Loire Valley saffron: some recipes
Saffron is one of the emblematic products of the Loire Valley, where it is grown by about 30 producers. Here are a few recipes including saffron (more particularly the pistils, also called stigma). 0,1g of saffron contains about 15 stigma.
One important thing to remember: infusion is what matters when it comes to cooking saffron. It is a product that needs time to release its aromas. It is important to let it brew in a little bit of warm water (about 5cl) or in something liquid you will need to cook your dish (broth, meat juice, white wine, vinager, milk, cream, beaten egg...). You should let it brew for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours (which is the time generally recommended). You will then have to add this preparation, with the pistils, into your dish, but don't cook saffron more than 10 minutes, as it would alter its flavours.
A very easy recipe to make some delicious butter to serve with nicely cooked food, during special meals.
To prepare this saffron butter, you will need 250g butter, 0.2g saffron (about 30 stigma) and a pinch of salt.
Leave the butter outside the fridge for a while to help it soften. Rub it with the saffron pistils and the salt. Make a roll, put it into cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow the butter to soak the aromas of the saffron. You can cut the roll into slices and deep-freeze them, to consume them when necessary.
Super easy recipe, for delicious biscuits to serve tea time, for example.
Ingredients (serve 4 people):
- 250g flour
- 125g powdered sugar
- 125g butter
- 1 egg yolk mixed with a spoonful of water to make the biscuits golden
- 1 pinch of salt
- 0,125g saffron stigma
Pre-heat the overn at 200°C (th. 6-7).
Leave the butter outside the fridge to let it soften.
Beat the egg with the saffron, leave aside for at least 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the flour, the sugar and the salt. Add the softened butter, the egg and the saffron. Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is soft and combines well.
Spread the dough and use a cookie-cutter to make the biscuits. Glaze with the egg yolk.
Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Rice pudding with saffron
- 1 litre milk
- 180g round rice
- 80g caster sugar
- 5 pistils of saffron
- 80g of butter
Infuse the saffron pistils in cold milk for at least 4 hours.
Blanch the rice in cold water until boiling. At the first boil, drain and rinse the rice in cold water.
Remove the pistils from the milk, boil the milk and cook the rice in the milk, stirring constantly. After 6 minutes, add the sugar and the saffron pistils and stir. After 12 minutes, stop the heat and continue to stir, incorporating the butter. Pour into cups and enjoy still warm.
Saffron ice cream
Ingredients (for 10 people):
- 1/2 liter milk
- 1/2 liter single cream
- 200g sugar
- 10 egg yolks (do not throw the whites, you can use them to make financiers - see recipe below, meringues or coconut macaroons!)
- 15 saffron pistils
The day before, mix the milk and cream, put the saffron to infuse in the mixture.
The next day, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, beat until the mixture whitens. Heat the
infusion of milk, cream and saffron, then pour it over the egg-sugar mixture. Cook over low heat like a custard, without stopping stirring. Let cool,
then whisk the ice cream.
Ingredients (for 10 financiers):
- 100 g butter
- 110 g icing sugar
- 60 g almond powder
- 30 g flour
- 3 egg whites
- 3 pinches saffron pistils
- zest of 1/2 untreated lemon
Preheat the oven th. 6 (180 °).
Melt the butter and cook until it becomes a nutty color. Filter.
Whisk in icing sugar, almond powder, saffron, flour, zest and egg whites. Add the butter and mix. Pour the preparation into small baking pans and bake for 15 minutes.