This Sunday marks the finale of the second season of Game of Thrones, in which fans will finally find out if Daenerys gets her dragons back from the weirdo magician dude(s) and whether Jon Snow does, in fact, know anything.
If you're planning to lay out an epic feast worthy of a Valyerian prince and perhaps open a flagon of Dornish Red to boot, then you should find yourself a copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook, which went on sale May 29.
The George R.R. Martin-approved book was authored by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer Martin, co-founders of the food blog Inn at the Crossroads, which is based around the A Song of Fire and Ice series. (Their motto: In the game of food, you win or you wash dishes.)
Recipes include fantastical creations like Night's Watch Pork Pie, Aurochs with Roasted Leeks, Baked Apples, Riverlands Trout Wrapped in Bacon, King's Landing Lemon Cakes, Quails Drowned in Butter, Stuffed Grape Leaves, and Tyroshi Honeyfingers. Each blends modern cooking techniques and common ingredients with a detailed background of the historical medieval meals that inspired them.
Since today is also National Doughnut Day, we're sharing a recipe from the cookbook inspired by the doughnut's ancient ancestor -- a treat that is likely something King Joffrey Baratheon likes to snack when he wasn't busy having his enemies' heads cut off.
From: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.
Note: The clear predecessors of the modern doughnut, these medieval applecakes are soft, chewy and bursting with warm, nutty apple filling. Called krapfen in Germany, the fluffy fried morsels are filled with nutty apple goodness.
Makes: about 24 applecakes
1¼ cups milk
2¼ teaspoons dry yeast (1 packet)
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 to 4 cups unsifted flour
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Poudre Forte (5 parts cinnamon, 3 parts ground ginger, 2 parts ground nutmeg, 1 part ground cloves, 1 part ground pepper)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts -- walnuts, pecans, pine nuts and chestnuts are all lovely
Oil for frying
Confectioners sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Warm the milk just slightly to the touch and then add the yeast to it. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has foamed up. Add in the egg yolks, 3 cups of flour, the salt, and the butter. Mix thoroughly by hand until you have a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding extra flour if needed.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop or board, and knead for several minutes, pushing with the heel of your hand, then gathering the dough back into a lump, adding more flour if necessary. Allow the dough to rise under a clean dishcloth for around an hour.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the apples, honey, spices and nuts. Cook together over medium-low heat until the honey has been absorbed. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
4. On the floured countertop, roll out the dough to ¼-inch thickness, dividing the dough in half if space is limited. Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out disks of dough, reserving the scraps to roll out again.
5. When you have made as many disks as possible, use a pastry brush or your fingers to wet each of them with water. On half of the dough disks, place about 1 teaspoon of the filling, then place another round on top. Press the edges together firmly to seal, and allow them to rise for around 20 minutes.
6. Heat 1 inch of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Gently lower each cake into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Fry until the dough is golden on both sides, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with a little confectioners sugar, if you like.