Midsummer recipes: Gravadlax, pickled herring, pavlova and more

Midsummer is one of the biggest events in the Swedish calendar, with a celebration almost as big as Christmas.

Here at YOU, we like any excuse for a party, so we’ve rounded up the most delicious Midsummer recipes to help you celebrate in suitably Swedish style, from classic drinks to cheese tarts.

Gravadlax with lemon and elderflower

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

SERVES 8- 10 AS A STARTER, 16 FOR NIBBLES/CANAPÉS

4 tbsp sea salt flakes
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp white peppercorns, roughly bashed
2 lemons
1kg sushi-grade side of salmon (ask your fishmonger)
8 small elderflower heads, cleaned and stems removed, plus more to serve
small bunch dill, roughly chopped, plus more to serve
toasted sourdough bread and butter, to serve

1. In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, sugar and lightly bashed peppercorns. Zest and then slice one of the lemons thickly.
2. Lay out a two large sheets of clingfilm, overlapping slightly, and place the salmon on top. Scatter over the salt and sugar mixture all over the salmon, rubbing in slightly. Top with the lemon zest and slices, elderflower and dill. Fold the clingfilm around the salmon tightly, then wrap in a further double layer, making sure it is completely sealed all the way round.
3. Transfer to a large platter or chopping board and place in the fridge, weighing down with another board and a few tins of beans. Leave for 2-3 days, turning every 12 hours.
4. When the salmon is ready to serve, unwrap and transfer to a platter. Decorate with the remaining lemon, sliced thinly, some dill and elderflowers before slicing thinly and serving with toasted sourdough and butter.

Quick pickled herring with apple and chives

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

SERVES 4 AS A STARTER

2 x 275g jar pickled herring in onion or dill
4 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon
2 green apples, 1 cubed and 1 cut into thin matchsticks
2 spring onions, finely sliced
small bunch chives, finely chopped
chive flowers, to decorate
crispbread, to serve
new potatoes, to serve

1. Drain the herring and discard any vegetables, herbs or spices from the pickling liquid then set aside.
2. Whisk together the creme fraiche, mayonnaise and dijon mustard together in a medium sized bowl with a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper.
3. Mix in the cubed apple, spring onion and most of the chives. Tip in the herring and toss gently to completely coat in the sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until needed.
4. When ready to serve, sprinkle with the apple matchsticks, remaining chopped chives and chive flowers. Serve with crisp bread and boiled new potatoes.

Västerbotten cheese tartlets with wild garlic and chrysanthemum flowers

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

MAKES 12

FOR THE PASTRY
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
200g plain flour

FOR THE FILLING
3 medium eggs
200ml double cream
150g Västerbotten cheese or strong cheddar, grated

TO SERVE
sour cream
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
small bunch chives, roughly chopped
small bunch dill, roughly chopped
wild garlic flowers
chrysanthemum flowers

1. Begin by making the pastry. Pulse the butter and flour in a food processor with a pinch of salt until you have a breadcrumb-like texture. Slowly add 1-2 tbsp of cold water, pulsing until the mixture starts to come together into large crumbs (you may find that you’ll need to scrape the sides of the bowl). Tip onto a work surface and bring together with your hands to form a disc-like shape. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas mark 6. Lightly grease two 6-hole muffin tins and cut out 12 strips of baking parchment, each about 1 inch/2ch wide. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Using a cutter or glass, about 9cm in diameter, stencil out 12 rounds. Line the muffin tin with the strips of parchment, allowing for plenty of overhang. Press the rounds of pastry in to the muffin holes and refrigerate for 20 mins.
3. Prick the bases of the pastry with a fork and bake in the oven for 10 mins until just golden. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together with the cream and season generously. Fold through the grated cheese and divide among the pastry cases. Bake for a further 15 mins until golden and puffed up.
4. Allow to cool a little then use the parchment to lift the tartlets out to a wire rack. Cool completely before decorating with sour cream, red onion, chives, dill and flowers. Serve immediately.

Strawberry, lemon and elderflower pavlova traybake

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

SERVES 10

5 large free-range egg whites, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
600ml pot double cream
300g greek yoghurt
4 tbsp elderflower cordial (see recipe below)
2 lemons
1/2 jar lemon curd
1 punnet strawberries, chopped in half
mint
fresh elderflowers and edible pansies, to decorate

1. Begin by making the meringue. Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas Mark 1 and line a large baking sheet with parchment. In a large metal or ceramic bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking all the while until thick, glossy and cloud-like. Whisk in the cornflour and pile onto the baking sheet, creating soft swirls.
2. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 1 hour until crisp to the touch and pulls away easily from the baking sheet. Allow to cool completely.
3. Beat the cream until soft and pillowy. Fold in the greek yoghurt, elderflower cordial and the zest of 1 lemon before whisking for another 30 seconds. Transfer the curd to a small bowl and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to lighten to a drizzle-able consistency.
4. Pile the cream onto the meringue and swirl through the curd. Top with strawberries then decorate with mint, pared lemon zest, elderflowers and pansies. Serve immediately.

Elderflower, apple and ginger fizz

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

SERVES 4

120ml elderflower cordial
1L cloudy apple juice
1 x large bottle ginger ale
1 green apple, sliced
1 head elderflower

1. Fill a large jug with ice and stir together the cordial and apple juice. Top with ginger ale and distribute between four tall glasses. Decorate with apple slices and elderflowers.

Cherry and rose lemonade

Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

SERVES 4

1 tbsp concentrated cherry juice
1L bottle lemonade
1 tsp rose water
fresh rose petals
fresh cherries

1. Chill 4 tumblers in the freezer. Fill a large jug with ice and add the cherry juice and lemonade, stirring gently. Add a few drops of rosewater to taste – too much can be overpowering. Distribute between the chilled glasses and decorate with rose petals and cherries.

Elderflower cordial

MAKES 2 BOTTLES

1kg granulated sugar
2 lemons, juice and zest
15-20 elderflower heads, stalks removed

1. Place the sugar in a large pan and fill with 1L water. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat, stirring to completely dissolve all the sugar. Remove from the heat.
2. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and elderflowers and allow to col. Leave to stand for 2-3 days, stirring whenever you pass by.
3. Strain and decant into sterilised bottles. The cordial will keep in a cool dark place for up to a year.

All recipes courtesy of funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk