I am very lucky to have been able to stay with my partner for a long time without either of us actually having to kill the other. Which is a good thing generally, as I think that is illegal.
But the truth is that when you live with one person for that long there are more than one or two near misses (I am so near perfect that he is only ever delighted to find me still living and breathing each morning 😀 )
Anyway beyond that – having been together for so long, you do notice things about eachother. For example, he knows that I love raspberries the best in Blighty, blackberries the best in Italy, but mostly I love eating apples. And I know that he could live on nothing other than Custard Cream Biscuits. It was Fathers Day (gee thanks Hallmark Cards) in England yesterday and I thought it would be lovely to make a few really nice fresh ones for him. Traditional but using the best ingredients that I can find and not adding in any weird stuff.
I do use Custard Powder, so have a look just to check that you can find a simple one. You only need to find one with Cornflour, Sugar, Vanilla, Salt and the colour Annatto. I’m not going to stress about Annatto. If you want to know more then read this http://foodreference.about.com/od/Food-Additives/a/What-Is-Annatto.htm But it is perfectly fine 🙂
If you want to avoid Custard Powder then make up your own simple version with 2/3 Cornflour + 1/3 sugar, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla extract.
I also have a lovely girlie that cannot eat gluten, so I made these gluten free, so she could enjoy them too. As you can see from the look on her beautiful face – she thoroughly enjoyed them 🙂
I have to admit …. I snaffled a few myself 😀
Makes about 10 lovely big biscuits
For the biscuits:
225g / 7 oz Gluten & Wheat Free plain flour blend
60g / 2 oz of custard powder
30g / 1 oz of icing sugar
210g/ 7 oz sunflower margarine (not the spreadable stuff) at room temperature and diced
1 egg lightly beaten to break it up
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp sea salt
For the filling:
120g / 4oz sunflower margarine (not the spreadable stuff) at room temperature and diced
420g / 14oz icing sugar, sifted
6 tbsp custard powder
Sift together the flour, custard powder, icing sugar and sea salt and add into the bowl of a food processor with the margarine.
Start to run the machine on the 2:4 speed (half speed – whatever that is on your machine).
Through the feed tube add the egg and the vanilla.
Now turn the machine up and blitz for about 30 seconds.
It will look like a dry crumbly mixture.
Tip out onto a large piece of cling film. And press it so it all sticks together, cover and chill for about 10 minutes.
Line your baking trays with baking parchment.
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/ Gas 4.
Gluten free pastries need a little of a different sort of loving care to wheaten pastry. But take your time and if you have any questions then just ask 😀
Lightly flour the work surface with more gluten free flour blend.
Start by pressing the dough with your hand and encourage the edges to not split apart. Get it as close to 1cm thick as you can.
Once you are there roll the dough to 1/2 cm thickness (or perhaps a little thick is good too).
Stamp out rounds with an 8cm round cutter – or a glass or a cup.
Or make really teeny ones and use an egg cup to make them – but keep them thick so you get a real Cartoonish looking final product.
I pressed another cutter (a heart shaped one) about 1/4 of the way through the top to make a nice finish, but there is no need, you can just prick over with a fork instead, or use the tip of a sharp knife to make smiley face perhaps 😀
Place onto the baking trays.
As these contain no gluten there is absolutely no point in chilling them before baking – unless of course you are living in a very hot country and the fat has obviously started to melt in which case you can chill then for 10 minutes.
Otherwise – bang then into the oven and bake them for 10 minutes – until just beginning to colour around the edges, and when you touch the edge of the biscuit you can sense ‘firm’.
Leave these on the trays cool for 15 -20 minutes. Then transfer to a rack that can go into the fridge and firm up some more -these are super tender biscuits 🙂
For the filling, just tip all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Beat for a good 10 minutes until smooth and fluffy, adding a bit of water if you think it needs it.
Get a good dessertspoonful and spread onto one of the cooled biscuits right up to the edge – do not try pressing the biscuits to spread the mixture – they will break 🙂
And then top with another biscuits.
Pop directly into expectant ‘Father’ and Daughter No2’s expectant mouths 🙂
If you need to store them then pop in a lidded container in the fridge.