img_5619Back in the 1970s when I worked in the housewares department of a major department store we stocked Ebelskiver pans.  I thought I was pretty cookware savvy even back then but in all honesty I had never seen these pans nor had any idea what the heck an ebelskiver even was.  There were 3 men and 5 women in the department and between all of us, no one knew what these pans were for.  In the 3 years that I worked in that department I don’t think we ever sold a single one of these pan.

Years later when I moved to California and was living in Ventura county we used to go to Solvang (which is a Danish town) all the time to browse the shops and of course eat all the wonderful danish pastry.  It wasn’t until those trips that I finally found out that an ebleskiver is a small round pancake sometimes hollow and sometimes filled with fruit or cream fillings.  I even learned how to make them.  Recently a work colleague and I were talking and the subject came around to Solvang.  We each told our stories of the wonderful food we had there and he related the story of how he first had Seven Sisters cake while on a visit there.  I was intrigued and decided to give it a try.  It is certainly worth making as it is totally delicious and not very hard to make.

It is a slightly laminated dough with the exception that there is no rolling and chilling and rerolling.  The butter is simply folded into the dough and then rolled out and the cake assembled.  It has an almond butterscotch and a vanilla pastry cream filling.  This recipe will make two 8 inch cakes

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Butterscotch filling:
1 cup almond paste
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon
1/2 egg white

Custard filling:
1 cup prepared  vanilla custard (any recipe you prefer)

Ring dough:
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package cake yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract or the zest of 1 small lemon
1 egg
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Topping:
2 Tablespoon milk
2 Tablespoon sugar

To prepare butterscotch filling:
Mix almond paste, brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and egg white until smooth. Set aside. Prepare custard; set aside.

To prepare the dough:
Divide butter in half and spread each half on an 8-by-8-inch square of wax paper. Chill.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, lemon extract (or zest) and egg;.  Mix well. Add flour and mix until smooth.  Divide dough in half.

Roll half of dough on well-floured board to an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Place 1 square of chilled butter on two-thirds of dough. Fold uncovered third of dough over the middle third, then fold the remaining third over the top. Again, fold one end over middle third and fold remaining third over top, making a square of nine layers. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 30 minutes.   Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Roll the dough flat to pie-shell thickness.  Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch greased cake pan with a 10-inch square cut out of pastry dough. Put 1/2 cup of Butterscotch Filling, topped with 1/2 cup of custard, into dough-lined cake pan and spread evenly.

on the rest of rolled-out dough,Gather the remaining dough and re-roll into  a square, about 8 by 8 inches. Spread a thin layer of Butterscotch Filling on the square of dough.  Roll up like a cinnamon roll. Cut into 7 slices, about 1/2-inch thick (Hence the seven sisters), and arrange the slices on top of the filled cake pan.

Repeat assembly with second half of butter, dough and fillings, to make second cake.

Let the cakes rise for about  45 minutes. Brush tops with milk, sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350°F. until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool and remove from pan.  If desired the cakes can be frosted with a confectioners sugar glaze.

The cakes will keep for several days stored in plastic  bags in the refrigerator.

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