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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

LEVANDURAS WITH 15TH CENTURY FRIED CHEESE BALLS

Dry Yeast
Photo by: Lord-Williams
yeasts, leavening agents. Bakers in the Middle Ages used a live yeast culture or a fermented vegetable starter. Avenzoar stated that they have a property that activates digestion if the fermentation is balanced; on the contrary they will accelerate the alterations and corruption of the humors. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:49; and Gitlitz. 1999:14]


FRIED PASTRIES STUFFED WITH CHEESE ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S AL-ANDALUS 409 RECETA DE LA ALMOJÁBANA, p 225-226 AND 410 HOT TO MAKE IT ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S AL-ANDALUS 410 MANERA DE HACERLO, p 226

NOTE: Almojábana is not composed of one cheese but two, that of cow and that of ewe’s, because if you make it with ewe’s cheese alone, it will fall apart and runs out of the pie. If made with cow’s cheese, it binds and sweets water and becomes a solid mass that won’t separate. The principal for making it is to bind the two cheeses together.

Ingredients

Making Pastry, Any Shape, Filled with Cheese
Photo by: Lord-Williams
The cheese
¼ cow’s cheese (55 gr)
¾ ewe’s cheese (165 gr)
milk (optional)

The dough:
250 gr wheat or semolina flour
1 tbsp yeast
1 c water or milk

oil for frying

Garnish:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
 1 drizzle of honey or rose syrup

Preparation

409. Preparing the cheeses

Deep Frying Cheese Balls
Photo by: Lord.Williams
Knead the two cheeses until they bind and do not run in the frying pan without becoming hard or glued together. If it needed to be softened add fresh milk, recently milked from a cow.

The cheese should not be very fresh or soft but strong without water. The people of our land in western al-Andalus, as in Cordoba, Seville and Jerez and elsewhere in the west make it this way. 

410. Manner of Making it

Delicious for Dessert or Tea
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Knead flour with yeast adding water or milk little by little. Milk is better and easier  to work with using one’s palms.

Roll it out. Do not do this as with honey dough, but it should be heavier but lighter than dough containing grease.

When the dough begins to rise, heat a frying pan with enough olive oil for deep frying.  Dip a hand in water and cut a piece of the dough and stick some of the cheese mixture. Cover it and press down on it by hand.  (It came be made in any shape, a ball, half moon or other.) Pick it up and put it in boiling olive oil. When golden brown remove it with a spatula and hold it over the frying pan for the oil to drip into it. Then place it on paper towels.

When done frying put the pastries on a large platter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. If desired they can be eaten with honey or rose syrup and it is the best you can eat.

Honey was added after the fact as the pastries were a little dry.  That solved the problem,  This a delicious pastry for dessert or tea.
















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