Saturday 18 December 2010

Figgins for Hogswatch

Hogswatchnight is, of course, the night that the Hogfather visits the inhabitants of Discworld, in his sleigh pulled by four wild boars, to distribute toys and pork products.

It is customary to leave out turnips for Gouger, Rooter, Tusker and Snouter, and a glass of sherry and a little treat for the Hogfather. I didn't have any turnips, and I would rather drink most of the sherry myself, but I did bake some figgins.

Figgins (makes about 10)

115g plain flour
80g lard, chilled in the freezer for an hour (you could use butter or shortening, but we are making treats for the Hogfather, so it really should be lard)
pinch of salt
100g raisins
50ml sherry
15g butter
50g dark muscovado sugar
grated zest of an orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
milk & demerara sugar to glaze

The day before baking, put the raisins to soak in the sherry.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Wrap the lard in a piece of greaseproof paper, leaving the end exposed, and holding it by the paper, dip it in the flour and grate it into the bowl, dipping it again if the grater starts to gum up. You will end up with a pile of frozen, grated lard in the middle of the flour. Yum yum. But I promise you this makes the most gorgeous flaky pastry. Using a knife, cut the lard through the flour, then add just enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge.

Put the raisins and any sherry that hasn't been absorbed in a small saucepan and add the butter, muscovado sugar, orange zest and spices. Cook over a low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolves. Cool.

Roll the chilled pastry out thinly and cut 5" diameter circles out. Place a tablespoon of filling on the centre of each circle and fold over, crimping the edge into a pasty sort of shape. Transfer to a baking sheet, glaze with a little milk and a sprinkling of sugar. Bake at 220C for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool a bit before eating.


mscrankypants said...

I still haven't read a single Pratchett book. Off to bed for me without any supper until I fix this calamity!

hungryandfrozen said...

Cute idea! I've never read the books, but I do love being inspired by the food mentioned in novels. That pastry sounds fantastic :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Cranky - just don't start with Colour of Magic. It isn't his best!

Laura - it is definitely the best pastry I have made!

kat said...

Ok, I had never heard of this until now, though I think it is alluded to in the Dark Tower series. I love someone who distributed pork products though

Choclette said...

Sort of like mincemeat pies? My grandmother always used lard in her pastry and she made the best pastry ever. Unfortunately, I am a vegetarian now, so no lard for me.

mscrankypants said...

I saw Colour of Magic on sale today but didn't buy it -- I must've sensed your 'don't buy it' vibes!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - the naughty children get bags of bones.

Choclette - more like an eccles cake, really!

Cranky - good woman!

grace said...

sometimes lard is completely appropriate, and this is one of those times. :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Very fun--I need to check out those books. ;-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Grace - there is definitely room for lard in a balanced diet!

Deb - I think Pratchett is wonderful! I hope you enjoy them.


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