Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Art of Food: Pearl Pin Biscuits

Here we are again, cooking.  Any excuse for me to eat something delicious and these are lovely.  One more on Friday and I promise I'll stop eating and start talking about delicious pictures again instead.
Nom nom nom.

Pearl Pin Biscuits

200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1tbsp ground ginger
Dash of lemon oil
400g plain flour

Royal icing sugar for decoration

Combine the butter and sugar briefly, and add in the egg, mixing well.  Add in ginger and lemon, followed by flour, until it forms a dough.  Place in a plastic bag and chill for at least two hours.

Roll out on a floured surface and cut out round shapes.  Bake for 8-12 minutes at 180 degrees/Gas 4 until they are lightly brown.

Mix up icing sugar with water or lemon juice until it is stiff but pipe-able.  Swirl on spirals and pearls using an icing implement of your choice.  I am a convert on the concertina bottles, they make it almost foolproof.

For a full and beautiful discussion of the pearly pin see and

That damn pearl pin, it’s here, there and everywhere.  It’s like a skeleton of a precious shell, and has such a fragile beauty, you can see why Rossetti used it over and over again.  Despite her masses of hair, I don’t believe I have ever seen an illustration of Fanny wearing it, but it graced the hair of Alexa Wilding, Jane Morris, Marie Spartali Stillman and Ellen Smith.  Rossetti liked to deck his women out in jewels, certainly from the 1860s onwards, but where no jewellery is present, then flowers take their place, as if the two are interchangeable.

When I next have a spare minute, I may well attempt to make an entire range of Rossetti jewellery in biscuit form.  I really need to get out more….

1 comment:

  1. I love that you describe the pin as being like the skeleton of a precious shell. That's just beautiful.


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