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Summer is upon us here in Southern Scandinavia and we’ve just enjoyed a lovely warm sunny four-day holiday weekend which began Thursday. This past Thursday was “Kristi himmelsfärdsdag” which translates in English to “Christ Ascension Day” and like many in Sweden we took Friday off as well. What fun we had.
This is the time of the year when the rapeseed (think Canola Oil) fields are in full bloom. Their yellow blossoms cover vast areas of the Southern Sweden landscape. So, we decided to drive through the fields so we could share this fantastic time of the year with you. Oh, don’t worry the “Rhubarb” is coming later. We have a classic Swedish spring Rhubarb recipe, Rabarberpaj med ton av kokos, coming at you at the end of the post.
Jump to Recipe
We drove the fields over a couple of mornings taking hundreds of images. Not to worry, we’re just posting our favorite few.
Technically, the Meteorological Summer begins here June 1st. But, here in Sweden it is determined to be Summer when we have seven consecutive days when the daily average temperature does not go lower than 10 °C (50°F). This occurred a couple of weeks back and we’re now officially in Summer. Confusing isn’t it, but you must remember our day lengths are much longer up here. As of this posting, the official sunrise is 4:30am (04:30) and our sunset is 9:37pm (21:37). That’s 17 hours and 7 minutes of pure daylight. We’ll peak in day length mid-summer (June 24th) with sunrise at 3:32 am (03:22) and sunset at 10:08 pm (22:08) or over 21 hours when it’s bright enough outside to play golf. Sounds great, but the downside is mid-December when the sun just barely rises for 6 hours.
Enough about the weather, how about another rapeseed field image?
Bicycles and Pheasants
Besides driving through the rapeseed fields, we were scouting out places to bike ride.
FYI: Ok, stop laughing, I know the thought of a crippled up 65-year-old man riding a bike is funny (and it is), but we’re gonna do it. (Sympathy Card Alert) For those of my readers that aren’t aware, I have very limited motion in my left leg, which is due to an injury in my youth. Thus, I haven’t been able to ride a bike for many years. But that’s all about to change (I hope), as a unique pedal device has been developed that will allow me back on the track. I’m stoked!
So we drove through the countryside searching for the best places of a man of my tender age to ride a bike. Now, I’m not ignoring my lovely wife and editor, she’s Swedish and they know how to ride a bike at birth. Besides she’s much younger and nimbler than me. She’s very excited as well, as she picked up her new Crescent (Swedish made) Sunnan 7-vxl complete with a basket in front.
Nope, at 56 pounds, Chloe dog won’t be riding there.
We drove down beautiful country roads, dodging the pheasants as they crossed the roads.
Ever seen a pheasant caution sign?
They’re all over the countryside and so are the pheasants.We have lots of pheasants around here. They’re such beautiful birds.
Now for the Dessert Recipe
Rhubarb is one of our first harvest here in Sweden and thus loved by most. We use it for marmalades, jellies, compotes and chutneys of various types. It’s baked into cakes with ginger, strawberries and even chocolate. Rhubarb tarts come with strawberries and goat cheese, cream cheese or almond paste. Of course, it’s also used in drinks for kids and adults. There’s nothing like a Rhubatini, Rhubarb & Grapefruit Collins as well as Sparkling Rhubarb Spumante.
But the one you’re going to see the most at dinner parties these days is a Rhubarb Crumble. So, “Rabarberpaj med ton av kokos” or Rhubarb Crumble with a Hint of Coconut, is our recipe today! It’s super simple and very pleasing to consume. The “Rabarberpaj med ton av kokos” recipe come straight out of the ICA website, which deserves all the credit for this recipe. Below, we’ve adapted and translated the recipe into English.
Chloe says, “I’m not riding on this thing, who do you think I am, Toto from Wizard of Oz?
The following recipe is approved for human and dog consumption, by Chloe!
Rhubarb Crumble with A Hint of Coconut
Rhubarb and toasted coconut are made to go together and in this quick and easy recipe they do just that. Great served with Vanilla Bean ice cream.
- 8 tbsp (4 0z 0r 113g) Butter, room temperature.
- 2/3 cup (1.5 dl or 2-3/4 oz) All-purpose flour.
- 1/2 cup (.75 dl or 1.5 oz) Shredded Coconut.
- 1/2 cup (.75 dl or 2.5 oz) Bob's Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (or equivalent)
- 1/4 cup (.6 dl or 1-3/4 oz) Sugar.
- 1/2 tps (.5 tsk) Baking powder.
- 1/2 tps (.5 tsk) Vanilla extract.
- 1 pound (450g) Fresh Rhubarb.
- 1/4 cup (.5dl) Sugar.
- 1 tbsp (1 msk) Potato flour, (corn flour can be substituted).
Toss the oats and coconut together and then toast in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 5-10 minutes. Toss after 5 minutes and then watch closely to avoid burning. This adds another layer of flavor and is very nice if you have the time.
Preheat oven to 375° F (200° C).
Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave.
In a mixing bowl mix the flour, oats, coconut, 1/4 cup sugar and baking powder. Next add the vanilla to the butter and give it a stir. Pour butter over mixture and stir. I use my hands, but a large spoon work as well.
Wash rhubarb and then peel away the stringy outer part of the rhubarb (like removing the strings on celery). Then chop into bite size pieces. Place the pieces evenly in a buttered oven proof dish (pie pan works fine).
Mix the 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar and the potato flour until well blended. Now sprinkle the mixture over the rhubarbs evenly.
You can now spread the crumble mixture over the top of the rhubarb.
Bake the crumble for 25 minutes or until brown. Check it after 20 minutes for doneness.
Cool crumble slightly prior to serving. Serve with ice cream or vanilla sauce.
Strawberry - Rhubarb Option
For a different version and flavor, try replacing half of the rhubarb with fresh strawberries that are cut to a comparable size to the rhubarb.