Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quince Paste & Hazelnut Crackers

Quince paste, hazelnut crackers, Spanish cheese


1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warmish water
1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup wholewheat pastry flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup AP flour
3/4 tsp. salt
6 T unsalted butter

· Slice the hazelnuts with a sharp knife.
· Toast the hazelnuts on a sheet in a 350° oven until slightly browned and fragrant.
· "Start" the yeast and the water in a cup.
· Whisk together the flours and the salt.
· Cut the butter into the flour, making a crumbly mixture, using a fork or fingers.
· Stir in the hazelnuts.
· Add the yeast/water a little at a time, until the dough just forms a ball.
· You may not need all the water, or you might need to add a little more.
· Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces.
· Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on a floured surface. (I used wax paper)
· Sprinkle sea salt on top. You could use water or egg wash to make it stick.
· Cut into cracker shapes. I used a ravioli wheel that has a curly edge.
· Prick the crackers all over with a fork.
· Place the crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 375° for about 10 minutes.
· Baking time might vary, based on the thickness of the crackers, etc.

Ripe quinces
·For every pound of quince, you will need approximately 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water.
·Make sure the quinces are ripe - let them stand on the counter until they are yellow and smell heavenly.
·Put the quinces in a sinkful of cool water and gently rub off the fuzz with a cloth or a soft brush.
·Cut up, peel, and core the quince, placing the pieces in a saucepan with the water and sugar.
·Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the quince is soft.
Run the cooked quince through a food mill or puree in a food processor.
Return to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat, until it is deep red and thick.
·Spread the paste in a prepared pan, with parchment on the bottom (you could use oil).
·Allow the quince paste to cool.
·Serve in thin slices on crackers with with Manchego cheese.

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