Saffron, a popular spice desired all over the world. But on this unique day, December 13th, our neighbours in the high north become mad about the queen of all seasonings! In all Danish, Norwegian but especially Swedish cuisines you will find the delicious smell of saffron – celebrating St. Lucy’s Day. According to an old story, this holiday has its origin in the winter solstice to shed light into dark on the shortest day of the year.
Ever since the Gregorian Calendar has been introduced, the winter solstice takes place one week later. But the holiday dedicated to St. Lucy is still closely related to old mediaeval traditions and is celebrated on the original calendar day, December 13th.
How does a typical St. Lucy’s Day in Sweden look like?
This special day in Sweden starts in the early morning: Everywhere across the country you will find the holy Lucy wandering through the streets, wearing her white garment and a candle wreath on her hair, accompanied by a group wearing white and holding candle light. The delicious saffron pastry plays an important part in this holiday and can be found everywhere in Sweden, starting from December 13th. Lussekatter – or saffron buns – is a Swedish pastry, traditionally prepared December 13th for St. Lucy. Saffron is an essential ingredient, causing the typical gold colour and full-bodied, flowery flavour.
The traditional “Julgaten”
The traditional form of Lussekatter is the „Julgaten“. Roll up the endings of the dough strand in opposite directions until it looks similar to an „S“. Finally, you can put raisins in the centre of each snail.
An incredible amount of saffron is sold in Sweden each year – making Iran to partly double their saffron prices! But don’t you worry – our prices for our finest Saffron from Afghanistan will not change. We want you to forget about the Christmas stress and to enjoy delicious pastry with warm winter sunbeam ray!
150 g butter
0,2 – 0,5 g Conflictfood Saffron, strings
50 ml milk
1 pinch of salt
125 g sugar
50 g yeast
850 g flour
1/2 cup of washed raisins
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
Start by heating up the milk gently and melt the butter in a little bowl. As soon as the milk is warm, pour it into two different containers. Put the finely crushed saffron and a pinch of sugar in one of them and stir it slowly.
For the next step, you will need the yeast. Chop it finely and put it into a mixing bowl. While stirring constantly, put the second container of warm milk in it until the yeast is dissolved. Add the melted butter and the mixture of saffron and milk in the mixing bowl and keep on stirring. For the next step you have to understir sugar and salt and add the flour.
Now you have to knead the dough carefully until you can loosen it easily from the bowl. Put some almonds and raisins on top and leave the dough in the warm oven for about 45 minutes. Before rolling the dough to the typical Swedish form of Lussekatter, knead it well one last time. You are almost done!
Add some raisins on top and brush a little beaten egg yolk on the pastry. Put it in the oven for about 7-10 minutes at 225-240 degrees. Just a little tip: Use a greased baking tray with a little flour on it to take off the Lussekatter more easily after baking! Now it’s time to enjoy the delicious saffron pastry! Serve it with tasty, hot coffee or milk and feel like you are spending a special afternoon in Sweden!
Enjoy your little break from all the contemplative Christmas rush! Conflictfood wishes you a great St. Lucy’s Day!
The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!