Quince and princesses

Friday, June 25, 2010

There lived a princess long ago, who sometimes turned into a monster. Many tried, but failed, to tame the savage beast. Then one day, quince charming rode in and stole her heart.

Remember the Hunger Monster? She’s under control, but the perpetual quest to find interesting morsels to satisfy the growling tummy continues. Browsing through the latest (July  2010) issue of the ABC Delicious magazine, I came across a pikelet recipe - “Ahh, pikelet-schmikelet, how boring!” I thought.

Then I looked closer and realised the recipe was by one of my favourite writers – Belinda Jeffery. Which made me look even more closely at the recipe.  So glad I did. These were the tastiest pikelets I have ever made/eaten and I can definitely see it becoming a firm favourite. The recipe differs slightly from others because it includes buttermilk and grated apple. Bonus – not only was it delicious, it was low fat and contained added fibre (how’s that for marketing eh?). The grated apple also ensures the pikelet remains very moist, which is a bit different from the usual slightly “spongy” pikelet texture.

The only change I made to this recipe was to use some poached quinces instead of the pear slices suggested.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to visit on the 27th for the Daring Baker’s reveal ☺

For the poached quince – I peeled and sliced one quince quite thinly on the “vertical” plane, cutting around the core when I got to it. I cooked the slices gently over very low heat with about ¼ cup sugar and almost 2 cups water, plus half a vanilla bean (in a covered saucepan). I cooked it for about 3 hours to get the texture and colour I desired. Remember to stir gently from time to time to check if the fruit is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Apple and quince pikelets
(adapted from pg 60, July issue ABC Delicious magazine)

1 egg (preferably free range)
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 tbsp melted butter (cooled), plus extra for cooking
dash vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) self raising flour
1 sweet apple, peeled and grated
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup caster sugar
poached quince - drained (or pear slices if quince is unavailable)

Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter. Add the apple, stir to mix.

Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, and a pinch of salt into another mixing bowl, then make a well in the centre. Pour in the wet ingredients, whisk to combine, then let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir from time to time.

In a non-stick frypan, melt some butter over low heat. Add a slice of quince and let it cook gently for a minute or so. Place one tablespoon of batter on the quince and smooth it out with the back of a spoon, so the fruit piece is completely covered. It will look as if there is not enough batter but don’t be tempted to add more or the pikelet will get too thick and cook unevenly (as I found out).

Cook until small bubbles appear all over the pikelet surface and it is firm enough to flip over (about 3 mins). Cook the other side until golden and cooked through (about 2 mins).

While the actual mixing time for these pikelets was super quick, the cooking time was quite long because each pikelet took about 5 minutes. It’s worth it to make a big batch (we ended up with about 10) because they store well in an airtight container in the fridge, and can be reheated in the microwave.

We ate this after school 3 days straight ☺ MC Junior didn’t like the quince texture but liked the pikelets and MC Senior couldn’t get enough of them.


3 hungry tummies said...

You are such a witty writer Shaz! Your adaptation looks great even for a non dessert lover like me!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I like quince - in fact I have some quince cheese in the fridge. I love the way yours looks - rosy and soft! And the pikelets sounds superb!

grace said...

quince charming. oh shaz, how i laughed at that. great grub to boot. :)

Hungry Dog said...

I love it. Never heard of the word pikelet except from you. So cute! I love quince.