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Hertzoggies

Pimpin’ up ya Pastry

Pastry week has arrived and ohhh my days, have we baked up a doozy this week.  

A little jam tart, decadent, morrish and so beautifully pimped up some might say it makes regular tarts look plain and boring.

Crowned in a fabulous coconut meringue,  the recipe for these tarts originally come from our Cape Malay ancestors in South Africa and are known as Hertzoggies.  I remember them being made by a friend’s mum for picnics when I must have been about 10 years old and have been secretly obsessed with them ever since.

I love a good story behind the food we eat and whilst It might be a tongue-twister of a word to get your mouth around, the history of these little treats are pretty special.

The South African Hertzoggie is named after the politician and Boer War General J. B. M. Hertzog, who became the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1924 to 1939.

It’s suggested that the origins of this tasty baked treat is thought to be invented by the Cape-Malay community to demonstrate their support for Hertzog after he promised to give women the vote and equal rights to the coloured community in the 1920s. After fulfilling the first promise to give women the vote in 1930, but not the second, the community began baking the cookies with a brown and pink icing called “twee gevreetjie” (Afrikaans for “hypocrite”), showing their dissatisfaction with him.

The recipe calls for apricot jam as the filling but it being a GBBO bake-along with a St Helenian twist we decided to make our own jam from scratch to fill these little beauties.  Tamarind fruit or ‘tamlets’ as they are known on Island, is like marmite to most people. You either love their sweet/sour taste or split your tongue trying to eat them. Growing up my Granny and mum made tamlet jam all the time and as kids my siblings and I consumed handfuls of the fruit dipping them in sugar or sometimes salt to counterbalance the sour taste of the flesh.  It is a taste and smell that is forever fused onto the memories of my childhood and I love it. Using my Granny’s recipe I made tamlet jam for this weeks twist on hertzoggies.

Making this week’s treat a nice blend of history and nostalgia.

EJ

Here’s how you make it:

 

Granny Hilda’s Tamlet Jam

400g of Tamarind fruit

400g of caster sugar

2 tsp ginger powder

 

  1. Shell and soak the tamarind fruit.  Ideally overnight to soften the flesh from the seeds.  Alternatively you can buy the fruit already deshelled but this will also need to be soaked in warm water for at least a hour.  
  2. Drain and place the soften fruit in a large saucepan and cover completely with fresh water. Add the sugar and bring to a boil.  
  3. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally to stop the jam from sticking. The jam is cooked completely once all the fruit has broken down and the jam has thickened.  
  4. Just before finishing add your ginger.
  5. Allow to slightly cool and then press the jam through a sieve to remove the seeds, bits of shell and any fibers to produce a smooth jam that can be bottled in sterilized jars.

 

HERTZOGGIES

 

Pastry

300 g self-raising flour 

50 g caster sugar

125 g butter – cold and cubed

3 extra large egg yolks

Ice water

 

Filling

Jam – Tamarind Jam, but historically use smooth apricot jam (or a jam you like)

5 extra large egg whites

160 g caster sugar

160 g desiccated coconut

 

  1. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl and add the butter cubes, crumbling with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and add it to flour mixture, mixing until the dough starts to form a ball.
  3. Add a little ice water if too stiff.  
  4. Bring together on a floured surface and cover with cling film.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to make the hertzoggies, pre-heat the oven at 180°C.
  6. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut circles with a cookie cutter to fit into the muffin tin cavities.
  7. Put 1 teaspoon jam in the flour.  
  8. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  9. Add the caster sugar while beating.
  10. Fold in the coconut. Place a generous spoonful of meringue mixture on top.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and store in an airtight container.

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