Pappilan … what? Despite the cryptic and difficult-to-pronounce name, this tasty classic Finnish dessert is ridiculously easy to make — with only 3 ingredients! Read on to find out what is Pappilan hätävara and how to make a keto version of this fabulous dessert in a cinch!
What is ‘Pappilan hätävara’?
The word ‘Pappilan’ is the genitive of ‘vicarage’ and the word ‘hätävara’ means food that is stored to be used in case of emergency or disaster. So, the name of this classic Finnish dessert means simply the food that is stored in vicarage for emergency purposes.
Well, that’s just the name of the dessert but it doesn’t really tell the contents. The dessert consists of layers of crushed cookies or crumbled sweet rolls, jam or berries (usually lingonberries), and whipped cream. Often, all ingredients are mixed rather than layered. For example, my mother makes this mixed version and never the layered version. Personally, I prefer the layered version because of its prettier presentation (however, I love to mix the ingredients in my serving bowl right before eating!)
Actually, in reality, the dish originates from a kind of bread soup when in the old times, people didn’t want to throw old bread away but use it to make soup. That soup wasn’t necessarily eaten as dessert, but as lunch or dinner. Current versions of Pappilan hätävara with whipped cream are not based on the bread soup, although they carry the same name. Moreover, in war times, people didn’t want to use heavy cream for Pappilan hätävara as they had better use for it.
So, nowadays Pappilan hätävara means dessert with crumbled baked goods, jam (or berries), and whipped cream. There is a Wikipedia page related to Pappilan hätävara as many countries and cultures have similar creations, but it doesn’t provide much information about the Finnish version.
How to make this 3-ingredient keto dessert
As you can imagine, this dessert is easy to make, and it’s a fantastic recipe to your repertoire of easy keto desserts that you can whip up in mere minutes if you need something quick to treat your family or entertain even a bigger crowd. And if you learn to pronounce the name ‘Pappilan hätävara’ ([p “ɑ p – p i – l ɑ n # h “æ – t æ – v ɑ – r ɑ]), you will certainly get oohs and aahs of admiration for that as well!
The classic recipe for Pappilan hätävara is easy to convert into keto. Just use keto cookies or sweet rolls, sugar-free jam or low-carb berries, and whipped heavy cream that is naturally keto. I will give more ideas in the tips for variations section further below in this post.
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this ketoized popular Finnish dessert:
First, pour about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy cream into a deep and narrow bowl.
…until stiff peaks form.
You can transfer the cream into a piping bag with a star tip for a beautiful presentation, but this is not obligatory.
Crumble the cookies into six serving glasses. (Don’t get confused that I have just four glasses here.)
Here we go.
Take about 1/3 cup (80 ml) keto-friendly jam sweetened with natural sweeteners. I have many keto jam recipes for you to choose from.
Divide the jam on the crumbled cookies.
Finally, top with the whipped cream.
You can naturally add more decorations. I use edible violets; they are adorable! Serve immediately.
So simple, so good!
How I came up with this 3-ingredient keto dessert recipe
I’ve been into Finnish recipes for some time now. For example, I posted these Keto Hash Browns in a Finnish way a few weeks ago.
Moreover, I ate in a restaurant in Helsinki that offered traditional Finnish food.
As a continuation, it felt natural to post another Finnish recipe here on my blog. But which recipe? Maybe a dessert for a change.
After a few minutes of pondering, I realized that a keto version of Pappilan hätävara would be just the perfect and simple enough recipe to be posted here on my blog.
Well, I think I had never made a keto version of Pappilan hätävara, so it was about time!
I took the classic high-carb recipe and started thinking of the keto conversions. As a base of my dessert, I naturally wanted to use keto cookies. I chose my trusted keto cookie recipe and baked a batch of those simple but delicious and crunchy cookies.
As the traditional Pappilan hätävara recipe uses lingonberries or lingonberry jam, I needed to choose another jam as lingonberries are not available worldwide. Luckily, I had some sugar-free erythritol-sweetened raspberry jam in my fridge, so I decided to use that.
Lastly, I needed whipped cream. I rarely sweeten my whipped cream and didn’t want to do it now either. The cookies and jam were pretty sweet, so there was no need to sweeten the cream. I’m all about moderate sweetness, as you know.
So, after coming up with those three ingredients, I thought of the amounts. I opted for 6 oz (170 g) cookies, 1/3 cup (80 ml) jam, and 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream.
When assembling the dessert into layers, I noticed that there was far too much whipped cream! I needed to reduce it at least by half. Well, even though I love whipped cream, too much is too much.
Other than that, I was super happy with the dessert and the amounts. Also, the taste was divine and brought memories from childhood. My mother used to make a lot of Pappilan hätävara. I have to admit I wasn’t particularly keen on the tart lingonberries, so this raspberry jam version pleases my palate more.
Plus, this keto version is healthier than the traditional one with wheat and sugar — combined with fatty cream. As you know, the ultimate recipe for health disasters is to combine fat with sugar. This keto version has natural fat but not sugar, which makes it better for your body — and also for your mind.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 1/2 cup = 120 ml heavy cream
- 6 oz = 170 g keto cookies of choice
- 1/3 cup = 80 ml sugar-free jam
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside for a while.
- Crumble the cookies into 6 serving glasses.
- Divide the jam on top of the crumbled cookies.
- Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the jam.
- Add more decorations if you want. Serve immediately.
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|Nutrition information (approximate*)||In total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||36.0 g||6.0 g|
|Fat||126.1 g||21.0 g|
|Net carbs||16.2 g||2.7 g|
|kcal||1345 kcal||224 kcal|
Tips for variations
As you can imagine, this dessert is easy to vary with different keto baked goods and keto jam varieties. Here are some more ideas to try out:
- Use chocolate cookies or chocolate chip cookies instead of vanilla cookies. I have many keto cookie recipes here on my blog as well.
- Instead of keto cookies, use sweet keto rolls, keto cake, or simply keto bread — it doesn’t have to be sweet in order to taste good! The jam will lend all the needed sweetness.
- Instead of heavy cream, use mascarpone or cream cheese, or a combination of those.
- Add thick Greek or Turkish yogurt or quark to the cream for a refreshingly tangy note (this is what my mother does!)
- Instead of jam, use fresh or frozen and defrosted low-carb berries like cranberries, sea buckthorn, or raspberries. You can certainly use strawberries and blueberries, but they are higher in carbs.
- Use chopped or pureed berries — or freeze-dried berries for a tasty crunch.
- Add cocoa powder to the heavy cream after whipping — it’s especially scrumptious with raspberries or raspberry jam.
- Instead of berries, use cooked and sweetened rhubarb.
- For a festive note, add crumbled keto meringue to the dessert, preferably on top.
- As I said, you can sweeten the cream if you want, but cookies and jam lend plenty of sweetness. For sweetener, use erythritol, allulose, stevia, or monk fruit (luo han guo).
- If you don’t happen to have any keto baked goods at hand, use simply crushed nuts like walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or macadamias.
- Have a Pappilan hätävara bar at your party! Serve a compilation of various keto baked goods (cakes, cookies, rolls), sugar-free jams, low-carb berries, and flavored (plus naturally unflavored and unsweetened!) whipped cream variations, and let the guests compile their own Pappilan hätävara bowls!
It was a busy but not too hectic week, and everything was proceeding smoothly. I did many keto porridge experiments plus keto ice cream experiments and was ideating keto bars.
We had a Ketokamu photography day some time ago, and now we received the edited photos from our photographer, Petteri Hentilä. We were shooting most of the photos inside as it was raining a lot.
However, just before we finished, the rain stopped, and we took the last photos outside. As you notice, we had real fun with our Ellu electrolyte drink!