Swedish Lussekatter or Saffron Buns
This is the second of a series of Christmas recipes from around the World that I gathered from friends and research. The first one was Arabic Maamoul, here. The second is Swedish Lussekatter or Saffron Buns, a classic traditionally eaten on Saint Lucians Day.
I first visited Sweden in February this year and basically eat my way through every pastry Stockholm’s artisan bakers had to offer. A few pounds heavier and content I realized that the Swedish love to use cardamom and saffron for their pastries. An interesting combination that makes bakeries taste quite unique.
In Sweden the Lussekatter are also called Lussebulle or Lussekatt in Norway. They have the traditional s-Shape that makes a simple sweet yeast bun look quite special. Raisins are used to decorate the buns and besides the saffron you can use cardamom to flavour the buns. St. Lucias Day is on the 13th of December also called the feast of Saint Lucy. It commemorates a 3rd century martyr under Prosecution. And the best thing about the story is that the martyr was a woman born in Syracuse who was commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Like many Christian holy figures who mostly are men, Saint Lucy brought food and aid to Christians hiding in Catacombs. She lit her way with a candle lit wreath. Which is way St. Lucias Day is also called the feast of lights.
The festivities are not only done in Sweden but the whole of Scandinavia. During processions St. Lucia is presented as a lady in a white dress and red sash with a crown or wreath of candles on her head.
Little did I know that these sweet S-shaped buns are also eaten in my neck of the woods. The Blogger LiL Vienna posted a recipe of Ladders to Heaven or Himmelsleiter in German. Traditionally eaten on the 1st of November in Upper Austria just with a different taste. Enjoy your sweet treat on St. Lucias Day.
I hope you like this recipe and have fun baking!