The weather is great, apples are ripe everywhere we look. Apples are fat-free, low sodium and cholesterol-free, offering about 80 calories each. They can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. They were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans and supposedly arrived in England around the 11th century at which point the Vikings had already enjoyed the fruit for many years. The English settlers that brought apple seeds to America in the 1600s found a continent with only one native variety, the crabapple. Leif Ericson must have forgotten to bring some...
The oldest remainder of an apple found in Sweden dates back 2,500 years B.C. and was found in the area of Omberg (near Vättern) we visited this summer.
The annual Apple Market in Kivik, Sweden in the center of the southern Swedish apple orchards, is set for Sept. 28-29 ( This annual event draws crowds of up to 10,000 to a weekend of entertainment, fun, a parade and the unveiling of this year’s appel art. The image you see here on the right behind the orchestra, by artist Emma Karp Lundström, was created in 2010 using 30-40,000 apples and was dedicated to the author Fritiof Nilsson Piraten.

Favorite recipe
As American as apple pie, the real saying goes. But here’s an apple cake straight from Sweden. This one has yummy ingredients such as mandelmassa (almond paste) and cardamom in it.


2/3 cup butter
1 Tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup almond paste
1/2 lemon peel, finely grated
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 ounces sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
4 apples
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ounces almond slivers

1. Mix butter, confectioner’s sugar and flower with a mixer until you have a crumbly dough. Add the water, and continue to mix until you have a smooth dough. Press this dough into a pie dish with removable bottom. Put into the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Grind the almond paste, but not too fine. Grind the lemon peel on the fine side of the grater. Melt the butter and beat the eggs, and add them to the melted butter along with the sugar. Let simmer until thick, stir often. Take the pot off the heat. Stir in the almond paste, lemon peel and cardamom.
3. Peel and core the apple, and cut into thin slices. Take the piecrust from the fridge and make small holes with a fork. Pour the almond cream into the crust, arrange the apples slices in a pretty pattern, pour over the sugar and the almond slivers.
4. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

European-style marzipan, which is heavier on the almonds and lighter on the sugar, is available on the U.S. market thanks to Charlotte Wetche, whose great-grandfather founded Odense Marcipan in 1909.
Avaliable at many Scandinavian specialty stores, or see to order online.