Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bergamot Madeleines

I really wanted some Madeleines. For a while, I've been wanting some. But since I have these bergamots, I thought I should use some of them for it. Unfortunately I didn't have a pan, and I didn't really want to buy one. Aside from a clutter issue, there's also the unitasker issue as well as the "how often will I really make these? Enough to warrant the cabinet space?" question. So, instead of going out and finding a pan, I asked my Facebook friends if anyone had a pan I could borrow (and return with a batch of fresh pastries). Not surprisingly, no one actually had this specialty pan (or if they did, I guess they just didn't want to share it?). So I went out to find one, ultimately deciding that I will simply make sure I use it often enough to warrant the space it'll take up.

I remembered seeing some old tin ones in thrift shops lately. I mostly remember it because I saw a bunch, and I thought it was odd, and I also had to talk myself out of getting one. That whole cabinet space thing again. So, I went to a billion thrift shops, and is usually the way when you're looking for something specific you saw there recently, no one had any pans for me to buy. From there I went on to the restaurant supply store (no luck), and so many other stores I honestly lost track of where I'd been. There were two places where I saw non-stick ones, but you don't want a non-stick Madeleine pan, if you want the browning to be even (which I did). So I kept looking. Seven hours after I first left my house, my quest was finally over. Sur la Table sells non-stick and stamped steel ones. They had two non-sticks left in stock (weird), and a million stamped steel. I got my steel pan, and moved along before I got tempted by the other objects to look at.

This recipe is adapted from the Chez Pim one, though I stuck fairly close to the recipe this time. On account of that, I'm just going to do the paraphrase thing with my changes and comments in italics. Hope you enjoy!

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup bergamot syrup (see below, but make this before you do anything else)
zest from onebergamot orange
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used 2 cups even of cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder (I doubled this since mine is close to expired)
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (she uses salted; I used unsalted and a teaspoon of kosher salt)
Approximately two more tablespoons of softened butter for brushing the pan, plus some more flour

Beat together eggs and sugar. Add zest and syrup and beat well. Mix together baking powder and flour. Fold in with a whisk or spatula. Fold in melted butter. Put the batter in a pastry bag and refrigerate, OR leave in bowl and press a piece of saran wrap against the batter, then refrigerate. Leave in fridge 2 hours to one day. Brush butter in the molds of the pan, taking special care to get all the nooks and crannies. Then sift flour over the pan, shake then tap out the excess. Put the pan in the fridge while the batter is chilling.

Heat oven to 450F. Remove pan from fridge and fill molds with 1 1/2" diameter-ish amount of batter. You may pipe this (that's what she does), or you can use spoons, or a portion scoop (that's what I did with about a 1 tablespoon scoop; she pipes)  or whatever. Put the pan in the oven and let it bake 6 minutes. Then crack the door of the oven open, turn the heat down to 400F and let them bake another 2-4 minutes, or until the edges are golden browned and the bump in the middle of the pastry springs back when you press it lightly. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute on a rack or the counter. Then lift up the pan about 4" from the counter, and drop it. The pastries will pop out. Transfer them to your mouth or a tray. Wipe out the pan with a damp cloth, then stick it in the freezer for 2-3 minutes (don't do it longer than this or it's a pain to butter). Butter and flour again, then fill and bake again. This recipe makes 36 units, but I am pretty sure I'd have gotten at least 48 had I not so dramatically overfilled the first batch. If you don't need a full batch, this will keep, well wrapped, in the fridge for a day or two.

Bergaot syrup:

1/2 cup bergamot juice (roughly one orange's worth)
1 cup sugar

Boil together until reduced by about 1/3 volume. Cool to room temperature.

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