Well, since I teased you yesterday with all the talk about baking Vinarterta in the, Old Fogies, Gray Hair and Infinite Wisdom blog post, I thought I would give you the secret 'CMOV' recipe. ( you will have to read the blog post to catch the meaning of this one). For those of you that don't know, Vinarterta is a Icelandic traditional layer cake that has blessed many a special occasion in the region where I grew up. It is brought out at Christmas, weddings, birthdays, showers... you name it. For us, it's usually special occasions because it takes some time and lovin' to make.
My mom, the 'CMOV', provided the experience and knowledge in this recipe and we have a few pictures to send along with it to hopefully help you along in the Vinarterta experience. I would recommend that you choose someone fun to bake with, it makes the time fly by and it's amazing how may topics that you can cover off in an hour. For us, we doubled the recipe, so we yakked for a couple of hours. Trust me, if you're making Vinarterta, you might as well make several at a time.
Filling Ingredients: (make a day before you are ready to put your Vinarterta together)
2 lbs of prunes
Cook prunes for about 1/2 hour. drain off excess juice and put to the side. Mash finely or put in food processor. Once you have done this, put the prunes back onto the stove and add the next ingredients:
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond flavouring
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamon powder
Cook prune mixture until the consistency of jam, approximately 5 minutes. Cool mixture.
Now you're ready to make the dough. Be careful not to have dough lovers around because the dough is really so good, it disappears in the hands of unsuspecting children.
1 cup of softened butter
1 1/2 white sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix milk and vanilla, beating well. Gradually work dry ingredients into egg mixture, knead until soft like cookie dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put dough ball into fridge for at least two hours, cold dough is easiest to work with.
Set oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough has chilled, measure into 8 equal portions. (this is totally dependent on how many layers you like your Vinarterta to be... we prefer, 6-7. (Mom always uses what dough is left over to make a jam filled dough treat and pops it into the oven, this I believe, was a ploy to keep us kids from whining about wanting to eat the fresh Vinarterta. It worked!)
Cut out 10 pieces of parchment large enough to cover a 9" pie plate (top). You will need this for rolling out the dough and save you TONS of grief and heartache.
Now the next part, in my mind, makes or breaks the Vinarterta fabulousness. The layers CANNOT be too thick, thin please, the layers of cake and prunes has to be the right ratio. Set out your parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit of flour to roll the dough out. Place your dough, and then place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll away. (Continue to use this top piece of parchment paper for rolling purposes only) The amount of dough will give you the exact amount for that pie plate. So ... take out your marble roller and do your magic.
Take your 9" pie plate and lay it top down onto the dough and cut out your circle. Lift the dough circle and your piece of parchment paper and put it off to the side. (we make two at a time). Roll out your next piece of dough.
Now you're ready to shake and bake baby! Lay your parchment piece with your dough circle on top of a cookie sheet that is inverted. Same for your other layer. Put both pans in the oven and put a timer on for 3 minutes, at 3 minutes flip the trays from top level to bottom level, so that they cook evenly, put timer on again for 3 minutes. (Lightly browned on the edges) Once they are ready, slide the parchment onto the counter and let your layers cool.
Filling! YUMMY! I could eat a bucket of this... some say you have to be a true Icelander to appreciate this...Ha! Take 1/2 cup of your prune filling and spread on each layer. DO NOT SKIMP! Remember, Charis and the CMOV said, the filling is the best part. Start layering.
Once you have built your beautiful Icelandic dream... wrap the entire cake again in plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for two days. (Cover with a towel) It makes the cake moist. This is the point at which we usually freeze our Vinarterta until we are ready to use it. (The frosting is always better when it's fresh)
I'm lazy... use your favourite butter icing recipe BUT
ADD ALMOND FLAVOURING! This is key...
Now if you are like me, I hoard my CMOV Vinarterta, it's too precious to share, in fact, I will only share under duress and IF I REALLY like you. This year for Christmas all we asked for from my parents was a Vinarterta each from my mom and a wood carving from my dad. It's that precious. In past years, my mom always gave each of us girls a cake, and I even hid it from my kids! Okay, maybe a shared a bit... but no one else. :)
The CMOV and I both hope you enjoy your Vinarterta baking and please let us know how you make out. I will be adding pictures for instruction later this evening as we are about to embark on another afternoon of baking!
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