bitter orange/Seville orange peel (Pomeranssinkuori in Finnish)
  • 3 tsp salt or to taste
  • optional: approx. 5 Tbsp (0.75 dl) molasses
  • optional: 4 free range bio eggs
  • on top: breadcrumbs
  • some oven proof dishes: ceramic or glass or metal

Instructions

  1. 1. Peel and slice the swedes. Boil in 3l of water, seasoned with 1 tsp of salt until soft, at least 20 mins.
  2. 2. Sieve the swedes and collect the juice. Puree the swedes until quite fine, with a blender. Add 25g of butter. Mix 0.5l of the cooking juice into the puree. The rest you can use for a vegetable soup or risotto, don't throw it away, it is full of goodness.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and cream together with the spices and salt. Then mix into the pureed swedes with a wooden spoon.
  4. 4. Although optional, now is the to add the molasses to your swedes, approx. 5 Tbsp, or to taste. For me they are indispensable for this dish!
  5. 5. Then let the mixture to cool down a little before adding the eggs. Again, although optional, the eggs add a beautiful yellow hue and consistency to this dish.
  6. 6. The pour the mixture into buttered ovenproof dishes. Remember not to fill over 3/4 of the dish, otherwise your puree will bubble over in the oven. Then smoothen the surface with a back of a large wooden spoon.
  7. 7. Sprinkle each dish with breadcrumbs and add a few knobs of butter on top of each.
  8. 8. While heating your oven to 200C let them to rest. It is not a problem if they cool down completely before baking.
  9. 9. When the oven is ready, bake your purees for 1/2h. Then reduce the oven to 150C and bake for approximate 1 1/2 hours more.
  10. Your traditional Finnish oven baked swede puree for Christmas is ready when the top is slightly brown and has formed a slight crust on top.
  11. This recipe has been passed down for generations in my family. I hope you enjoy it!
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Did you already try my recipe?

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