This recipe for water crackers is based on one from The Constance Spry Cookery Book.
- 500 gm Fromager d’Affinois or similar cheese, brought to room temperature
- To serve: muscatel grapes
- 1.25 kg cabernet sauvignon or other red grapes, stems removed
- 875 gm white sugar
- 30 gm pectin (see note)
Rosemary water crackers
- 250 gm plain flour, sieved
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 60 gm lard
- ¼ cup (firmly packed) rosemary
- For brushing: olive oil
- 1For grape jelly, combine grapes and 350ml water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer until grapes are tender (5-10 minutes). Coarsely mash with a masher, then simmer for another 5 minutes. Drain grapes through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug, gently squeezing muslin to yield 750ml. Combine juice and sugar in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add pectin to syrup and stir until dissolved, then stir continuously for 5 minutes (be careful as mixture may bubble up). Meanwhile, place a saucer in the refrigerator to chill. Place a teaspoon of jelly mixture on saucer, return to refrigerator for 1 minute, then push your finger through jelly; if wrinkles appear, it’s ready. Pour into sterilised jars, seal, then refrigerate until set (1-2 hours). Makes about 1 litre. Grape jelly will keep in sealed jars for 1 month.
- 2For rosemary water crackers, preheat oven to 180C. Combine flour, baking powder and ½ tsp sea salt in a bowl. Rub in lard with fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Add 80ml water, or enough to bring mixture to firm dough, then knead until smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Divide dough in four and, working with one piece at a time, roll through a lightly floured pasta machine with the rollers at the widest setting, then fold and roll dough, reducing settings notch by notch, until you reach the second last setting or until 3-4mm thick. Tear sheets into large pieces, brush with olive oil, scatter with sea salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper and rosemary, place on baking trays lined with baking paper and bake until golden and crisp (10-15 minutes). Crackers will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
- 3Serve Fromager d’Affinois with rosemary water crackers and grape jelly.
Note Pectin aids setting; it is available from select supermarkets and health food shops.