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Lebkuchen (Luzern)

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 8 people

Recipe Ingredients

1/4   Fresh cream
80   Pear molasses* (1)
60   Pear molasses* (2)
150   Sugar
20   Candied lemon peel - diced
20   Candied orange peel - diced
1   Ground aniseed
1   Ground cinnamon
1   Ground nutmeg
1   Ground clove
20   Baking powder
500   Whole-meal - (or white) flour
1/4   Warm milk

Recipe Instructions

(*) Pear molasses AKA treacle

The story:

This specialty is the "gourmand cake" of the St. Nicholas Festival celebrated annually on 6th December. Presided over by the Bishop of Myra, the feast day assumes an air of solemnity in Lucerne itself, culminating in a procession through the town. "St. Nicholas" is preceded by two heralds and is escorted by frightening "Schmutzli" (large puppets) who, according to tradition, are thought to punish children who have misbehaved during the year. Only well behaved children receive presents from St. Nicholas on this special day.

The recipe:

Whip the cream and mix with molasses (1), spices and salt. Add the baking powder, flour, warm milk and diced peel, mixing thoroughly until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined sponge ring and bake for 45-50 minutes at 180C.

When baked, brush the top with the pear molasses (2) to glaze.

Recommended drink: tea or coffee.

Culinary Art and Traditions of Switzerland, Pro Gastronomia, 1992

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