Hello, friends! Here is another recipe which desperately needed to be posted on the blog. About two weeks ago, when the weather was heavenly and warm, Djamo and I decided to venture over to one of our favourite little parts of the world. It is a place where we often go to lay in the grass and spot clouds with Josephine relaxing on our chests. It is a lovely little field, with a footpath going up into the hills that hardly anyone ever goes on. On one side of the field, you can find a babbling brook and the beginnings of a woodland reserve, and on the other, it is covered in a burst of sunshine yellow gorse flowers that fill the air with the scent of sweet coconuts. Yes, coconuts. It often comes as a surprise to many that such a scent can be naturally found in this cold, temperate climate. But gorse flowers, in many respects, are a delightful treat, albeit painful to harvest. Along its stems lay not only its sweet yellow blossoms, but masses of huge sharp thorns eager to pierce all those who attempt to pluck its tropical scented flowers.
Here, I decided to make a gorse syrup in order to scent these ricotta filled turnovers with a wonderful coconut-floral flavour. I’ve also added some dessicated coconut to help enhance the flavour as well as some citrus zest in order to break through the sweetness. However, the syrup itself can be poured over ice-cream and sweets (like baklava or basbousa) or simply used to flavour drinks. Simply put, it is delicious.
Today, I’m hoping to get quite a lot of baking done, something that I eagerly look forward to every week, particularly when the weather has darkened and threatens us with rain. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Here is to golden sunshine and warmer days ahead.
Gorse Flower Syrup
Cooking time: 15 minutes plus at least overnight
Makes: approximately 1 cup
Gorse flowers are gloriously scented, reminiscent of a tropical daydream, and its strongest notes are those of honeyed coconuts. They are available all year around, however, I have found that the best season to harvest them is the spring as I believe that this is when their scent is strongest.
2 cups fresh gorse flowers, washed
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
Place the sugar and the water together in a saucepan over a medium heat and allow to come to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes before taking off the heat. Allow to cool completely before adding the gorse flowers. Stir the gorse flowers around in the syrup to ensure they are all coated before pouring the contents into a sealable container. Allow to infuse for 24-48 hours before discarding the flowers. Use within 1 month.
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes: 18 turnovers
zest of 1 navel orange
zest of 1/2 grapefruit
4tbsp desiccated coconut
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white for brushing)
70g caster sugar
4 1/2tbsp gorse syrup
1/4tsp rum (optional)
1/4tsp cardamom, ground
4-5tbsp confectionary sugar (for dusting) (optional)
2-3tbsp honey, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-assisted) 350ºF. Place all the ingredients for the filling into a bowl, stir together and set aside. Take out the puff-pastry, cut into 18 squares and cover with a damp cloth .
When ready, add 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom corner of each pastry square. Brush the edges with the egg white and fold over and seal shut. Place on a baking tray and brush the top with a little egg white before placing in the oven and baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Take out of the oven and dust liberally with confectionary sugar and drizzle honey over the top. Serve immediately.
Thank you for reading.