I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

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September 2018

September 12, 2018

Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)

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Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Orchards have this incredible presence and sense of wonderment that draws you in and envelops you as you gaze among its rows and rows of spectacular fruit-laden branches. An unkept orchard can become a magical arena for the imagnination and the senses to come alive.

All across Norway, regions are brimming with apples from August to November, depending upon the apple variety and climate. The village we live in is just one example of how apples have overtaken many yards. A quick drive through and your eyesight will be drawn to craggy apple trees  dotted with bright reds, pinks, and subtle greens. Even the ground below is strewn with fallen fruit. 

Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Norwegian Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)With so many apples, it’s easy to understand why they are so prominent in the cuisine. Flipping through the pages of an older cookbook, I came across a recipe for potet-terte “potato tart” that caught my eye. It is a type of puff pastry (referred to as such in an old cookbook from 1917 called Potetmat) that is made with equal weights of potatoes, flour and butter. In Kaker til Fest (1950), it is noted that potetterte is the cheapest and simplest way to make a version of bløtkake (sponge cake) – merely roll the dough out into 3 large rounds to act as cake.

It is served as a dessert, typically with applesauce (eplemos) or jam in-between the layers. Other variations include fruits such as rhubarb or strawberries. According to the cookbook Tradisjonsmat, potet-terte was used excessively during the war. It was served with coffee, but unfortunately the coffee was often a coffee-substitute. The author goes on to describe that the substitute was usually dried peas (preferably yellow peas) that were browned in the oven and then ground to make a “coffee”.

Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)Some recipes call for one large tart made up of of three large layers, while others call for small, individual tarts. I like the idea of each person having their own little apple dessert. Plus, it is easier if everyone can cut into their own. The filling is usually a type of applesauce but as it is autumn, I added in a bit of spice for more flavor and kept the apples somewhat intact for more bite and texture.

Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)

(Makes about 5 three-layered tarts)

For the puff pastry:

  • 150 g starchy potatoes (about 1-2 small)
  • 150 g (2/3 cup) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 150 g (1 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour

For the spiced stewed apples:

  • 8 small, firm and tart apples diced, skins on (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (100 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teasooon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

To serve:

  • whipped cream
  • confectioners sugar

Boil the potatoes with the skins on for about 10-15 minutes, until tender and easily pieced with a knife.  Drain. When slightly cooled, peel and discard the skins. Run the potatoes through a potato ricer or mash well to ensure there are no lumps. Place in a kitchen stand with the dough attachment or a bowl and add in the softened butter and flour. If using a kitchen stand, combine on medium speed or, if using a bowl, blend with a wooden spoon or your hands. Place in the refrigerator to cool while preparing the stewed spiced apples.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, water, spices, and lemon juice over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue simmering for 5 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat then stir and mash the mixture slightly, leaving chunkier pieces. Set aside to cool.

Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll  it out into a thickness of about 1 cm (10 mm). Cut small rounds with a pastry cutter or bowl. For this recipe, I used a 3-inch (8cm) pastry cut to get approximately 15 rounds. Place the rounds on prepared baking sheet (I use baking paper or parchment paper on top of my sheet). Poke each round with a fork a couple of times to prevent the dough from puffing up too much.

Bake in the oven at 400°F / 200°C for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, 10 minutes.

To layer, place one potato cake down and top with some of the spiced stewed apples. Add another cake and top with more apples and then finish with a final potato cake. Top with whipped cream and confectioners sugar. Serve warm.

Potato Tarts with Spiced Stewed Apples (potet-terte)

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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  1. Carmen Leidel says:

    Wow this looks amazing!. Can’t wait to try it

  2. Kai says:

    I tried making these and since I’m celiac and allergic to milk it was a bit of an experiment. I used one part rice flour, 3 parts masa harina (corn flour) and one part cornstarch and subbed shortening for butter. They came out crunchy and remarkably flaky. Wonderful topped with honey and raspberries. I think adding more flour would make it crispier, while more potato would make it more tender and flaky and would probably make a good pie crust

    • nevada says:

      Hi Kai, thanks for sharing your substitutions! It’s really nice to have this information to share with others who are celiac and have dairy allergens. I’m really glad it turned out well!

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