Experiment: Liechtfesser

A shallow dish like a lamp – maybe

Another of the experiments made this Saturday: Liechtfesser from the Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch:

49 Liechtfesser küchlein

Take milk in a pan, salt it like soup and add fat. Half a seidlein of milk and a pletzlein of butter like half a schmaltz. Let it boil, and when it is boiling, take a handful (batzen) of flour and put it into the pan. Stir it well and do not stint the flour so that it becomes thick, like the gewolnen küchlein. Cook it (brenne in wol) above the fire and see there are no lumps (putzen) in it and that it smells nice. Place it in a bowl and beat it well, Break an egg or two into it and beat it well, but do not make it too thin but as thick as the dough for gewolnen küchlein. Make them round like küchle Liechtfesser (?) and put fat into a pan. When it is melted, roll it out on a board and put it into the pan so that the rounds are not too broad. Fry them well again, thus they gain small bubbles (kluntzlein). Let them have a good heat so that they brown.

Cooking at a low temperature (the little pieces are undercooked crumb from the first batch and turned out great)

This was the one I felt least certain interpreting. Clearly it is a choux pastry, and it is meant to be a very firm one since gewolne küchlein means rolled-out fritters. I started out with about 400ml of milk and added a generous teaspoon of salt and a dollop of butter before bringing it to boiling point. Beating in flour was challenging – the paste quickly turned lumpy – and I think I did not add enough, but the resulting dough still detached from the pot as a choux is supposed to. Then I worked in two eggs.

That did not work out

Since the dough I got seemed unsuited for shaping or rolling, I divided it in half and added more flour to half of it. Then I used the original dough to make patties, but was unsuccessful and resorted to dropping it from a spoon. This worked, but since I had also misjudged the required temperature the first batch burned and the second still cvame out too brown. The actual fritters were quite good, airy and moist, but we had to prise the crumb out between the black crust and the undercooked centre. Even if I had done them at the right temperature, I don’t think that was what I was supposed to be aiming for.

More flour – these could be shaped easily

The second batch went in at the correct temperature from the start, and it was much more successful. I had been concerned over adding too much flour, but the fritters still came out soft and airy with a slightly crunchy crust. I started with a batch of relatively thick, flat rounds and pressed the second one flatter and wider to see if it would make a difference. The first patties took on the shape I had thought they might: an expanded rim and a shallow dip in the middle that may explain the name Liechtfesser – lamps – from their similarity to oil lamps. However, this is still just speculation. I should have added more flour from the start and I am not sure how that would affect their behaviour in the pan. This calls for more experimentation.

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