I have a little recipe book where I keep all my cuttings and family recipes. Its pages are splattered with flour and other ingredients, and some of the pages are even stuck together. Scattered through out this book are mysterious little post its with hand-written and very scant recipes for various Croatian sweeties. Sweeties for recipes that my mum and I love, but find hard to track down. Something you might not know about some people, is that sometimes they don’t share the entire recipe with you. You’ll get enough to get you a good result, but often a little element is left out, that ensures no one will ever make it as good as they do.
The complexities of my Croatian side of the family mean that I am the heir to exactly zero Croatian family recipes, privy to no kitchen secrets. I had no grandmother to teach me the tricks of every proud Croatian mother’s kitchen. My mum, from a land as distant and different to Croatia as possible, had to clear her own path to try and make the food of my Dad’s homeland as best she could. She does a fine job too. If it weren’t for her snooping, we wouldn’t have the little post-it notes in the first place. Over the years she’s asked questions to kind individuals about recipes for things like prsurate, blitva and juha.
This break in the bridge of an important part of my heritage is why I LOVE The Suburban Peasant blog. Ana is like the virtual cousin I never had and the missing link in my food heritage. She kindly shares the kitchen wisdom of her Croatian family cooking. I am forever grateful that she, along with some other lovely bloggers, are putting these recipes out there to share and celebrate a food culture that is rich in flavour and meaning. Browsing Ana’s blog the other day I saw the recipe for Kroštule, a crispy fried sweet treat that I love but have never dared to make. In the Dalmatian region they call it hrstule. The recipe I have on a post-it note, is a bit different to Ana’s and some other’s I’ve seen on the internet, but it shows the variety that you often get from region to region. Compared to other recipes this one is rather plain, but I think the result is worth sharing.
2 tb sp sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tb sp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Mix together to form a dough. I needed a little more flour than this recipe called for, so use your common sense. It has to be dense enough to roll out.
Break off small chunks, to make for easy rolling.
Roll to as thin as possible, the thinner the dough – the crispier the hrstule.
Using a pizza cutter or crimped pastry cutter, cut into long strips, approx 1 inch x 6 inch (2cm x 15cm).
Make a 1 inch slit in the middle of each strip.
Bring one end of the strip, through the slit and out the other side, gently. Give it a little shake and you’ll get a little twist in the strip.
Fry in 180C oil, till golden. Dust with icing sugar while still hot.