Saturday, November 28, 2015

TWD - Pear Raspberry Roll Up Tart

It is a sign of how distracted I have been by things going on that I forgot to post Tuesdays with Dorie this week.  I had made the dish, Pear Cranberry Roll Up Tart, a couple of weeks ago, but the posting day passed me by without it even twigging with me.

Accordingly, I now present my pear and raspberry roll up tart (fresh and frozen cranberries being unicorns in Australia) for your delectation:

It was really delicious - lovely pastry, fruity filling made with real fruit, not jam, sugar on top - what's not to love.  Pear and raspberry roll up tart, I am sorry that I forgot about you, honestly - you were delicious.

To see what the others thought of of this tart, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Adam Liaw's Bondi Meringue Pie

Recently, Adiam Liaw published a recipe in The Age for Bondi Meringue Pie.  I was immediately intrigued by the name of the pie  - what made it a Bondi pie?  Adam explains by saying that it is red and yellow like a lifesaver's cap, and the meringue on top resembles waves in the surf.  Perfect!

Effectively, this is a lemon meringue pie with an additional raspberry puree layer.  You can find the recipe online here.

It is as delicious as it looks.  

I don't have a blow torch, so knowing that I would need to crisp the meringue in the oven, I didn't chill the filling before adding the meringue on top.  This caused the still runny raspberry layer to spill over a bit when the meringue was placed on top, but this was neither here nor there for me.  And as foreshadowed, I browned the meringue in the oven for around 10 minutes rather than using a blowtorch.  (Also note that my meringue did not behave and fluff up as it should have - normally not a problem for me, but this time it was.) 

This pie is delicious - it got plenty of oohs and ahhs at work, and he taste matched the appearance.


  • Grease your pie tin before lining it with the dough.  (The recipe doesn't mention it, and not everyone might know!)

  • To cut down on time, I rolled out the crust between two sheets of baking paper and put it in the pie plate without chilling the dough first.  I then put the crust in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.

  • Next time, I might try thickening the raspberry layer with a cornflour paste instead of gelatine - the gelatine was tricky to dissolve, and the raspberry layer didn't thicken well until after it had some time in the refrigerator.  This is especially important if you are going to brown your meringue in the oven.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

EwE - Meatballs with Simple Marinara

This week's Eating with Ellie dish is Meatballs with Simple Marinara, chosen by Margaret.  I always thought that marinara implied seafood (there is none in this dish), and that a tomato sauce was Napoli, but hey, a rose by any other name ...

This was another surprise hit.  The meatballs/rissoles of my childhood or in a can were rather dry, nuggety things, but these meatballs were moist and delicious - presumably because of the addition of grated carrot and cooking them in the sauce.   They were flavourful and filling and I'd make them again.

I served my meatballs with the salad from next week:

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pumpkin Pie for US Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States.  To celebrate with my US readers, I thought I'd make a pumpkin pie, traditional Thanksgiving fare.  

There are  many, many different recipes for pumpkin pie.  I decided to make the recipe from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie.  Hoosier Mama is a pie shop in Chicago, but a Hoosier is a resident of Indiana, the neighbouring state to Illinois.  This book has few photos but lots of pie recipes.  You can also find the recipe online here.

I had to adapt the recipe for a number of practical reasons.  First, canned pumpkin puree is not a thing in Australia; nor is pumpkin pie spice.  You might be able to track them down for an exorbitant price in specialist shops, but I am more resourceful than that.  For the puree, I roasted a piece of pumpkin for an hour then mashed it.  For the pumpkin pie spice, I combined half a teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger with a grating of nutmeg on top - I have no idea how authentic that is, but I wasn't going to look up what's in pumpkin pie spice at the time of night I was making this pie.  A major oversight on my part was not having cream - a bit silly given that pumpkin pie has a custard filling.  However, I improvised with natural yoghurt, which dare I say it, seemed to work.  (It also used up the remainder of a pot of yoghurt that I was not particularly fond of.)

The crust was Dorie Greenspan's Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough rather than the one in the book, as that is the one that I am used to.

Although the crust got a bit knocked around (you can see where my oven mitts mauled it getting it out of the oven), the end result was pretty good:  

I served this sans cream, as it is "healthy" enough as it is ;)

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia (the Pilgrims didn't land here!), so Christmas is our next big celebration.  They put up the gorgeous tree in the foyer of our building over the weekend:

This year, it has winky lights - I love it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my US readers!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Banana and Coffee Cake

I recently made a gorgeous Banana and Coffee Cake recipe by Julie Goodwin that I found in the September 2015 edition of the Australian Womens Weekly.  The recipe also called for a caramel sauce to be served with it, but I didn't think that was necessary.

The cake was gorgeous and moist, and is one of my favourite banana cake recipes.  One of my colleagues asked for the recipe, so it can't have been too bad.

To make this cake, you will need:

185g butter
Stevia - the recipe says 1 cup (245g) - I thought this sounded mad so I used 18 x 2g stevia sachets, equivalent to 1 cup of sugar, which seemed quite enough
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups/335g self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups/525g mashed ripe banana
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup/200g sour cream
1 cup/100g roasted chopped walnuts
1/4 cup/60ml boiling water
3 teaspoons expresso coffee granules

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius., and grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.

Beat the butter and stevia in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mashed banana, vanilla, sour cream and walnuts and combined water and coffee and combine using a rubber spatula.  Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.

Place the cake in the oven to bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice into generous wedges to serve as is, with caramel sauce or icecream.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Little Frankie's, South Yarra

A couple of weeks ago, Tim and I went for lunch at Adriano Zumbo's newest establishment, Little Frankie's.  Little Frankie's is a tiny cafe attached to Fancy Nance, Adriano's high tea venue in South Yarra.  In fact, from our vantage point in Little Frankie's, we could watch all the ladies decked out in fancy clothes enjoying high tea.  The two venues are separated by this very colourful mural:

At Little Frankie's, you can eat in or take away.  There are pastries with an Italian spin:

and panini:

and some very tempting gelato:

Tim and I ate in.  I ordered this proscuitto panini with cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozarella:

The panini was like a big soft cushion, and the fresh ingredients on top made it a delight to eat.

For dessert, we indulged in gelato - for me, the banana and caramel swirl in a cone:

Little Frankie's also does a decent coffee:

Little Frankie's was quiet when we were there, especially compared with the noise and bustle coming from Fancy Nance next door.  We liked the calmer atmosphere, where we could talk without shouting and didn't have to wait to be served.

If you are in the South Yarra area, Little Frankie's is worth a visit - dare ya to resist the bombolini!

21 Daly Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

Thursday, November 19, 2015

EwE - Taco Pizzas

This week for Eating with Ellie, Kayte chose Ellie's Taco Pizzas.  These use corn tortillas that have been oven toasted as a pizza base, which is then loaded with a spicy bean paste topping, turkey mince, corn and cheese.  There was also meant to be shallots on top, but I forgot them.

I wasn't initially enthused by this recipe, but the combination tastes good.  After the first night, I wrapped the ingredients in the fresh tortilla and toasted it in a sandwich press, which was less messy and tasted better.

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.