Every week, I post one recipe from Latviešu ēdieni.
When I returned to the States from my first two month stay in Liepāja, I brought back not only a taste for Latvian food but also an English-language cookbook by Ņina Masiļūne called Latvian National Cuisine, which has many of the same dishes that Latviešu ēdieni contains, only translated. I had found a couple of Russian import groceries and managed to get some traditional dark rye. I quickly found out that even with freezing portions, a loaf takes a long time to get through if you're only one person.
So I flipped through this book and decided on an interesting dessert named "Traditional Latvian ambrosia". It sounded interesting and I had all the ingredients on hand to boot. It was surprisingly good. I didn't think that grated rye bread would make such a nifty dessert! It does, however, and on my next visit, I was lucky enough to have another traditional bread-based dessert called maizes zupa or bread soup. That's a tale for another day though, as I plan to make maizes zupa at one of our holiday meals.
Rupjmaizes kārtojums (Sweetened Rye Trifle) [printable recipe]
- 150 g (5.25 oz) dry/toasted dark rye bread1
- 100 g (3.5 oz) preserves or jam, your favorite
- 40 g (1.4 oz) sugar
- 120 g (4.2 oz) sweet cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grate bread and toss with 20 g of sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Whip the cream until soft peaks, then gradually adding the remainder of the sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until it reaches stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat.
In a trifle dish or in small sundae/trifle dishes, layer the ingredients in the following order: rye bread, jam, whipped cream until the dish is full or you run out! Try to end with rye bread and a garnish of whipped cream. Serve with milk.
- You need a traditional dark rye for this, one baked with rye flour not a rye-wheat mix. Borodinsky is a popular brand baked in Brooklyn that is shipped across the States; you can find it in Russian delis. If you don't have access to it, try using the darkest, best pumpernickel you can find. My grocer has a surprisingly good one in their bakery, yours might too, or you can try Orowheat's pumpernickel.