It is not surprising that Jersey should boast a speciality that uses the excellent milk (and to a lesser extent butter) from its famous breed of cattle. Fliottes are still associated with Good Friday, when they were traditionally consumed on the island, as both a filler-upper and a sweet treat.
They can be regarded either as a sweet dumpling or a poached doughnut: a robust batter is made with flour, plenty of sugar (as a guide half the weight of flour), a pinch of salt, and eggs well beaten before being added to the rest, plus a drop of milk to loosen it slightly. A good depth of full-cream milk is brought to near boiling point in a pan, a knob of creamy butter introduced to enrich it further, and then spoonfuls of the batter gently plopped in. Not too many at once or the temperature will drop and the Fliottes won’t be as light, and the floating fliottes will crowd one-another. They are eaten warm with a sprinkle of sugar on top, and a moistening of the milk.
Fliottes are first cousins of another traditional Jersey food item, Mervelles (Wonders), twisted-ring doughnuts which are fried rather than poached, associated with the funfairs of springtime and early summer.
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