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Maybe you want to serve something homemade for friends coming over or maybe you just want to enjoy the smell of fresh baked goods. Baking can be a fun and relaxing experience in itself, plus you get to eat afterwards, which is great. But as busy students we don’t always have the money to buy all the ingredients or the time to knead fancy doughs when our flatmates are waiting to use the kitchen (and we should probably be hitting the books). Luckily, there are recipes for the oven that are neither expensive nor time-consuming: here's a small sample.

1. Scones

So it's lunchtime and you're wondering what to eat. While you might associate scones with a fancy teaparty, making them isn't all that difficult and they'll be done in half an hour or so. There's something special about spreading butter over fresh bread

  • 225g flour (wheat, gluten free, or try a combo of e.g. wheat and spelt)
  • 2-3 tsp baking powder
  • 25 g sugar
  • 55 g cold butter or vegan margarine
  • 1 1/2 dl dairy or vegan milk + a bit for glazing

Preheat oven to 220 °C. Mix baking powder and sugar into the flour. Rub in the cold butter or use a food processor - don't overdo it as it's fine to leave in small lumps of butter. Mix in the milk - almond, oat or soy for a vegan version - just enough to get an even dough: no need to knead. Place the dough onto a work surface, flatten it to even using your hands, aiming for 2cm in thickness. Cut out your scones - this batch yields around 4 scones with a diameter of 8 cm or 8-10 with a diameter of 5 cm.

Brush the scones with a drop of milk (again, non-dairy alternatives are fine; for extra gloss, use an egg). Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool a bit before eating with butter or jam - best consumed fresh.


2. Easy and light savoury pie crust

Having friends over? Pies are great, because they can feed many but can also be eaten cold or reheated. Yes, you can get your pie crusts from the supermarket, but where’s the fun in that? This easy crust is light and super quick to make. Play with the filling like it’s a pizza. Luckily it can also be made gluten-free or vegan!

  • 3 ½ dl flour (of choice: wheat; mix of wheat and rye; gluten-free…)
  • ½ dl rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ¼ dl vegetable oil
  • ½ dl water

Preheat oven to 200 °C. Blend together all the dry ingredients. Add oil and mix. Add water and mix again. Place in a pie dish with a diameter of around 25cm. Bake for 12 minutes. Take out and add the filling.  

For filling, mix whatever you fancy. The crust does get slightly dry if your filling doesn’t have enough liquid, but there is plenty to choose from. For example, you can add slightly sautéed veggies or mushrooms, spinach, bacon, shrimps, feta or cottage cheese… Top it with this sour cream mix. Mix together 2dl of sour cream 1 egg. Pour over your filled pie. Maybe top with some parmesan.

Finally, bake the filled pie (200 °C) for 20-25 minutes. Serve slightly cooled.

Below is a vegan option: the same crust, filled with taco-inspired tomato-salsa, soy mince and sweet corn. Top with vegan crème fraiche.

3. Fruit or berry crumble

For after long days, when you just want something warm and sweet to eat. Sweet oats on top of juicy fruits, the crumble is a quick comfort food that gives you one of your daily intakes of fruits and berries. Which fruits and berries depends entirely on what you have at hand. How much fruits or berries you’ll want to use, depends on the size of your ovenproof bowl. The crust will of course spread more thinly over a wider bowl – this batch fits nicely in a bowl with a diameter around 15-20 cm and serves two (or one if you’re hungry!).

For filling:

  • 4-5 dl fruits or berries
  • 1 Tbsp potato or corn starch
  • brown sugar or honey (according to taste / optional)

For topping:

  • 1 ½ dl rolled oats
  • 1 dl flour
  • 3/4 dl brown sugar OR 3 Tbsp honey
  • ¾ dl vegetable oil OR 50 g butter

Mix diced fruits or berries with starch. Add sugar or honey as sweetener according to taste – recommended if your berries are on the sour side (e.g. red currants). Pour your fruit/berry mix into your ovenproof bowl.

For the topping, mix oats, flour and sugar. Add oil and mix. If using butter, cut it into pieces and work them into the dry ingredients to form small crumbly bits. Pour over the fruit/berry mix, covering evenly. Bake in 200°C for 20-25 minutes. Letting it cool before digging in allows the fruit filling to set a bit. Feel free to serve with ice cream, whipped cream, vanilla or caramel sauce - whichever fits your crumble the best!


Recipe for scones adapted from BBC Food.

Pie crust inspired by this chanterelle pie

Ylva Biri

Helsinki '18

Ylva is a PhD student at the University of Helsinki researching the linguistics of social media discourse. When not studying, procrastinating and overthinking, she enjoys shonen anime and trying out new foods.
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