Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ina Garten's Roasted Apple Sauce

The other weekend I had shall we say a glut of apples in the fruit bowl.  I love fruit and desserts but there were just tooooooooo many apples to be used in one weekend in that way.  I had seen a recipe for roasted apple sauce on The Barefoot Contessa that week and thought I might give it a try.

I did change it up a bit, as I have a want to do.  I left out the cinnamon and butter, the flavour is a very intense apple flavour and if I hadn't put it in jars and processed them I would probably have sat there with a spoon and just ate the whole lot out of the pan.

Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
12 apples (mixed)

In a non reactive pot (or baking dish with a lid) place the orange and lemon juice and the brown sugar.

Peel, core and cut the apples into slices, or if you have a handy dandy apple thingie like I have use that, it cuts out a heap of time.


Toss the apples in the juice and sugar mixture as soon as peeled to ensure they don't go brown,  place the peel of the red apples if you used them in with the apples this gives the sauce a nice pink tinge when cooked.  Heat your oven to 180C and place the covered baking dish for 1 and a half hours.

Once cooked remove from the oven and with a whisk you can break up the apples,  depending how chunky you like your sauce or how smooth,  there is no need to use a food processor as the apples with almost dissolve.

At this stage you can either serve the sauce at room temperature or process and preserve for a later time.  The sauce will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks in an airtight container.  If processing, fill 4 sterilised jars, cover with lids as per manufacturers instructions and place into pot of simmering water so that the jars are just covered with water and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the jars from the pot at the end of this time and allow to cool for 24 hours without moving.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Apricot Bakewell Tart

I love apricots in any form.  Fresh, jam and from the tin.  This summer I tried preserving them myself, I had a couple of kilo in the fridge so one evening after work while cooking dinner I set to halving them and putting them in jars, covering them with sugar syrup (light) and preserving them in a water bath. 

Well they looked great and sat on the shelf in my pantry looking pretty with all the other preserved fruit and veg I have there.

Today it is cold, raining on and off and just not a summer day by anyone's standards!  And I hear the other half saying, "well dur its winter Kate"  and well I needed a taste of summer to brighten my day.  So I cracked, well had Jonathan help me to crack open 2 of my jars of apricots.

We both stood there as the most fantastic smell of apricots filled the kitchen,  I stuck my finger in the juice and had a taste and told Jonathan to do the same.  WOW is all I can say the smell and taste of the home preserved apricots is out of this world!  I highly recommend trying it even if you can only do small batches of 2 or 4 jars it is well worth the little bit of effort.


90g butter
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup self raising flour

Place all the ingredients in food processor and pulse then add 2 table spoons of cold water and pulse until forms a ball. 

Turn out onto baking paper and form into a ball.  Wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper, the dough can be a bit sticky and it is easier than a floured surface. 


Roll out to size big enough to line your tart tin.  Brush the pastry with apricot jam and refrigerate while you do the filling.


825g tin of apricots
100g room temp butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tspn grated lemon rind
pinch ground cinnamon
2 tblspn milk


Drain apricots and place on a couple of sheets of paper towel to pat dry.  Place apricots in pastry shell cut side down.


In your mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time until combined.  Fold in sifted flour, almonds, rind, cinnamon and milk until combined.  Spoon the almond mixture over the apricots and spread.  The mix will not fill the whole tart shell but this is OK as it will melt and spread out.

Bake at 180C for one hour.  After 20 minutes cover loosely with foil to stop the top burning and bake for a further 40 minutes.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Saturday afternoon reminiscing and a Coke Spider

Saturday afternoon the house is quiet, the kitchen is clean and tidy after this mornings cooking spree.  The other half is out and about in town with his camera and I am blog surfing my favourite blogs.

I saw a post that triggered a childhood memory of Mum and Auntie Sue taking my bestie Gary and I out for a HUGE treat and while we were shopping in Southland we had lunch in the cafĂ©.  This was the 70's so lunch out consisted of a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich and a spider.

Soft drink was not something that we drank at home.  It was a special occasion drink that was a major treat, the same as having a McDonalds was not a regular thing either.

So I rifled the fridge and freezer.  Very unusual for our house as well but we have a bottle of coke in the fridge today, so I made myself a treat.

Cheers Mum!  Love you heaps.

Moist Banana Cake

I honestly don't know where I got this recipe.  I have been making this cake for about 25 years.  I personally don't like bananas, the feel of raw bananas is icky!  This is the only way I will eat bananas.  Gen this recipe is for you as I remember how much you love banana cake.

I don't know about your house however in my house when a banana gets one little brown spot on it, apparently it becomes inedible!  I find the bananas languish in the fruit bowl getting browner and browner until I do something about it.

This cake is a bit of a one pot wonder type cake, chuck it all in a mixer and mix. 

When Jonathan was little it was fun to get him to mash the bananas, I used to stick a bowl in front of him with the peeled bananas and say "Squish 'em with your fingers" it must be a boy thing, he used to mush them through his fingers with glee.

125g room temp butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
1 tspn bi carbonate soda
2 tblspn milk
1 1/2 cup mashed banana


Place all the ingredients in a mixer and mix for 30 seconds to a minute or until combined.



Place batter in a greased and floured cake tin or loaf tin.  Bake at 180C for an hour.  Check with a skewer if clean remove from the oven if still wet bake for longer.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Lemon Delicious

I have a lemon tree that we planted when we first moved in after we built our house.  It took a couple of years but this year I have a crop of lemons!  I loved being able to grab a lemon off the tree in the backyard when I was a kid and seeing the lemons hanging on my tree waiting to be picked is a fantastic sight.

This dessert is so light and airy and very lemony.  It is quick to make and then just sit back and wait for it to cook.  Best served hot with a dash of cold cream drizzled over the top.

3 eggs separated
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon self raising flour
1/2 cup lemon juice


Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy and has changed colour. 

Slowly whisk in the milk until combined.  Add the self raising flour and then lemon juice.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites in 2 batches through the lemon mixture.

Pour into baking dish.


Place baking dish into a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan halfway up the sides with boiling water.
This is easiest to do on the oven shelf so you don't splash yourself.

Bake at 180C for 40 to 45 minutes.

When you serve it will be like a self saucing pudding with a lemon custard at the bottom.