Hot Cross Buns and More
We have the Minorcans of St. Augustine to thank for their traditional fromajardis, with a cross cut into the top of each pastry and the British for another Easter tradition, Hot Cross Buns, featuring the Christian cross.
“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns!
One ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons,
One ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns!
Good Friday is a great time to serve Hot Cross Buns and this recipe is a sweet treat! Rather than make traditional Hot Cross Buns I wanted something a little sweeter. So, I used my cinnamon rolls recipe, but after sprinkling the dough with cinnamon sugar, I topped it raisins and rolled it up. I cut it in traditional cinnamon roll slices but then shaped each slice into 1-2 inch balls. I let them rise in a warm place until double in size before baking them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Once cooled I used a powdered sugar frosting to pipe on crosses.
Minorcan Fromajardis were first made in Florida by the St. Augustine Minorcans. This traditional Minorcan Easter pastry is seasoned with nutmeg and stuffed with cheese.
Here is the recipe and excerpt from A Culinary History of Florida.
George R. Fairbanks (History of Florida, 1871) describes the Saturday night before Easter, when young men would stroll from house to house, serenading neighbors and hoping for a gift of food such as fromajardis, a traditional Easter pastry seasoned with nutmeg and stuffed with cheese. It’s then baked until the cheese melts, oozing out of the cross cut on the top.
1 1⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water
1⁄2 pound grated, sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs, well beaten
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place flour, butter, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle with ice water, tossing lightly with a fork until moistened and beginning to clump together.
Form into a ball. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 1⁄8-inch thickness. Use a 3- to 6-inch cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough.
Cut a cross-shape into one side of each circle of dough.
Combine cheese, eggs, salt and cayenne pepper, and place a spoonful atop one half of each circle on the uncut side.
Fold over the cheese mixture to make half-moon shapes, with the cross on top.
Pinch edges together with moistened fingers, crimp with a fork.
Bake on greased baking sheet until cheese begins to ooze out the cut-cross and pastry is golden brown, or 18–20 minutes.
You might find you have too much filling, if you don’t roll the dough thin enough for 12 cut-outs.
ANOTHER SPRINGTIME RECIPE
Yogurt with fresh fruit is one of my favorite breakfast dishes and this is a great topping.
Dried blueberries, steel cut oats, sunflower seeds and ginger made this granola extra special.
I substituted Florida cane syrup for the maple and used butter in place of olive oil. I made some candied ginger to give it a little zing…it gave it a lot of zing, almost too much, so I use the ginger in my morning coffee now.
Olive Oil Granola
By Janet K. Keeler, Times Food and Travel Editor
2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats, I used 1 1/2 cups steel cut
1 cup shelled pistachios, I used crushed cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, Couldn’t find unsweetened so I used fresh coconut.
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, I used sunflowers seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup, I used Florida cane syrup
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, I used butter
3/4 cup dried cherries, I used dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.
In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, maple syrup and olive oil, stirring until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and light golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.
Remove granola from oven, and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, then mix in dried cherries. Cool completely before transferring to a storage container.
Makes about 6 cups.
Source: Adapted by the New York Times from Eleven Madison Park restaurant, New York