By Mia Christensen
Years ago, when my father immigrated to Canada from Denmark, he wanted to keep his heritage alive through his future family. As a result, we’ve been attending annual Danish events and Christmas bazaars (hosted by the Danish Club of Ottawa) since I was born. Kringle was my favorite part of these events; it provided a safe haven during the wildly overstimulating parties.
When the pandemic began, the events sadly stopped. I was once again desperate for the wonderful buttery pastry, so my mother taught me the kringle recipe that she had been given by her mother. It did not disappoint. The only rule was that my mother insisted that I couldn’t make any unless it was near Christmas and that it was a festive desert. (I personally do not see anything festive about almonds, so I attempted to make it on my own which was certainly a learning experience.)
At the time, I hated using the oven and our oven mitts were problematic (to say the least); I had burnt myself baking countless times -- so let's just say that taking the kringle out of the oven by myself required a few too many pep talks on my part. I remembered that my mother measures the quantities of ingredients by the sound they make while coming out (so a tablespoon of olive oil is written as “one big glurp,” which is the sound our suspicious oil bottle makes).
After a few questionable attempts, I had successfully translated the majority of her fish noises into actual quantities and perfected my recipe, which then led to me filling up our small freezer with kringle to eat after the holidays. (Sorry, mom.) It's a simple and fun family recipe that I plan on passing down to my offspring, along with what my Danish grandparents refer to as “coffee and cake time,” which is a special break around 2-3pm reserved for drinking coffee and eating sweets or baked goods (like kringle).
- One sheet of puff pastry (I used a prepackaged version from FreshCo)
- Sliced almonds
- About a golf ball of marzipan
- One tbsp of butter
- White sugar (optional, to sprinkle on top)
- One egg yolk
- ¼ cup of vanilla custard (I used Bird's Custard Powder and made it the night before)