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February 3 

Saint of the day:

Saint Ansgar

Patron Saint of  Denmark; Scandinavia; Sweden & first archbishop of Hamburg

Symbols: Wearing a fur pelise; holding the Catheral of Hamburg

Saint Ansgar’s Story

The “apostle of the north” (Scandinavia) had enough frustrations to become a saint—and he did. He became a Benedictine at Corbie, France, where he had been educated. Three years later, when the king of Denmark became a convert, Ansgar went to that country for three years of missionary work, without noticeable success. Sweden asked for Christian missionaries, and he went there, suffering capture by pirates and other hardships on the way. Fewer than two years later, he was recalled, to become abbot of New Corbie (Corvey) and bishop of Hamburg. The pope made him legate for the Scandinavian missions. Funds for the northern apostolate stopped with Emperor Louis’s death. After 13 years’ work in Hamburg, Ansgar saw it burned to the ground by invading Northmen; Sweden and Denmark returned to paganism.

He directed new apostolic activities in the North, traveling to Denmark and being instrumental in the conversion of another king. By the strange device of casting lots, the king of Sweden allowed the Christian missionaries to return.

Ansgar’s biographers remark that he was an extraordinary preacher, a humble and ascetical priest. He was devoted to the poor and the sick, imitating the Lord in washing their feet and waiting on them at table. He died peacefully at Bremen, Germany, without achieving his wish to be a martyr.

Sweden became pagan again after his death, and remained so until the coming of missionaries two centuries later.






Blueberry Lemon Kuchen


For the crum topping:

  • ½ cups Sugar

  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar

  • ½ cups Old Fashioned Oats

  • ½ cups Chopped Pecans

  • ½ cups Flour

  • ¼ teaspoons Salt

  • 8 Tablespoons Butter

For the coffee cake:

  • 1 cup Sugar

  • 8 Tablespoons Butter

  • 2 whole Eggs

  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

  • 2 cups Flour

  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

  • ¼ cup Lemon juice

  • zest of a Lemon

  • ½ cups Buttermilk

  • 1 cup sourcream

  • 2 cups Blueberries

  • 2 Tablespoons Flour

For the glaze:

  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar

  • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons Milk, Or As Needed


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  2. To make crumb topping, in small bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, oats, pecans, flour, & salt.

  3. Cut in butter until crumbly (I use my food processor on pulse). Set aside.

  4. For the cake: In large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy.

  5. Add eggs one at a time, along with vanilla & lemon. Set aside.

  6. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.

  7. Add this into the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk & sour cream.

  8. Rinse blueberries and drain them. Put them into a small bowl and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of flour.

  9. Fold blueberries into the batter (Or layer them into the batter).

  10. Spread batter into a greased lined 9-inch square pan. Top with crumb topping.

  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

  12. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1-2 teaspoons milk as needed.
Mix until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over warm cake. Serves 9.

Optional: Layer the cake batter surrounded by puff pastry. Layer the cake with lemon curd, blueberries, cake batter, repeat. Layer the cake with lemon curd, blueberries, cake batter and top with streusel topping. Bake in a springform pan. Serve with lemon curd on the side.


Makes 1 (9-inch/23cm) cake

  • 6 small apples (1 3⁄4 pounds/800 grams), divided

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 7 ounces (200 grams) almond paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan

  • 3/4cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/4 cups scooped and leveled, minus 1 tablespoon/150 grams all-purpose flour

  • 9 1/2 tablespoons (85 grams) cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 cup (75 grams) apricot jam



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180°C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch/23-centimeter springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan.

  2. Peel, halve, and core 3 of the apples, and cut each half into 6 even slices. Toss the apple slices with half of the lemon juice and set aside.

  3. Peel, halve, and core the remaining apples, and then cut into 1/3-inch/8-millimeter dice. Toss with the remaining lemon juice and set aside.

  4. Grate the almond paste and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Add the salt and melted butter; beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Then beat in the sugar and almond extract. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Beat into the almond batter, and then fold in the diced apples. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Distribute the sliced apples decoratively in concentric rings on the top of the cake. Then, using the flat of your hand, gently push the apples into the batter; they should not be submerged, but rather lightly anchored.

  6. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

  7. Immediately heat the apricot jam over medium-high heat until just bubbling. Brush a thin layer of the hot jam over the still-hot cake. Let cool completely before removing the springform ring. The cake will keep at room temperature, lightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for several days.

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