Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Oh My Fur and Whiskers

in celebration to the film I have been reading my 1978 copy of Alice in Wonderland I've had ever since I can remember. It was given to me by my older brother who was, at the time a keen antiques dealer whilst forfilling his dream as an actor. So this book, disregarding the contents has lots of character. It's a bit battered but with lots of charm, minus the dust cover, but the pictures and my mad imagination (very much suited to Charles Dodgson's aka Lewis Carroll) make the book a pleasure to read. But the illustrations on the inside of the cover are delightful so I thought it only right to share them with you.

.... Beautiful aren't they! The white rabbit's royal tunic has inspired me to craft a new apron. Added to etsy shop this week.

and to inspire all you readers, why not set aside some weekend time to make these. 

The Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts

'The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer day: The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts and took them quite away!' ...

'Twinkle twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky' ...


Prep aration time: 30 minutesCooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:150g plain flour
Pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Cold water
Jam (strawberry, raspberry or apricot work well)
You will also need:
Big mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Pastry board (or a flat, shiny surface)
Rolling pin
Circular cookie cutter (or use the rim of a glass)Non-stick patty tin 
Table knife

Sift the flour and salt into the bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and drop them in.  With your fingers, rub the butter into the flour. You will end up with a breadcrumb-like consistency

Add the caster sugar and egg yolk and mix to a stiff consistency, using the wooden spoon. You will need to add a little cold water (try a tablespoon at a time) to make it stick together in a lump. Too much water will make it too sticky so add it gradually and work it through, thoroughly. Three tablespoons should be more than enough.

Knead the pastry gently for a few minutes then leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Turn on the oven (190C / gas mark 5 / 375F) to pre-heat.

Sprinkle a little flour onto the pastry board or worktop. Put your lump of dough on it and roll out the dough to about an eighth of an inch thick. Make sure the thickness is even all the way across.

Cut out rounds of dough with the circular cutter and place them in the tart tin. Prick the dough a few times with a fork on the bottom and sides.

Put a blob of jam into each (roughly a teaspoon is good).

If you have any dough left over, gather the bits up and roll them out flat again. Cut the playing card shapes of clubs, hearts, diamonds and spades out of this dough, either freehand with the table knife or make a template out of cardboard. Make sure they are small enough to fit on top of the tarts.

Place the dough shapes on top of the jam and put them in the top half of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown

'After a while she remembered that she still held the piece of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling the first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller, and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height. ' ...


1 comment:

  1. Ha! Love this Alice inspired post, i may even give the jam tarts a try tomorrow ;)


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