Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cracker Wednesday

My crazy Chinese-Greek-French-Swedish-Irish-Hungarian heritage has major benefits, one of them being that uncle-in-law with a farm in Hungary. He brings homegrown goodness back to the States a couple of times a year, including at various times, shelled walnuts, apricot compote, honey, cherries (packed in homemade whisky) and wine. This month's bounty was 3 quarts of walnuts, with which I made walnut butter, and a quart of apricot compote.

So I'm substituting the apricot for honey in all my recipes this week:

Sourcream-apricot crackers

1 cup plain flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon seasalt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/3 cup+2 T milk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup apricot compote (a very thin apricot jam, essentially.)

seasoning: 1 teaspoon each seasalt, coriander, 1 T dried orange zest

Preheat oven to 150'C/ 300'F.

Grind the seasonings together in a mortar; whisk the milk, sour cream and honey together to form about a cup of thick liquid

Add the seasonsings to the flour, and in a mixing bowl or food processor, cut the butter in until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (I start this with a knife or pastry cutter, then finish it with my hands.)

Slowly mix in enough liquid to form a soft, but not sticky, dough.

Divide the dough into four portions and roll out one at a time, until paper thin. Some people recommend a pasta press, but a rolling pin works fine. Keep turning the dough over, and lightly coating it with flour so it doesn't stick to the pin or the board.

Lightly brush the sheet with a flavorful oil (nut or olive); if you like your crackers salty, sprinkle ground sea salt on the oiled crackers. Using a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut the dough into 1" square crackers. Line cookie sheet with parchment (or just put them directly on an ungreased sheet), then transfer crackers to the cookie sheet if you rolled it out on a board.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Allow to cool on the tray and then store in an air tight container for up to a week. This recipe made about 200 1" square crackers.

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