Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dyeing Easter Eggs with Onion Skins, Estonian style

This was originally posted in 2011. You'll find all my Easter recipes here

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

We don't really 'do' chocolate eggs for Easter here in Estonia, but real, chicken eggs. Dyeing eggs for Easter is very popular, and using onion skins is probably the most popular method. Using onion peels gives you most beautiful dyed eggs, each one unique and special. Here are some photos of the process that I took few years ago.

Pille, onion skins

Here's what you need to do:

* Few weeks before Easter start collecting onion peels. Yellow ones are better than red onion skins, as they give a nice colour.

* You need white eggs for doing this (this gives the shops a chance to sell specially packaged white eggs for a much higher price before the festivities).

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take an egg and neatly put few onion peels around it:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take a piece of mesh/muslin/kitchen foil or even an old nylon stocking and wrap it around the egg to keep the onion peels on place. I used foil here:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Boil as usual. Cool, then unwrap and unpeel.

Here's the result - each egg is unique and gorgeous:

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

Natasha describes a similar, though less complicated way of dyeing eggs with onion peels that's popular in Russia and Ukraine: Russian Easter Eggs. My 91-year old grandmother uses the same method - she says she's too old to "play around" with the onion peels too much :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lemony bread and butter pudding with custard and berries

It's been a while since my last proper blog post, I know. It's not that I've neglected my food-loving readers, I've just been focusing on my Estonian readers during the last months. Apologies :) But here I am, attempting to start blogging again with this fun take on bread and butter pudding.

Why bread and butter pudding? We were sorting the bread and butter recipes over on my Estonians site with one of my editors, Kaare, and while doing the research, I came across this shortcut version in the British food magazine Delicious. Meanwhile, if you read Estonian, you can check out Kaare's great article on this humble - yet versatile dessert: Millal Sa viimati saiavormi sõid?

Lemony bread and butter pudding with custard and berries
(Saiavorm sidrunivõide, vanillipudingi ja marjadega)
Serves 6 to 8

400 g good white bread (brioche, challah or such like)
butter, softened
500 ml (2 cups) fresh vanilla custard
200 ml double cream/whipping cream
300 g berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
6 Tbsp lemon curd or toffee/caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 160°C . Thickly slice the bread and butter one side of each slice. Cut each slice into large triangles or halves and layer in a 2 litre ovenproof dish.

In a 1-litre jug, mix the vanilla custard and fresh cream, then pour in around the bread slices, pressing the bread down gently. If you can, leave to stand and absorb for about half an hour. 

Scatter berries on top, tucking them between the bread slices. Spoon dollops of lemon curd or caramel sauce on top.

Bake in a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the bread slices on top are golden brown on edges and nicely crispy.

Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a jug of cream or milk (pictured). 

How do you make bread and butter pudding?