Thranduil’s Spice Pastries by Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Bilbo’s innate resourcefulness rescues them all from the gruesome fate of becoming an arachnid’s entrée. Circumstances lead Bilbo and company into yet another stressful chapter wherein the dwarves are captured by the Wood-elves. Tolkien’s elves and dwarves generally do not get along, to put it rather mildly (a situation mostly remedied in The Lord of the Rings).
Putting on a magical Ring that grants the wearer invisibility seems a smart thing to do when trying to free prisoners, and Bilbo proceeds to do just that. After observing the business of the elves who deal extensively in trading goods by barrels with the nearby town, Bilbo realizes the perfect way to help them all escape is to place each dwarf in an empty barrel and they can all simply float away on the river. All but Bilbo, of course, who has to make do with hanging on to a barrel in the cold water (he catches a miserable cold).
Bilbo and the group of extremely grumpy dwarves finally are freed from their tight little boats—very hungry indeed. “I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!” said Fili. “My tub was full of it. To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move and are cold and sick with hunger is maddening. I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end—but not an apple!” Fili would surely welcome apples in his diet again, especially if they were baked in this elvish dessert.
“Thranduil’s Spice Pastries”
17.3 ounce package puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (such as Pepperidge Farm)
About 6 ounces dried cherries
2 ounces pecans, chopped finely
1¼ cups apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into ¼” bits
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup packed golden brown sugar
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon each:
ground coriander seed
⅛ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Coat 2 regular-sized muffin pans with cooking spray or grease lightly. Place one sheet of puff pastry on a cutting board. Cut vertically along the two creases. Cut horizontally into 4 equal sections. Place each piece in a muffin cup, pressing to fit while leaving the corners intact.
Preheat oven to 400°. Put 4 cherries in each cup. Sprinkle nuts evenly in each, then sprinkle apple bits evenly over all.
Place the cream, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, coriander, ginger, mace, and salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to combine well. Pour 1 tablespoon into each cup. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over all. Bake 17-19 minutes, until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife around the edges to facilitate removal from pans. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and store at room temperature. Makes 24.
Crispy the first day; more like miniature pies on the second day, these are called Stained Glass Morsels in my cookbook.
Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Astrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available exclusively in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. She blogs occasionally at http://halflingsandmonsters.wordpress.com. You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/astridtuttlewinegar or visit her Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/astridwinegar.