Fried Stars and Dagging

More of Sunday’s experiments. Recipes from the Innsbruck MS:

Stars and dagging

112 If you would make fried stars, prepare dough sheets as for hasen orlein and cut stars from them. Always put two on top of each other and fill them. That is also good. Fry them like other fritters, but these are better etc.

This recipe is nice and short, but it takes a lot of interpretation. First, what are hasen orlein? The word means hare’s ears, and they are a kind of fritter that was quite basic. I read it as a dough of flour, egg, and milk for this occasion, based not least on the way people made ‘infidel cakes’, but I suppose it could have been as simple as flour and water. The star shapes were made with a cookie cutter, but could just as easily be produced with a knife.

Raisin-fig filling on the stars

For the filling, I decided to go with raisins and figs simmered in wine. To get this to work, you need to use liquid sparingly and add to the mix as it is absorbed until all the fruit are soft and can be mashed. Fillings of this kind are mentioned frequently and I rather like their intense sweetness without any added sugar and way they take strong spicing (in this case nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom). One small teaspoonful on each star was quite enough, which meant in the end we had a lot left over.

No crimping needed – the sides held together well

I stuck the edges together by moistening them, but egg wash is equally possible and would probably make the result prettier. Then I fried them in oil at a fairly low temperature. It works well, the stars hold together much better than mere crimped edges, but they need to be turned frequently to get them to brown evenly.

Then, since I had dough left, I went for another recipe:

109 If you would prepare a fritter that looks like cut dagging (gesniten fronsen), also make sheets of dough and cut them and roll them out on top of each other. Fry them in fat that is not too hot and press them together at the top before you put them into the fat etc.

Dagging ready to go into the pan

Here, I simply rolled out and cut a long, rectangular strip of dough, cut dagging into it (in this case just a simple fringe, though I guess more artiostioc designs are possible), folded them over and pressed together the solid edge. The dough was sticky and I did not have high hopes, but the fringe actually separated and opened out very attractively. We broke off individual pieces to dip them in our cibus maiis.

A very nice effect

Altogether, this was a good result and I will use both recipes again.

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