Didn’t I tell you I’d make custard creams? Today was an alarmingly long day, and I decided to walk it off in the sunshine before going home. I took a different route from usual and wandered along to Halmyre Street to admire The SS Explorer, a ship that had been catching my eye for months on the crest of a striped sea.
The ship was painted in 2013 as part of the Leith Mural Project. I love the story painted on this wall, everything from the brawny crab and the charming gramophone, to the elegant swan and the telling toilet. I also love the story of its creation, and the fact that the artists who worked on it were treated to local Punjabi Junction and La Favorita food!
So I stopped to look at this magical reflection of Leith to take my mind off the dull day thus far, and to remind myself of where I am. I then chose to walk along Easter Road, of all places, the street I climbed every day for over a year when I lived in Abbeyhill. Except I wasn’t going to Abbeyhill, I was turning right back towards Leith again to make custard creams.
I have a custard cream problem. It wasn’t a problem for many years until my favourite bakery started making them a few weeks back. They’ve been closed since Monday, and I haven’t eaten anything sweet for five days. So I figured today would be a reasonable day for a custard cream; besides which, mine are around a third of the size of Bad Tempered Baker’s (which means nothing because I scoffed three tonight).
They’re one of the cheaper things I’ve baked, using very little butter and no eggs – and it’s also a quick recipe. Sadly the amazing smell of them baking in my oven was smothered by my neighbour smoking pot. Hey ho.
Biscuits (makes 10)
125g butter, softened
30g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120g plain flour
1/4 cup custard powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
90g unsalted butter, softened
180g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
Heat oven t0 180C. Line a tray with baking paper.
Sift the flour, custard powder and baking powder into a bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, vanilla extract and icing sugar together well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat hard until a soft dough forms.
Roll the dough into small balls, about the width of 10p coins. Place on the baking tray and gently press the tops down with the back of a teaspoon.
Bake for 10-12 mins, until very lightly browned around the edges. These biscuits will look very pale, but they will be baked!
Let the biscuits cool on a wire rack and make the filling.
Beat the butter for a few minutes until light and puffy. Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the icing sugar. Add a little water to get the consistency that you’d like for your filling – I prefer a thicker filling in my custard creams.
Once the biscuits are cooled, pipe the filling to get nice smooth edges (I was too lazy to do this tonight, so you could just spoon them on and get an uneven filling like mine – who cares if you’re going to scoff them all by yourself?).