21st of December is the traditional day for making lefse in preparation for Christmas, according to the primstav. A typical lefse is a flat bread baked on a griddle. It can be made with flour or potato and generally has a neutral flavor, making it siutable both as a savory snack with cured ham or smoked salmon, or as a dessert filled with butter, sugar and cinnamon, cream or fruit. Almost every part of Norway has their own lefse variety, so there are plenty of recipes to choose from.
This year we decided to go for a North Norwegian variety, more specifically a mørlefse (soft lefse) from the island of Senja. This is a sweet lefse, more like a cake than the traditional flat ones, and it’s very easy to make for those who don’t have a griddle as this one is baked in the oven.
Mørlefse from Senja:
(makes 6 patties)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sour milk (or cultured buttermilk)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2 tsp hartshorn salt (ammonium bicarbonate)
about 1lb flour
Beat the sour milk, sour cream, sugar and syrup together in a bowl. Add a little of the flour and the hartshorn salt. Stir gently and add the flour a little at a time until the dough is no longer runny but still sticky to the touch. Refrigretate the dough for one hour.
Heat oven to 210 C (400 F). Divide the dough into six pieces and roll them into flat “pizzas”, about 1/4″ thick. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and prick them with a fork. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Baking for too long will make them dry and crumbly.
Let the patties cool. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon and spread generously on the underside, then sandwich two and two patties together.
Cut the lefse into diamond shapes and serve. This lefse will keep for several weeks in a sealed box, and it’s also suitable for freezing.