Kitchen

Cooking with Mrs Crocombe: Saffron Buns

My favourite meal of the year is Good Friday Tea.

Homemade, fresh from the oven, hot cross buns. Dripping with butter, or layered with homemade jam (usually damson). There is nothing tastier.

I don’t often make hot cross buns because of M and not liking curranty things (also because they’re a once-a-year sort of thing for Good Friday). And I can’t make them as well as my mother. But this year, as with last, obviously going home isn’t really an option.

We have been testing all the excitingly flavoured non-curranty ones available from the supermarkets, which have all been yummy, but just not quite right.

Fortunately, Mrs Crocombe has come to my rescue with a recipe for saffron buns, although even these have currants. She also has the Bath bun, which is the basis for a hot cross bun.

Looking over the recipes, we plumped for the Saffron Bun. I just have to substitute the currants. It was going to be blueberries, but there weren’t any in Tesco when I went to look, so I opted for dried apple (and white chocolate chips). Which will probably go better with the saffron, and is more suitable, being another Westcountry foodstuff, like the saffron itself. Or at least, it used to be, though there is now The Cornish Saffron Company.

I had thought I had saffron already in the cupboard, from a paella kit, but then I looked at it properly, and it turned out to be a spice-mix with saffron as one of the components. Fortunately, even though they couldn’t manage dried blueberries, Tesco had jars of (half a gram of) saffron. Which I will guard with my life, because it’s too expensive for just any old recipe.

Naturally, we had to practise the recipe over the weekend. Just to make sure it works and is a suitable substitute to Mother’s hot cross buns.

I skipped the glaze, because I’m lazy, so they were a bit floury on top, but otherwise delicious. Might need a bit more practise, though. And I’ll glaze them next time. But perhaps I’ll practise without the saffron, now that I know the flavours do work.

Definitely a suitable substitute.

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