Friday, 29 March 2013

Hot Cross Pieday

We made a hot cross bun pie!
Or, to put it another way, we made a rather peculiar treacle tart.

The recipe we worked from is here, but of course we took some liberties with it.
Most significantly, we did not use "Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself" hot cross buns: I feel, quite strongly, that a hot cross bun that goes to such lengths to be healthy does not deserve to be called a hot cross bun.
 Besides, we didn't go to Sainsbury's this week.

Baffled Americans may be comforted by the knowledge that a treacle tart is a confection similar in nature to a molasses pie, or sugar pie.
Only not that similar.
 Other baffled foreigners will just have to find peace in their bewilderment.
Or bake it: that will explain all.
 Ultimately, this is one of those ultra-cheap desserts that languished in obscurity* until rescued by a wealthy benefactor in the form of the gastropub.
It is, however, none the worse for that, and is actually quite nice served with that very-rich-but-good white vanilla ice-cream that such places insist on presenting with all desserts.
I would advise against the sprig of mint, though.


Sweet pastry, or ordinary shortcrust, whichever you prefer, pick a recipe and go with it.
300g (most of a bottle) of golden syrup
Two and a half hot cross buns
Two tablespoons of cream (unless you bought creme fraiche by mistake, in which case use that and pretend you did it on purpose)
An egg
A pinch of ginger
A smaller pinch of cinnamon (or just buy cinnamon hot cross buns)

Optional silliness

Orange juice
Icing sugar

Roll out the pastry, use it to line a tart tin, put it in the fridge and forget about it.
 Fetch a big bowl and dole out the hot cross buns, giving the half-bun to the smallest cook.
Tear and crumble the buns into the bowl, trying to prevent the smallest cook from eating too much of hers.
 Now prevent Smallest Cook** from returning her half masticated chunk of bun to the bowl.
Give up and present Smallest Cook with a handful of raisins.
Smallest Cook has Won.
 Let merely Small Cook finish crumbling the buns, while you heat the golden syrup on the stove.
Turn off the heat once the syrup is simmering and is of the same consistency all over.

Pour the syrup onto the buns.
 Do not let Smallest Cook touch the syrup because the syrup is hot.
Hot! Don't touch!
 Give Smallest Cook another handful of raisins.
Now Small Cook needs some raisins too, or it will not be Fair.
 Beat the egg and let the various sizes of cook decide for themselves who will pour it in.
Take turns stirring in the egg then dollop in the cream (or otherwise), ginger and cinnamon.
 Distribute stirring privileges according to your autocratic whim.

Once all is combined, pour into your chilled pastry case and put it all into a lowish (we used 180 degrees) pie oven for thirty-five minutes, or until it is slightly risen, firming a little on top, and a deep golden brown.
 Allow to cool.

If in a silly mood***, combine icing sugar and orange juice to make a reasonably runny icing, and ice a cross on the top.

Eat, with or without ice-cream.****

*Obscurity being the food equivalent of a debtors prison or a workhouse.
I really wanted to use the word gaol there, but I couldn't make it work.

**I decided she needed capitals.

***Read the above and judge for yourself.

****Except for Phoebe, who isn't allowed any.
If you feel that this is peculiarly cruel of me then I refer you to my Snail Pieday, and the events therein.
 Or, if you cannot be bothered to look this up (and a quick search by me completely failed to uncover it) then you may simply console yourself with the knowledge that she ate two hot cross buns this morning, not to mention the bits she was supposed to put into the bowl, and two handfuls of raisins.

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