We're a little late this year, Runeberg's day was February 5. Johan Ludvig Runeberg is the national poet of Finland (born 1804), here are some photos from when we visited his summer cottage:
The museum wasn't open, but we took advantage of the nice little porch to escape the rain as we ate some delicious smoked fish for lunch. It is a beautiful property just outside of Jakobstad.
In honor of Runeberg's birthday, we made his favorite tarts. Multiple versions of this recipe exist, but I adapted the one from my favorite baking book, Parhaat Leivonnaiset. I haven't found this book in English. Some recipes include almonds, but this one is completely nut-free.
First, I whipped 1 3/4 sticks of butter and 3/4 cup of sugar until fluffy. To this I added two eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In another bowl, I combined 1 cup of flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 2 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs. You could also use plain bread crumbs, in which case I would increase the sugar in the first step to 1 cup. I probably should have ground up the graham cracker crumbs a little more, but it didn't really matter much to the end result.
Here is what the sugar, butter and eggs looked like after being whipped, you can also see the flour mixture in the background.
After combining the two, I put the bowl in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
After preheating the oven to 400 F, I divided the dough into 24 portions and put each in a lined muffin cup. Next, I made a deep indentation in each with my finger, and filled it with jam. I used strawberry today, but traditionally this should be raspberry.
Into the oven they went for 15 minutes.
The recipe says that the jam has to stand up to baking. Evidently the one I used (low sugar spread from Aldi's) did not. I am not sure how you can tell if the jam can be baked without testing it, I haven't seen any markings on U.S. jelly or jam jars. This didn't really matter, I just added a little more jam on top after baking.
For icing, mix 2/3 cup of powdered sugar with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Drizzle this on top, and the tarts are ready!
They were delicious! Next time I may experiment with different additions instead of graham crackers. Some recipes use half dry bread crumbs and half gingerbread cookies or ground almonds. Yum!