Tuesday, 6 August 2013

An abundance of eggs...

I have just sent 3 boxes of eggs up the lane for sale and am now pondering what I can make/bake for freezing with the remaining dozen - although 3 of those are still inside the chickens :D

I have used up most of the leftover panettone: Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding

Deep ovenproof dish
Roasting pan

Pre-heat oven to 170C

Thick slices of panettone
300ml of milk - any milk, 1/3 cream would be good too.
3 eggs
75g dark brown sugar
sprinking of dried fruit, zest, etc
Icing sugar

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl, soak the panettone for a few minutes.
When most of the liquid has been taken up by the bread pack into a deep oven dish, pour over remaining liquid, and tuck dried fruit into the bread. sprinkle with icing sugar
Half fill a roasting tin with boiling water, put the panettone in and bake for about 45 - 60 mins.

If I make egg tarts (I will if can find out if they freeze) they will leave me with 3 egg whites. So I will make meringues and have Eton mess over the weekend. The fresher the eggs the better, mine will be chicken fresh, today and yesterday's offerings.

Pre-heat oven to 150C
Grease free spoon and mixing bowl
Electric whisk

For each egg white measure 50g of sugar.

With the whisk on slow whisk the egg whites for about two minutes, or until everything has become bubbly, I'll have 2 or 3 egg whites, it may take longer for more whites.

Then turn the whisk up to medium speed for another minute, then whisk at the highest speed and continue whisking through the soft peak stage until stiff peaks are formed, that is the mix should form a stiff peak without falling off the whisk. Don't  over-whisk the whites or the bubbles in the mix will burst and it will collapse into liquid.

Still on fast whisk the sugar in, about a tablespoon at a time, until you have a stiff and glossy mixture, it should really shine.

Spoon onto a baking sheet. I try to make little nests so they are quite versatile. I always line mine with silicone sheets but baking parchment will be fine.

Put them  into the oven at gas mark 2, 300°F, 150°C and immediately reduced to gas mark 1, 275°F, 140°C, once baked, turn the oven off and leave them alone until the oven is completely cold.

Timings will vary, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, you want the skin of the meringue to be crisp, not burned, and the centre should be all chewy :)

They'll keep in an airtight tin for a couple of weeks, but they freeze! So I will also take the berries out of the garden and make coulis etc to fill the meringues with!

My general biscuit recipe also  leaves me with an egg white!

Large bowl
Lined baking trays
Cookie cutters

Pre-heat oven to

250g unsalted butter, softened
140g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yok
375g plain flour

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy . Add the vanilla and egg yolk, mix in well.

Sift in the flour and mix until you get a firm dough. Work the dough into a ball and pop it into the fridge for an hour or so. It freezes well at this point.

Roll the dough out until it is about 3mm thick and cut out whatever shape you want. Place on baking sheets and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, they should be pale golden.

Today I will try rolling it into a log, the diameter I want my biscuits to be. Then I will freeze the log and simply cut off the biscuits as I want them. If it works that will save me having to defrost the whole thing - there are only 2 of us and 24 biscuits is too many. Especially with my Down Days and him working away a lot :)

Custard creams next!

Oh, and Portuguese egg tarts of they freeze. But I need more milk first.

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