We hope you enjoy the taste of Finland and Finnish America that we will share on this page. Like any recipe file, it’s a work in progress and we will be building out our inventory of old favorites and innovative takes on Finnish and Nordic foods and beverages.
Sima & Tippaleipä
Soile Anderson and Eleanor Ostman, the team behind the past FFN Lecturer of the Year program “Meet the Finn Cooks,” share two recipes that are traditionally enjoyed at vappu, May Day in Finland. Plan ahead so they’re ready for the celebrations!
These treats are similar to what we know in the U.S. as funnel cakes. This recipe was in a 1944 cookbook that was given to Soile’s mother as a wedding gift.
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 pound (3 cups) all-purpose flour
Coconut oil (or other oil for frying)
In a bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Heat the half-and-half until warm to the touch, about 110 degrees. Stir the egg mixture into the half-and-half. Stir in yeast. Add flour slowly to make a soft dough. Cover the container with a towel and let the dough rise until puffy, light and stretchy.
Heat the oil (coconut oil will give the tippaleipä a delicate coconut flavor). Heat the oil gently until a small spoonful of the dough browns nicely.
Make a cone using parchment paper, taping it to make it hold its shape. Spoon dough into the cone. Cut the tip of the cone to allow a thin stream of dough to escape. Using a circular motion, squeeze dough into the hot oil, making about six to eight loops to form the nest-like tippaleipä.
Continue to make as many tippaleipä as will comfortably fit into the oil. Turn when they are brown on the bottom to equally-brown the other sides. Repeat until all the dough is used.
When each batch is done, put to drain on a rack placed on paper towels on a cookie sheet. When the tippaleipät are slightly cooled, coat them with granulated sugar. If desired, add cinnamon to the sugar before coating.
OPTIONAL: Instead of the granulated sugar and cinnamon, dust with confectioner’s sugar
Makes 24 or so, depending on size.
About 12 servings
This slightly fizzy Finnish fermented lemonade is served chilled. Allow a day or two for it to ferment.
14 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large lemons (organic if possible), very thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon yeast
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the brown and white sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add the lemon slices. Stir well and let rest until overnight, or at least 8 hours to get a lemony flavor.
Stain the liquid into to a large non-metallic container, preferably glass, that allows space for the fermentation process. Discard lemons. Add the yeast, stirring well. Add the raisins.
Cover the container and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight until tiny bubbles form and the raisins rise to the surface. Chill before serving. If desired, the mixture can be stored in glass bottles for several days in the refrigerator.