You’ve all tossed a box of lukewarm fish fingers on the table alongside some vanilla custard in the name of authenticity, but there are only so many trays of uneaten sacrificial fish you can throw away before the novelty wears off. A lot of folks have quietly taken to substituting the fish fingers with something people actually want to eat dipped in custard.
Since Overlords sometimes go overboard, the upcoming Dining With the Doctor: Regenerated has 6 sweet and 6 savory versions of both fish fingers and custards for gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and a couple for folks who can eat anything. That’s 24 different ways to mix up your fish finger and custard choices so you can feed darn near anyone.
In honor of Pi Day, I’m sharing my personal favorite – crunchy vanilla wafer sticks rolled in graham cracker crumbs. They look so much like store bought fish fingers that people are seriously grossed out when they see them on top of my Fish Custard Pie. That look of horror is a sign of a job well done. Sure, you can eat the cookies on their own, but if you want to show off to your fellow Whovians, click here for the pie recipe.
Faux Fish Fingers
- 1 cup/130 g flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 8 tbsp/ 120 g butter
- ½ cup / 100 g sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup/110 g graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp sugar
Grab a couple bowls. Your dry ingredients need to snuggle up and take a nap while the wet ingredients throw themselves a party.
Toss the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk until they’re well mingled then leave them to their own devices. Don’t worry. They have friends to keep them company. They’ll be fine on their own.
The wet ingredients are a lot more high maintenance. Try not to invoke flashbacks to The Power of Three while you cut the butter into cubes. Toss the cubes in a bowl with the sugar. If you have a stand mixer, you can stand back and watch it beat those sugar crystals into the butter until it’s nice and fluffy. Otherwise, grab your hand mixer. Either way, you really want to beat the heck out of the mix for 3-4 minutes until the texture changes and becomes downright creamy. Now add in your egg yolks, then keep beating for another few minutes until the whole mess transforms into a pale, creamy yellow. Finish it off by mixing in the vanilla extract and heavy cream.
Your dry ingredients have had enough alone time. Introduce them to the wet ingredients and keep beating until a solid dough forms.
For the most Fish Finger-esque shape, form the dough into a rectangle about the width and height of two fish fingers. It should look like an angular futuristic log of mystery filling. Wrap it in plastic and leave it in the fridge for at least half an hour. If you’re busy, it’s totally okay to make the dough one day and bake it the next. (I do this whenever I make my Fish Fingers and Custard Tart.)
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, go ahead and mix together your graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar. Remember that remaining egg whites? Whisk them until they’re frothy. (If you chill the dough overnight, you can pour the egg whites into a small bowl or tupperware container and store them in the fridge. As long as you keep them covered, they’ll be perfectly fine the next day.)
Unwrap your pallid loaf of vanilla dough. It’s already the height and width of a couple fish fingers. Cut off a slice about 1 inch/2.5 cm then cut it in half. Voila! Two fish fingers!
Lightly dip each fish finger in the egg whites before rolling it in the graham cracker coating. If your cookies look a little bare, don’t be shy about gently pressing the crust right into the dough.
Spritz a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange your faux fish fingers about 2 inches/5 cm apart.
Bake at 350F/175c for 18-22 minutes, or until the cookies are the deep golden brown of frozen fish fingers. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Fresh from the oven, these are so fragile they’ll fall apart if you glare at them too hard. Once they’ve completely cooled, though, they turn into sturdy, crunchy cookies.
These are best served in a Fez, next to a bowl of custard.