Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Go Dutch to celebrate Easter

Easter Celebration Stick
There is a significant Dutch influence in Yorkshire cooking since Dutch engineers came across to build the dykes to drain the flood water from the fields in the Vale of York and on the banks of the Humber. My Dutch friend, Cobi, who has lived in Yorkshire for over 30 years, remembers her Grandma’s baking. She writes …

‘My Grandma was born in a small village, in the North of Holland, in a county called Friesland and lived there all her life until she died. She was married to a fisherman and they had their own fish shop. Grandma only baked on birthdays and special days like Christmas and Easter because there was very little money and baking was classed as a luxury. Grandma was always busy in the fish shop selling the fish Grandad had caught. Friesland had its own language. In Dutch the word for grandma is Oma (I'm Oma to my grandson), but the Fries word for Oma is Beppe and that is what my brother and I called her.

This is Oma’s recipe for Celebration Stick. It’s delicious!

For the marzipan (almond) filling:
125g ground almonds
125g sugar
½  egg
Finely grated rind of a lemon
Juice of a lemon (If a stronger flavour is preferred, then use more lemon zest).
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave to stand for an hour or so.

For the decoration:
Apricot jam
Glazed cherries
Strips of orange peel

For the pastry:
Puff pastry is used in this recipe, so make your own or use readymade frozen puff pastry.
Roll out the pastry thinly, about ½ cm thick, into an oblong shape of about 35-40 cm long and 12-15 cm wide.

Roll the almond mixture (marzipan) into a long sausage shape, slightly shorter than the oblong.  Place the almond mixture on the pastry oblong and roll the pastry over the marzipan. Slightly wet the edges and stick together.  Do the same with both ends.  Place the long roll on the baking tray with the stuck side down. Brush with beaten egg and place in a hot oven, about 225C, 430F, for about 30-40 minutes or until baked.  Do not open the oven for the first 15 minutes.  Take out and allow to cool. 

When completely cold, warm 4-5 tbsps of apricot jam in a pan until very runny.  Spread the runny jam over the baked roll.  For final decoration use glazed cherries and orange peel strips. Decorate with Easter eggs or Easter chicks.
Cut into small slices
Happy Easter!

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