July means that the trees and bushes are turning red with berries: raspberries, red currant, sour cherries. Since a few years back, every time the raspberries have ripened I make these squares. This is a pretty popular recipe. I googled sega hallonrutor, which is what they're called in Sweden and got over 2 000 hits. Not wonder as the recipe is very yummy and super simple -- making it perfect for baking together with kids as you just stir rather than whisk the batter.
The cake is chewy, slightly similar to mud cakes in texture but drier, with a sugary crisp crust, interspersed with raspberries. I use our wild (probably more feral than wild, really) raspberries, but you could also use fresh or frozen cultivated raspberries or other berries, e.g. blueberries. Originally, almond flakes are sprinkled over the cake, but I rarely use that.
And just a final note before I give you the recipe: As with all cake recipes, it can be a bit tricky "translating" it. Wheat flour isn't milled the same way around the world and the difference in density means that by following the same recipe, the cake can get different texture and density in different countries. That's what I've heard, at least. So I can just hope that this recipe will work out for you. If not, try to experiment by adding less or more flour.
Föredrar du recept som inte är på engelska? Jag har också skrivit ned receptet här på svenska.
200 gram butter or margarine
6 dl sugar (you can omit ½-1 dl if it's too sweet for you; really depends on the berries)
6 dl wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2-3 dl raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Almond flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175° C -- I believe that's something like 347° F -- and line a sheet pan with paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or saucepot (large enough to mix the batter in, say 2 litres). Let the butter cool slightly and stir down sugar, egges, flour and vanilla sugar. You can use a sieve to keep the flour from forming lumps that are hard to get rid of. Stir into a smooth batter, making sure you don't "over-work" it.
Spread the batter in the pan and sprinkle the berries and, if you choose to use it, the almond flakes over it. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 30 minutes. You want it to get a nice mild golden colour -- the cake will remain fairly pale. Remove the cake from the pan, placing it on the kitchen counter, and then put the pan as a lid over the cake. Let it cool this way.
When the cake is cold, cut into squares and remove from the paper. They will stick somewhat to the paper, that's how it should be. Store in a tin/jar with waxed paper between each layer of sqaures to prevent them from sticking to each other. The raspberry squares can be frozen: in fact, if you don't plan on eating them all within a day or two it's better to put them in the freezer or the berries can become dry.
That above is one of our "raspberry patches". As you can see, an unruly patch of runaway raspberry shrubbery rather than a nice row of cultivated bushes. The other patch is on the concrete walkway by the old dunghill. That's growing in the cracks in the concrete, not on the ground or the old dung heap, which would seem much more fecund.