Happy Easter!

bouquet

working hardLast week on Palm Sunday, the children visited the houses in the neighborhood bringing them decorated pussy willows. In return they received chocolate eggs. The tradition is actually a cheerful mix of two traditions. In Eastern Finland the pussy willows symbolized the palm leaves on Palm Sunday and a blessing for the new year. The children recite the following poem before giving the decorated pussy willows:
“Virvon varvon,
tuoreeks terveeks,
tulevaks vuueks,
vitsa sulle,
palkka mulle.”
The kids dress up as little witches, cats or bunnies. This tradition is from Western Finland where it was believed that witches or trolls would come to make mischief on the Saturday of Easter week. The children start decorating the pussy willows in good time and they make a beautiful bouquet.
easter grass
Last weekend when we were on our girls trip in Helsinki, the little ones painted and planted Easter grass. Feels like the house is dressed for spring.
little mummuvirpojatvirpomassa
With all of the cheerful color I thought yellow macarons with lemon filling would be appropriate for the occasion. The good thing with macarons is that they can be frozen and saved for Easter. Of course we all had a few samples! My macaron making skills have been acquired from the Tartelette blog. I was a bit intimidated before I tried my first batch nearly two years ago because they seemed like such dainty little things. In reality they aren’t really that hard and the outcome is beautiful as well as delicious. Helene does a beautiful job and explains each phase so clearly. I made a double batch of the recipe below. Usually when you have a taste, you just have to have another one.

Macaron shells (recipe from Tartelette)
90 g/3.2 oz egg whites (about 3 eggs) it is preferable that they have been left in the fridge for 3 to 5 days
25 g/0.9 oz sugar
200 g/7 oz powdered sugar
110 g/3.9 oz almonds (I used almond flour)
1/2 tbsp powder yellow food coloring

Filling
1 dl/0.42 c heavy cream
125 g/4.4 oz quark or Greek yoghurt
1 dl/0.42 c lemon curd
Whip the cream. Fold in the quark or Greek yoghurt and lemon curd.

Bake at 140 C/280 F for about 15-20 minutes.

Sift the powdered sugar, almond flour and yellow food coloring. If using whole almonds, pulse in the food processor until it forms a fine almond flour.
Whip the egg whites to a light foam, similar to a bubble bath. Add sugar gradually and continue whipping until the consistency is similar to shaving cream.
For better results do not overbeat your meringue. Fold in the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture. Use quick strokes at first to break the air in the mass and slow your strokes a bit. Your macaron batter will be ready in about 50 strokes. Spoon batter into a pastry bag. I used disposable plastic pastry bags for this purpose. Pipe small circles on a lined baking sheet. They should flatten on their own.
raw macarons
Allow to harden for 20-30 minutes before baking for about 15 to 20 minutes.
macaron shells
Place the filling in a pastry bag and pipe a small amount and top with a second shell.
ready to eat
Allow to rest in the refrigerator for a day so that the flavors come together or freeze. Macarons take only a few minutes to thaw after taking them from the freezer.
lilli

Happy Easter!

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48 Comments

    1. I love the colors too…and the costumes are quite easy since they are supposed to be a little mis-matched and colorful. Doesn’t require a whole lot of planning ahead…just rummaged through my kitchen cupboard the morning of for aprons and washable markers are great as face paint. 🙂

    1. I really think this tradition is quite fun and brings the feeling of spring even if the ground is still snow-white. I think Mom may have had just as much fun as the kids! 🙂

  1. It is so nice that your family still follows these traditions, I love that! Girls (and a boy) looks like love it too!
    Macarons seems so easy to prepare according your writing&photos 😉 They looks perfect! I am sure they all gone already…

  2. The macaron’s are gorgeous and what a lovely tradition. The children look beautiful, I love the decorated pussy willows and their colorful costumes. I have never made macarons before I need to do jump in and do it. You make it sound easy!!

  3. Happy Easter to you and your family….lovely pictures and yummy recipe….
    guess I will have to do some ‘work’ in the kitchen, all your recipes look so wonderful….Love you, Auntie Carole

  4. I’d never heard of these customs, charming as they are. Your kids are so cute! Thank you for sharing scenes of some of your precious family time with us.

    1. Thank you so much! I was just wondering the other day if these traditions are practiced in the other Nordic countries.(something to find out) It is nice waking up on Palm Sunday when the kids from the neighborhood all come knocking on the door with their decorated pussy willows and colorful outfits.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I love that you share the traditions that you and your family enjoy with your readers. Your macarons look delicious.

  6. Your children are so fortunate to have you as their mother. I love reading about your family’s traditions and seeing photos of your beautiful brood and their creations. Makes me happy. 🙂

  7. Gorgeous post! had me smiling ear to ear – looking transfixed at all the pix. Thank God for the Internet – otherwise when/where would I have ever known about this wonderful and charming custom of celebrating Easter in Finland? Love pussy willows, LOVE that you decorated with colorful feathers, the gang looks unbearably charming and happy, and your grass looks like they all just received military-issue hair cuts, ha ha. AND the macaroons too? In love with this post.

    1. Thank you! Yes, the grass receives a hair cut every day 🙂 I have been loving the internet too, it helps open up the world a bit and brings perspective! Thank you so much for commenting!

  8. Happy Easter! I must admit that this is quite the Easter celebration dredging though the snow! However the bright colors of the decorations and their outfits makes this snowy day a lovely one. Did I mention I adore macaroons. What flavor is that one?

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