I try not to be a food snob but when my boyfriend asked if we could have dinner at Ikea I turned up my nose. His eyes sparkled as he recounted the times he ate there with his family, and he spoke of them being together, of him ordering the steak, of all the happy memories.
Endearing, I thought, but no. Dinner at an Ikea cafeteria that’s not out of necessity was an unappealing prospect to me. I was imagining it: the clingfilmed salads; the rows of cold dishes bleakly sitting on metal shelves; the hot food counter featuring dreary trays of beige meatballs. I said no. Upon reflection, however, I realized that I was a b*tch robbing him of his nostalgic cravings.
We did dine at Ikea at the end, as I’ve learned to put my boyfriend before food. And it wasn’t as horrific as I had previously remembered. The new vegetarian meatballs are decent, and even better with the lingonberry jam – the traditional accompaniment to the iconic Ikea meatballs.
I got a jar of the jam from the in-laws, homemade. Aside from being Swedish meatballs’ best friend, it also makes a great pairing to venison and does well in desserts, as in this case.
If you do not have access to lingonberry jam, just use your favorite jam. The texture of this is fabulous as it’s got a soft spongy cake bottom and a crunchy crumble on top. Can be served as a round pie or into little squares as done here.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
85g butter, melted
1 large egg
150g lingonberry jam (or substitute with preferred jam)
80g butter, melted
Pinch of salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Preheat oven to 200C. Grease and line a 9″ square pan.
Make the cake:
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and rosemary.
In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, milk, and egg and mix this into the dry mixture until just combined.
Pour into prepared cake pan. Dollop jam all over the surface.
Make the crumb topping:
Whisk together the butter, sugar, salt, and rosemary. Stir in flour until just incorporated. Sprinkle the crumb in large clumps over top of the cake.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and the sides begin to pull away from pan.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes before consuming.