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How to make southern Sweden's farmers' egg cake

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Southern Swedish egg cake. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
06:59 CET+01:00
Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe for traditional southern Swedish egg cake served with pork and lingonberries.

Äggakaga (egg cake) is a traditional dish originating from Skåne in southern Sweden. You can eat it any time of the year and it is best served hot straight from the pan, but at one time it was made for farm labourers helping with the harvest in autumn, because it could easily be wrapped up and eaten in a field for lunch.

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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 it, it sounds more like äggakaga (or even äggakauga), which is how they spell it.

Summary

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 35 minutes

Ingredients

600g unsmoked streaky bacon

150g plain flour

1 ½ tsp salt

700ml milk

8 eggs

3 tbsp butter

240ml lingonberries (or lingonberry jam)

Method

1. Cooking äggakaga needs all your attention, so fry the bacon first (in two batches if necessary), pat dry with a 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 two tablespoons of butter and wait until it turns nut-brown. Reduce the heat to half.

5. Pour in the batter and using a wooden spoon or spatula lightly lift up the egg from the bottom of the pan as it cooks, so that eventually all the egg is cooked. Only stir from 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 burned. Once all the egg is cooked and no runny egg remains, raise the heat a bit, scape down the edges of the äggakaga and generally tidy up the appearance. Check that the underside is nicely browned and then gently ease 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 the äggakaga ends up bottom-side up on the plate.

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7. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and when melted slide the äggakaga back into the pan. Tidy it up 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 lingonberries and chopped chives.

Tips

- 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.

- Äggakaga is much easier to cook in an oven, but the flavour and texture tend not to be quite as good. To do so, preheat your oven to 220C, 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.

This recipe was provided courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website

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