Hasselback apples, frozen chestnut cream & drunk mulberries

Hasselback apples, frozen chestnut cream & drunk mulberries

Nordic Light
20 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Simon Bajada

Many consider cinnamon to be the king of Nordic baking but in actual fact it’s cardamom that sits quietly on the throne. It’s often included without mention in the cinnamon buns that Sweden has become famous for and it takes the classic buttery shortbread to the next level. At Christmas it can be found in hot wine and, really, I reckon it deserves to be everywhere – it’s delicious. It goes particularly well with chocolate, coffee, pears and apples. Hasselback potatoes are a Swedish classic where the incisions on the top of the potatoes give them a distinctive crispy texture – here they open up the apples for quicker cooking and provide a place for the topping to melt into.


Quantity Ingredient
3 large pink lady apples
2 tablespoons ground almonds
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed, (open the pods to remove the seeds inside)
30g rolled oats
1 tablespoon honey

Frozen chestnut cream

Quantity Ingredient
500ml thick cream
300g dulce de leche
240g unsweetened chestnut puree

Soaked mulberries

Quantity Ingredient
50g dried white mulberries
75ml spiced aquavit
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar


  1. Place the mulberries in a bowl together with the the aquavit and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and set aside (the longer these are left, the more they will absorb the flavour and soften – so it’s best to prepare them a few hours ahead).
  2. Line a 900 g loaf tin with plastic wrap.
  3. For the chestnut cream, whip the cream in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk in the dulce de leche and chestnut purée and continue to beat until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and freeze for at least 1 hour, or until set.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Core and peel the apples, being careful not to split them, then cut each apple in half. Cutting to a depth of about 2 cm, thinly slice the apple halves on the round side crossways along their length as closely together as possible.
  6. Place the apple halves in an ovenproof dish, add a splash of water and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven, discard the foil and drain off any liquid.
  7. Mix together the ground almonds, butter, cardamom, oats and honey in a bowl and spread the mixture over the apples, then return them to the oven and bake for a further 20–25 minutes, until the almond coating is browned.
  8. Remove the frozen chestnut cream from the freezer and slice into portions with a warmed knife. Divide the slices between bowls, top each with a hasselback apple and spoon over the drunk mulberries.
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