Hot cross buns are generally seen as an Easter treat that English Christians traditionally ate for breakfast on Good Friday, but there is plenty of conjecture about when they were first made, with suggestions that the cross could be a pagan symbol and that they could date back as far as the 12th or 14th century.
Although there are now different variations available, the original sweet buns were made with spices and dried fruit – usually currants or raisins – and marked with a cross on the top that is symbolic of an Easter blessing.
Many South Australia farmers’ markets stallholders now sell artisan hot cross buns made using locally-produced fruit (see details and market long-weekend opening hours below).
Gawler Farmers’ Markets stallholder Claude Conterno from Merry Cherry Farms has shared his decadent recipe for a sweet dessert using up leftover hot cross buns.
Claude Coterno’s Fried Hot Cross Buns
6 hot cross buns (plain or chocolate)
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
Splash of pure vanilla extract
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup whipped cream
6 tbsp shaved dark chocolate
Slice the buns horizontally into about 4 layers.
Put a handful of chocolate chips in between each layer and use your hand to press the bun together firmly.
Lightly beat together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla, then briefly dip each hot cross bin in the mixture so it is lightly coated.
Heat up a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat and fry the buns for up to 5 minutes on each side until the sugars have caramelized and the outside has gone crispy.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream topped with a sprinkling of the shaved dark chocolate.
Easter at the farmers’ markets
The farmers’ markets at Gawler, Willunga, Victor Harbor and the Barossa will be open as usual on Easter Saturday, with Adelaide Hills and Mount Pleasant holding special mid-week twilight farmers’ markets this week instead of their usual Saturday market days. Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers’ Market will be closed on Easter Sunday and re-open on April 3 at 9am.
You will find hot cross buns on Easter Saturday at the Gawler Farmers’ Market at the Merry Cherry Farms stall. Gawler Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8am-noon at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2 Lyndoch Road, Gawler. Merry Cherry Farms also sells a fruit bun based on its hot cross bun recipe all year round from its stalls at Gawler and the Adelaide Showgrounds.
Flour Power Breads and Unique Tree Market Patisserie will have hot cross buns for sale at the Willunga Farmers’ Market, open on Saturday from 8am-12.30pm.
Adelaide Hills Farmers’ Market is open today, March 23, from 3pm-7pm in Gawler Street, Mt Barker (a change of location from its usual Mann Street site).
Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market is holding a special Easter twilight market tomorrow, March 24, from 5pm-9pm at Mount Pleasant Showgrounds, Melrose Street, Mount Pleasant.
The Barossa Farmers’ Market, on the corner of Stockwell and Nuriootpa Roads in Angaston, will be open on as usual from 7.30am-11.30am on Saturday. And Victor Harbor Farmers’ Market will also be open on Easter Saturday from 8am-12.30pm at Grosvenor Gardens, Victor Harbor.
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