In autumn when figs are in season it’s time to indulge and make this all natural delicious chutney. You can serve it with anything – its as great with vanilla ice cream as it is with grilled chicken or fish. Do yourself a favour and try making it just once.
Makes about two 500g(1lb) Jars.
1kg (2lb) very ripe figs, stem removed
4 Tablespoons Rice Syrup
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1 Tablespoon mirin
seeds from 10 cardamom pods – ground in a mortar and pestle
1/4 cup raisins – optional
- Put all ingredients in saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Remove lid and cook on low/medium heat for 20-30 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
- Check seasoning and serve or store.
- Delicious with EVERYTHING.
No one does fruit pies and tarts as well as the United States especially in the country towns. I scoured the country trying to find the secret of the luscious gooey apple pies and as you can see from this recipe it’s all in the syrup made from apple ‘juice’ and butter. What more fitting way to celebrate 4th of July than with this Apple Pie. Serve with ice cream – ‘a la mode’ – as the Americans would say.
1.2 kg (2.5lb) granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm thick slices
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark treacle sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maizena/cornflour
Flaky pastry to fill a 9 inch (23cm) pie dish – ensure it is deep enough as this is a typical American high pie.
- Line deep pie dish with flaky pastry.
- Mix apples and all the ingredients excluding the butter, maizena and pastry in a large bowl.
- Macerate for at least 30minutes. Drain in a colander collecting all the “juice”. You need about 1/2 cup of “juice”.
- Boil this “juice” together with the butter in a small saucepan until thick and the liquid has halved.
- In the mean time add the maizena to the apples and and mix till dry.
- Now add syrup to apples and stir through. Place in pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes to maintain flakiness of the pastry.
- Remove plastic wrap. Bake in preheated oven at 425F/210C for around 40 minutes in bottom shelf of oven.
- Cool for 4 hours before serving.
I always sought the unusual – even in the times where meat and two vegetables were the standard fare. One sunny summer’s day in 1982 I discovered this recipe in a quaint cookbook at a school fair. It was an incredibly modern recipe in it’s day and became the regular favourite way to cook our weekly fish dish. It’s stood the test of time – still a little different and quite delicious with the unusual combination of fish and ham and the souffle topping works well. Serve it with steamed vegetables in winter or a green salad in summer.
1kg (2lb) firm white fish like ling or cod
60g (2 oz) butter
3 Tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 cups milk
75g (3oz) chopped ham
2 teaspoons dill or fennel seeds
- Butter a large shallow gratinee or pie dish. Cut the fish into large pieces and lay in the dish in a single layer. Sprinkle with dill or fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
- Pour over the milk, cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 400F/200C for 10 minutes.
- Remove fish and reduce oven heat to 300F/150C. Pour the milk off the fish into a separate jug. Add the chopped ham to the fish in the dish.
- Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring all the time. Gradually add milk fish was cooked in, still stirring. Bring to the boil. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
- Cool slightly. Then add egg yolks, one by one stirring thoroughly after each addition.
- Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the sauce with a metal spoon.
- Pour this mixture over the fish in the dish. Cook in the centre of the oven at 300F/150C for 30 to 40 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
John loves his food and his cooking. He arrives at our New Year’s brunch and produces his pie, warm from the oven, with a flourish. It is spectacularly good. John always has the knack of making it look particularly professional too.
8 rashers bacon
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
Quality readymade puff pastry, rolled out thinly
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Line a 20cmx30cm deep Lamingtin style baking tin with thinly rolled out puff pastry.
- Chop bacon into 5cm pieces and fry in a frying pan until cooked.
- Sprinkle bacon over pastry spreading evenly.
- Break eggs over, keeping the yolks whole.
- Sprinkle with parsley and cover with thickly sliced tomatoes.
- Cover pie with remaining pastry and trim edges.
- Brush pastry with beaten egg to create a golden glaze.
- Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 190°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until pastry is cooked.
- Serve warm cut into wedges.
This recipe uses a shortcrust pastry which goes all biscuity and is quite divine despite the simplicity of the pastry. These are very traditional – hearty and delicious. The pastry is prepared using a Kenwood mixer rather than a food processor and the extra few minutes required are well worth the result. The pastry allows for a substantial quantity – only make as many tarts as you need and eat warm if you can. Save the remaining pastry in the fridge for another occasion during the festive season.
Makes 48 tarts (7cm diameter) with lids.
500g caster sugar
2 cups Self Raising flour
1½ cups plain flour
2 jars Robertson’s fruit mince
- Cream butter and sugar in Kenwood Mixer until almost white.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating all the while
- Add flour and knead well
- Break into two portions, wrap in cling wrap and store in fridge.
- Grease a 12 cup muffin baking pan with capacity for twelve 7cm diameter tarts.
- Roll pastry out to about ¼cm thick – you definitely don’t want these too thin.
- Using a 10cm cutter, cut rounds and line holes of prepared pan.
- Fill with Robertson’s fruit mince.
- Using a 7cm cutter, cut tops and place on top of fruit mince.
- Pinch pastry closed and brush with egg.
- Bake at 170°C for 15- 20minutes until lightly browned.
- Immediately turn out onto a wire rack so that pastry crisps up and does not get soggy.
- Cool 20minutes and serve sprinkled with icing sugar. They are wonderful eaten cold but even better slightly warm. For ultimate flavour, eat them on the same day you bake them or reheat if made the day before.
This is the family’s most popular picnic and bushwalking food – of course it is wonderful for brunch and a very special treat in a school lunchbox. I used to bake it early in the morning and wrap in foil as it came out of the oven. It would still be slightly warm when we ate it. Nothing tasted better after some exercise – something about simple flavours.
3 rashers bacon, diced
2 sheets puff pastry
- Heat oven to 200°C
- Layer 1xsheet of puff pastry in a 23cm diameter pie dish.
- Cook bacon until crispy in microwave or frying pan.
- Drain all fat and scatter cooked bacon evenly over puff pastry.
- Break eggs over bacon being careful to keep yolks whole.
- Top with second sheet of puff pastry and crimp edges.
- Brush top of pastry with egg white.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is browned.
- Serve at room temperature or cold.
These are a bit fiddly – you really do need to make the pastry yourself and serve them freshly made, but the pastry is quick, easy and made the day before. The filling sounds simple but is absolutely delicious – I tried more exotic fillings but always came back to this one. Adapted from “Cooking with Myrna Rosen”.
Makes 24 tartlets
Mock Puff Pastry:250g butter refridgerated
½ cup boiling water
2 cups flour
- Grate butter into a large mixing bowl
- Add boiling water and stir quickly with a fork until mushy
- Add flour, mix and chill in clingwrap overnight
Filling:175g grated cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped 2ml mustard powder
- Heat oven to 220°C.
- Sauté onion until soft.
- Beat eggs and add all the other ingredients.
- Roll out pastry, cut into rounds and ¾ fill each pastry shell with cheese mixture.
- Bake for 15-20minutes till pastry is brown and filling is firm to touch.
- Serve immediately.
Luscious – something about a dessert that is warm and fills the house with delicious smells, has the fresh taste of baked apple, crunchy walnuts, and chewy sultanas. THEN it is soaked in that gooey brandy cream sauce. This tipsy apple pie is a complete sensory experience and a fitting end to a barbecue or seafood dinner. I always say that if the meal has been light, go overboard on the dessert. Oh, and it can all be pre-prepared other than the actual cooking in the oven.
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup flour
½t(3ml) baking powder
1x454g tin pie apples
1/4 cup sultanas or raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
ice cream or cream to serve
Sauce – Simmer the following for about 5 minutes:
50ml dark brown sugar
Add 50ml brandy when removing from heat
- Cream sugar and butter in Kenwood mixer.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
- Fold in sifted flour and baking powder.
- Pour into deep butter pie dish with high sides some 25cm in diameter or use a 20x25cm rectangular dish with high sides.
- Spoon over pie apples.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins and walnuts.
- Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes.
- Pour over warm sauce and return to switched off oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.
- Delicious !!!
This is large, filling, a dash unusual, delicious and inexpensive to make. The cheese pastry is unbelievably good but I never got round to filling it with anything different. The ingredients are readily available in the pantry so it’s easy to whip up with a salad and bread for unexpected guests at a Sunday lunch or just for a light family dinner. In case you’re wondering, Audrey was mum of one of our family friends, Anthony Holman.
150g butter from the fridge
150g(1½ cups) cheddar cheese such as Coons or Bega
- Use grater blade in food processor to grate butter and cheese.
- Remove grater blade and replace with normal blade.
- Add flour and process until pastry just forms.
- Press into a 25cm greased pie dish -it will be quite thick.
1x484g tin asparagus, tinned works perfectly
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cream
1t(5ml) bicarbonate of soda
pinch mustard powder
- Lay asparagus and cheese over pastry.
- Mix remaining ingredients and pour over.
- Bake at 180°C for 35 to 40 minutes until filling has set.
We were pretty much a pieless family except for this family favourite. It is made from ingredients like canned tuna and frozen puff pastry sheets that you are bound to have in the pantry – ideal as a break from takeaway for Sunday night.
- 2 sheets bought puff pastry
- 2x185g cans chunky tuna in brine, drained. Sirena is my favourite brand.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2T flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2T lemon juice
- 2T chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 200°C
- Place one sheet of pastry into a greased 22cm pie dish to defrost.
- Sauté onion till transparent.
- Add flour to onion. When thick add milk slowly stirring all the time till boiling. If it gets lumpy, use a whisk till smooth.
- Add flaked tuna and stir.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice, parsley and a little black pepper.
- Pour into pie dish.
- Top with other sheet of puff pastry, cut off any excess and crimp the edges.
- Brush top of pastry with egg white and bake for 25-35 minutes till pastry is brown and cooked through. I used to turn it over 2/3 of the way through to ensure the bottom was golden too – then just flip over when removing from the oven.
- Yum !!!