Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sweet memories

 Cream Tea
And so, sadly, it was time to take my leave of all my new found friends in the Auvergne- but not before we had one last 'Recettes Partagées'.

This time, the theme was distinctly sweet.

It was my turn to present first of all, and so ( by popular request) I made a 'Teatime Anglais' or English cream tea. Scones, jam and cream and cups of proper Tetleys.

Well readers, they loved it. Who wouldn't?

Much more interesting though, from my point of view, was the recipe for 'Bugnes' presented by Marie-Claude.

These are little Lyonnais fried pastries- dusted with sugar- very like doughnuts but flavoured with lemon or orange. Essentially, you make a sweet pasta dough- and then deep fry it.What's not to like?

Ingredients:  Warning- this makes dozens and dozens (scale the ingredients down for a smaller batch or freeze the excess).
500g plain flour
5 eggs
150g sugar
150g butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 dessertspoon rum
grated zest of 1 lemon

All ingredients in the bowl

Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix well with your hands until you have a supple and smooth dough, ready for rolling. (You can use a mixer of course).
Form a smooth dough

Roll out thinly on a floured work surface, then use cookie cutters in any shape or variety that you choose to cut out the shapes. You can use the leftover pieces any way you like too- as twists, plaits ..whatever.
Heat up some flavourless oil and  deep-fry them quickly in batches.

Deep fry quickly

Drain on kitchen paper and serve warm, dusted with icing sugar. Heaven!


Other sweet treats this time included a Ginger Bread Pudding- that is to say, a bread pudding but made with pain d'épices (gingerbread).

1 lemon
300g ginger cake or pain d'épices
50g sultanas
50g mixed candied peel
150ml milk
2 tbsp rum
2 apples
4 eggs
60g butter
1 sachet vanilla sugar

1. Wash the lemon then grate its zest and squeeze it for juice
2. Break the ginger cake into large pieces in a bowl and add the sultanas, peel, milk and lemon zest. Leave to soak.
Let the mixture soak up the liquid
3. Peel the apples and cut into small dice and add to the lemon juice
4. Add this to the mixture along with the beaten eggs
5. Line a cake dish with baking paper.
6. Melt the butter and coat the paper with it

Line a cake dish with paper and melted butter
7. Sprinkle on the sugar and coat the melted butter with it.
8. Pour in the ginger cake mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes at 160 degrees or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Gingery Bread Pudding

One treat left over from my summer bottling and jamming were some Boozy Peaches. I chose some of our best pêches de vigne, slipped the skins off under hot water, took out the stones and placed them in sterilised jars with 100g of sugar, a split vanilla pod and enough alcool à fruits to cover them. (This is readily available in France, where everyone makes their own alcoholic drinks from fruit if they can. You can use brandy instead.)

Boozy Peaches
Seal up the jars and store in a cool place.
It is best to turn these regularly to allow the sugar to dissolve completely.

After a few months, you have delicious jars of Boozy Peaches- wonderful with ice cream, or placed atop stale cake and covered with creme anglaise and whipped cream to make trifles.

Top rounds of stale cake with peaches, custard and cream

Any leftover liquid makes a nice liqueur to drink too.
Can't beat a trifle!
And finally, one last dessert from Marie-Claude.
At our pot-au-feu afternoon, we all had to make an apple tart for dessert- all to the same recipe and to serve 8.
16 tarts were duly baked and served to the waiting crowds- but alas, that meant that none was left for the hungry volunteers next day who came to wash up and clean the village hall- and to eat Les Restes.

To the rescue, Marie-Claude! Up at dawn, she baked 3 more tarts for us all to enjoy.

Line a tart tin with shortcrust pastry and coat the base with 2 tbsp of apple compote. Then peel and finely slice 4-5 dessert apples (depending on size) and arrange them on top of the compote in a circular pattern.
Bake at 160 degrees until the apples are tender and the pastry golden.
Whilst warm, brush the top with a little jam ( apricot is traditional, but I used peach for mine and it was good).
Serve dusted with icing sugar if you can.

Tarte aux Pommes

Bravo Marie-Claude et à bientôt!