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Posts Tagged ‘butter’

Scones

There might be controversy over the pronunciation (/skoʊn/, rhyming with “cone” or /skɒn/, rhyming with “gone”?)But there is no controversy about how delicious they are.

I ate a scone in England and it looked this this.

Then I tried to make my own scones at home and they didn’t exactly come out how I’d hoped. I got a recipe from the Delia, queen of the English kitchen. I think there may be a problem with my oven temperature because lots of things don’t rise correctly. I think if you follow this recipe, and you have a slightly newer oven than we do, your scones will turn out fine!

  • 8 oz (225 g) of self-raising flour
  • salt
  • 3 oz (75 g) of butter, at room temperature, cut into small lumps
  • 1½ oz (40 g) of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Method

Preheat to 425°C (220°C).

Sift flour and a pinch of salt into large mixing bowl. Then add the butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in the brown sugar. In a measuring cup, beat together the egg and the buttermilk. Mix the everything together lightly with a palette knife. When it starts to come together, continue mixing with your hands. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it seems to dry, add a little more buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time. The dough should come together in a ball, leaving the sides of the bowl clean.

Take the dough and shape it into a ball. Place it on a floured surface and also flour the rolling pin. Roll out the dough and make sure its not thinner than 1 inch (2.5 cm) – the scones won’t rise if they are rolled out too thin.

Use a cookie cutter or a glass to to cut out the scones. Place the cutter/glass on the dough and give it a tap – don’t twist it. Lift if up and push the dough out. Continue until you’re left with the trimmings, then bring those together and roll out the dough again; repeat.

Grease and lightly flour a baking sheet and place the scones on top. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk then dust with flour. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the scones are risen and golden brown. Remove and place on rack to cool.

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Torrijas

“Semana Santa” or “Holy week” has just passed. Here in Spain, attendance at Catholic churches is falling dramatically, with Spain’s youth apparently becoming more and more disillusioned with Catholicism. Well, that’s the theory, but you wouldn’t believe this was the case during Semana Santa. Spain doesn’t hold back; they take this very seriously… I’m talking processions that last up to 12 hours, pointy hats, thousands upon thousands of marchers, brass bands, drums, not to mention the countless effigies of Christ and the Virgin Mary and the tens of thousands of people that line the streets to watch…

Food wise, the star has to be Torrijas. Served almost exclusively in the Easter period, it is a kind of French toast/Eggy bread, with copious amounts of sugar. It can vary on the quality, like any dish I guess, but the picture above was of  a really good one that we ate on a terraza in Caceres in Extremedura, the poorest region of mainland Spain. This really was the authentic Torrijas experience, as if I had tilted the camera up, I would have been photographing the pointy hatted marchers (nazarenos) bearing the weight of Christ on their shoulders. Recipe to follow shortly… promise.

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Apparently one of the “Tatin” sisters dropped her apple tart on the floor, decided to serve it anyway and wrote it into culinary history. We didn’t drop this version on the floor, but honestly if we had,  would probably eaten it anyway. It is a delicious dessert. One you should definitely try. We even used pre bought pastry to save time and worked out really well. Good luck and let us know if it was a success.

Ingredients

  • 5 apples (of your choice) peeled, cored and sliced into quarters
  • just under a cup of sugar
  • 100g butter
  • pre-made pastry
  • a little milk

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Then in a pan that you can put in the oven. i.e one that doesn’t have a plastic handle.

Sprinkle the sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan and then add the butter as illustrated. Put over a medium heat and the butter and the sugar will start to melt and caramelise. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Jiggle the pan around a bit to make sure that it the sugar and butter cook evenly. Now you are ready to add the apples.

Add them in a spiral, cramming them as tight as you can. Now cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Cut your pastry into a circle a bit bigger than your pan. Take the pan off the heat and place the pastry on top of the apples, tucking in the excess pastry as shown below.

Prick holes  in the pastry, brush it with some milk and put the pan in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown.

When it is removed from the oven it should a bit like this.

Now it is time to flip the tarte. Be really careful as the juices from the apples and the caramel will be really hot. So, place a large plate over your pan and press down as hard as you can to create a seal. Then (wearing long sleeves) flip the plate and place on the work surface. You should have the perfect tarte. Hope so anyway!

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Pimientos de Padron are small green peppers usually served as a racion ( a large portion of tapas) in bars in Madrid. Also pimientos de padron are unusual in the fact that every once in a while one is really spicy, usually they are quite sweet, kind of like a safe, foodie version of Russian Roulette. They really are so good and a must try if you ever come to Spain… I don’t know if they’re readily available elsewhere but trust me, these are some good eating!

Ingredients

  • pimientos de padron
  • olive oil
  • rock salt
  • knob of butter

Method

This really is so simple. First give the pimientos a good wash and dry them off. Heat some a couple of tablespoon of olive oil in a pan until it’s really hot, then add the pimientos de padron. Add a good amount (about a teaspoon) of rock salt.

Keep the pan moving so they don’t burn but the skin should blister. They should take about 3 or 4 minutes. At the last second add a know of butter and serve.

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