MAKING CROSTOLI (ANGEL WINGS) WITH DAD

Crostoli

Cooking with my Dad reminds me a bit of my first driving lesson with him. I wanted to take the lead, get stuck in, zoom down the road with abandon whereas he wanted to take his time telling me the road code, describing in detail that my hands need to be at 10 to 2, like a clock (and not one arm hanging out the window!) Is that really really a driving rule? or just my Dad’s?

Making Crostoli, sweet crispy pastry angel wings was no different. It was step by step, thoughtful and required patience (from me!). I tried my best to throw flour around, twist the pastry MY way, but Dad kept steering me back, to the old ways. Vanessa and I grew up with this recipe, and now that I have been taught by the ‘The Don’, I intend to continue the tradition with my children. Hopefully you will too. Ingrid

step by step crostoli STEP 1. Melt butter in a small pot. Add sugar, salt, some spoonfuls of milk and combine.

step by step italian crostoli STEP 2. Place flour in a pile on a clean work bench. Make a well in the centre and break an egg, add egg yolk, rum and lemon gratings.

STEP 3. With clean fingers carefully roll the flour towards the centre and start kneading to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add some more milk. Too wet, add a little more flour.

sweet-italian-crostoli STEP 4. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a knife (1.5mm thick). Slice into strips about 6cm wide and 10cm long.

italian-crostoli STEP 5. Make a vertical incision down the middle of the strips. Take one end of the ribbon and place it inside of it’s vertical cut, carefully pulling it through to form a kind of bow.

italian crostoli recipe STEP 6. Heat enough oil for deep frying on a high heat. Fry in batches until the pastry bows turn golden brown. Drain on a kitchen towel.

STEP 7. Pile high on serving dish and dust liberally with icing sugar.

Crostoli

Dad’s Crostoli
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8

What you need
  • 50 grams butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk extra
  • 2 tablespoons rum or grappa
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Icing sugar
  • Oil for frying

How to make
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, salt and milk and stir to combine.
  2. Place the flour in a pile on a clean work bench. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg, extra egg yolk, the rum and lemon rind.
  3. With clean fingers carefully roll the flour towards the centre to mix the egg. It should start to look like rough breadcrumbs. Gradually pour over the melted butter mixture and start kneading to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add some more milk. Too wet, add a little more flour. Knead until the dough comes together to form a smooth ball.
  4. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a knife (1.5mm thick). Slice into strips about 3cm to 9cm.
  5. Make a vertical incision down the middle of the strips. Take one end of the strip, place it inside the vertical cut, carefully pulling it through to form a kind of bow. To get the angel wing look, press out the pastry ends to accentuate the bow. Repeat for all strips.
  6. In a large pot, heat enough oil for deep frying on a high heat. Fry in batches until the pastry bows turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen towel.
  7. Pile high on a serving dish and dust liberally with icing sugar.

 

 

SISTER vs SISTER: MOTHERS DAY BAKING

Melting moments

Vanessa’s LEMON BUTTER MOMENTS

Who can resist a tin full of melting moments made by your kids? – I certainly can’t. My love of melting moments actually started whilst on maternity leave with Jake now 5 years. A Plunket (NZ postnatal care) friend Sarah, with a baby boy the same age and the knack for making these, got me hooked. We would go around to hers, compare our kids feeds, sleeps, poops and complain about how tired we felt and she would get out the biscuit tin. These biscuits solved everything! Her hubby is one lucky man. Not being the natural baker I haven’t changed a thing in the biscuit recipe. The Edmonds book suggests jam and a butter icing to stick the crumbly melt in your mouth biscuits together – I just did a lemon butter icing to add a bit of zing to the richness of it all. So subtly leave your Edmonds Cookery book out with page 57 earmarked (Edition 32 1992) or email your kids our link and fingers crossed they get the hint in time for mothers day…

Vanessa’s melt my heart moments
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 16

What you need
  • 200g butter, softened
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup Edmonds standard plain flour
  • 1 cup Edmonds Fielder’s cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon Edmonds baking powder
  • Butter icing or raspberry jam

How to make
  1. Cream butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift flour, cornflour and baking powder together.
  3. Mix into creamed mixture, mixing well.
  4. Roll dough into small balls the size of large marbles and place on a greased oven tray.
  5. Flatten slightly with a floured fork. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Cool and sandwich two biscuits together with Butter Icing and raspberry jam.

Notes + adaptations

Instead of Butter icing or raspberry jam, I sandwiched my biscuits together with a lemon butter icing. In a bowl I added 50g of softened butter, 1 cup of sifted icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon rind. I used my electric whisk to beat all the ingredients together until I had a light and creamy filling. I spread it on one side and sandwiched the biscuits together.

 

lemon meringue slice

Ingrid’s LEMON WHIPPED SLICE

I’m always surprised when someone says to me Happy Mothers Day, or refers to me as a mum. I still feel very much the daughter even though I have two scalliwags myself now. Maybe it’s because our mum, Val still looks after Vanessa and I so well, looking after our kids, sending us food parcels, dropping off groceries, and she is always in our laundry’s putting another load on. Aren’t mum’s ACE? Nothing better than baking for your mum, or even baking with the kids, licking the spoon and sitting down afterwards with a double shot flat white and a sweet slice. Just make sure someone else is doing the cleaning up. To all mums out there, you are A M A Z I N G – (I never quite knew just how much, until I had my own, and my mother became such an important piece in my families life). So make sure you take some time out just for you this sunday, and if your time out includes baking, give this lemon whipped slice a go – it’s worth it.

Ingrid’s Lemon whipped slice
 
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Serves: 6

What you need
Base
  • 200 g sweet shortcrust pastry
Filling
  • ¼ cup Edmonds Fielder’s cornflour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspooons grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Topping
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

How to make
  1. On a lightly floured board roll out pastry to 6 mm thickness
  2. Use to line a 20 cm flan ring
  3. Trim off any excess pastry
  4. Bake blind at 190°C for 20 minutes
  5. Remove baking blind material
  6. Return pastry shell to oven for 1 minute to dry out pastry base
  7. While pastry is cooking make the filling
  8. Pour filling into cooked pastry base
  9. Spoon meringue topping over lemon filling
  10. Return to oven and bake at 190°C for 10 minutes or until golden.
Filling
  1. Blend cornflour, sugar, lemon rind and juice together until smooth
  2. Add water
  3. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Stir in yolks and butter.
Topping
  1. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry
  2. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until very thick and glossy
  3. Stir in vanilla.

Notes + adaptations

I wasn’t so keen on a big slice of pie, I liked the idea of serving a more dainty slice this Mother Day, served with tea and a sweet little fork. That’s what so great about the good ole Edmonds Cook Book, simple recipes that are adaptable to your requirements, and my needs were small, sweet but big on lemon. Because I changed the pie to a slice I missed out the blind baking step (Bonus!). I simply lined a baking tray with pastry to 6mm thickness, pricked several times with a fork and baked the pastry for 15 minutes to cook and dry it out. I allowed the pastry to cool for 20 minutes whilst I made the filling. I spread the filling over the pastry, then spooned the meringue evenly on top. When baked and cooled (about 20mins), I cut into slices. It made about 12 slices, but feel free to divide them up into the size you feel fits your occasion.

TWO WAYS WITH ASPARAGUS

Perfect for spring

Spring is finally here. The sun is out, school holidays are underway and I am anticipating most of the foodie magazines will be featuring asparagus so thought I would get in quick to share two of my favourites recipes. The first one stems from lazy mornings, pre kids tucking in to eggs Benedict (eggs drowning in hollandaise sauce) and the second one is a dish our dad prepares when ever he gets his hands on asparagus or spinach. One is very healthy, you can eat it till the cows come home, the other however probably requires a week omitting butter out of your diet to cancel the effects!
Whatever your poison, give them ago. They look great, don’t take up much time and are really easy.

If you love hollandaise in a cafe, best you don’t find out whats in it, it’s seriously decadent!

I have to admit, I had never made hollandaise sauce before. I have eaten enough of it but always dismissed it as being to time consuming and with the potential to not work. Writing this blog has definitely taken us out of our comfort zone and made us try new things out. This sauce is super easy. I found it in a book called “Brunch, the perfect treat” by Jennifer Donovan.
Usually Ingrid and I adapt, change and make up the recipes but for something like hollandaise, I wasn’t about to even try. I have however added more lemon than the recipe suggested, as I like mine with more zest. (you could even use limes)

The only thing you really need to make this is a food processor or you could try your blender, that should work as well.
Asparagus Spears with Hollandaise Sauce 
What you need
2 bunches of asparagus
3 egg yolks
200grams butter (YES this is not a TYPO)
White pepper (ground not cracked)
Juice form one l lemon (more or less, just taste)
How to make
Add the 3 egg yolks to the food processor or blender with the pepper and blend for a few seconds
Melt the butter in a small pan until its bubbling (be careful not to burn it!)
Gradually and in a steady stream whilst the machine is on pour in all of the butter.
Lastly add the juice of the lemon.
The recipe actually says add some warm water if its too thick, mine was just perfect so I didn’t need to.
Serve warm over lightly steamed/microwaved asparagus. I microwave mine (1-2 bunches of thin stalks for about 3 minutes)

Warning – this is addictive, whilst doing this photo shoot my finger was in the bowl many times!     

The next dish is the total opposite, refreshing and lite on the calories. It looks great, is always eaten up at a BBQ.
Fresh and healthy – always gets eaten at a BBQ!

Zesty Asparagus and Egg Salad
What you need

2 bunches of asparagus
2 lemons
2 generous splashed of olive oil
2 boiled eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make
Hard boil the eggs
Blanch, steam or microwave the asparagus
Cool under cold water
Arrange on a plate – tips facing the same way
Squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus followed by the oil
Cut the boiled eggs into quarters and arrange
Season with salt and pepper.
Chill before serving
Tip – this recipe can be used with steamed spinach or silver beet. Just make sure you squeeze out any excess water from the cooking process before you dress it.Vanessa