Spelt Shortcrust Apple & Rhubarb Galette with Real Homemade Custard 

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What’s even better than a warm apple pie? A apple and rhubarb galette of course.

Galettes are usually portrayed as a summer dessert with summer berries like strawberries and blueberries and served with ice cream. I decided they are too good to just enjoy in the summer, so I decided to make a winter version by using stewed apples and sweet  rhubarb. After  all galettes are just an open, rustic looking pie with a crumbly buttery crust so why can’t we.

 

I’ve used spelt flour for the shortcrust but you can always use plain all-purpose flour if you prefer. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30mins

Pre-cook the apples and rhubarb and strain the excess liquid

They may look tricky but they are actual super simple even easier than a pie. No need to be pretty and perfect with it which is what I like rustic and imperfect is part of the charm of this french dessert. I made the pastry a day ahead and had left it in the fridge for when I had some spare time the next day.

Roll out the pastry in a rough circle. Add the filling and close the edges to create a free-form rustic tart. If you find the pastry is too hard leave it out for half an hour before trying to roll it out.

Bake for 30 mins until pastry is golden.

I  also made a real custard no carton,  powdered kind it’s easier than you think to make it yourself and much better for you. It is a prefect accompaniment with this warm winter dessert. Cuddled up on the couch with a slice of this and I am one happy lady.

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Spelt Crust Apple & Rhubarb Galette with Real Homemade Custard

Ingredients

Spelt short crust pastry:

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

150g cold butter cubed

pinch salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 tbsp coconut sugar

Filling:

1kg (5-6) golden delicious red apples

1/2 bunch rhubarb (3-4 stalks) roughly chopped

1/3 cup organic raw honey or rice malt syrup

2 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp cinnamon

juice 1 lemon

2 tbsp coconut sugar, to top

Homemade Custard Recipe

Directions

  1. Make the shortcrust pastry by placing flour, butter, salt, water and coconut sugar in a food processor and blitz until forms a ball of dough
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured bench and gently knead 1-2 mins then wrap in cling wrap and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 mins
  3. Preheat oven to 180’C
  4. Meanwhile make the filling; Core and slice apples into thin wedges
  5. Place all the filling ingredient except the coconut sugar in a small sauce pan on medium/low heat
  6. Cook covered for 15-20mins till fruit has softened
  7. Take of the heat and strain and discard the excess liquid
  8. Unwrap pastry and turn onto a sheet of baking paper place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll the pastry out to form a rough rustic round circle around 5mm thick
  9. Remove top sheet and carefully transfer with bottom sheet onto large baking tray or round  pizza tray
  10. Arrange filling in the centre of the pastry leaving a border around
  11. Fold the edges over the filling leaving the centre filling exposed
  12. Sprinkle with coconut sugar and bake in the oven for 30 mins until pastry is golden
  13. Remove from the oven allow to cool slightly
  14. Serve with Real Homemade Custard

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Homemade Hidden Veggie & Beef Sausage Rolls

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With three hungry growing boys in my house well four including the biggest boy, hubby. I must have my pantry stocked and fridge full most of the time. Healthy snacks I like to always have on hand so I know they are getting used to healthy eating habits as they grow up. At times it can be hard to think of new ideas I don’t buy a lot of packet or pre-made snacks unless I know exactly what’s in them and I stay clear away from supermarket sugar filled packaged food. While we eat a lot of fruit, veggie sticks, nuts and smoothies at times the kids want something hot and tasty to fill them up. These homemade sausage rolls are ideal for hungry bellies yet still nutritious and without the nasties.

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This is such a handy recipe to have sausage rolls make easy lunch ideas, afternoon tea snacks, party food and great for BBQ entertaining. The frozen pre-made ones from the supermarket well god knows what is actually in them the processed so-called meat they use may taste ok but we all know it’s not healthy for us with all the additives and preservatives that they contain.

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If you have ever thought of making them yourself this recipe is ideal. I actually made it even healthier by substituting the pastry with sheets of mountain bread wraps bought from the supermarket. They contain little calories and no artificial nonsense. They crisp up a treat and you or the kids will never notice the difference, well my kids didn’t.  I’ve used organic lean beef and added some hidden veggies for extra goodness. You can also make and par-cook then freeze them to have on hand when needed. They are just too good not to try them for yourself.

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Homemade Hidden Veggie & Beef Sausage Rolls

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 40-50mins
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Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

500g lean organic beef mince

1/2 leek thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 carrot, peeled and grated finely

1 zucchini, grated finely

2 tbs tomato paste

10 sheets mountain bread

1 egg whisked

3 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 160’C line a tray with baking paper
  2. In a large frypan heat oil and garlic and leek. cook for 2-3 mins until leek has softened
  3. Add carrot and zucchini cook for a further 3-4 mins
  4. Take off the heat mix together with the mince meat in a bowl. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper
  5. Lay 2 sheets of mountain bread on top of each other. Spoon 3 heaped tablespoons of mince meat mixture on one end of the sheet to make a log shape.
  6. Roll to enclose, cut into three pieces and place on baking tray
  7. Repeat with remaining sheets and filling
  8. With a sharp knife make little slits on the top of the sausage rolls, with a pastry brush the sausage rolls with whisked eggs and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  9. Cook in the oven for 25-30mins or until golden and crisp and filling is cooked through

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Eggplant Pizzettes

 

Yes it’s actually a thing I googled it!  Really just meaning mini pizzas with eggplant as the base which can be eaten as a appetiser, snack or with antipasto.

With my influx of basil pesto in the house and the family eggplant delivery I received from my sister-in-law the other day I was eager to use them both. I was making a traditional eggplant parmigiana for dinner and had some eggplant left over so I decided to bake some extra thick cut slices with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of oregano in the oven for 15-20mins until was just cooked through without being mushy.

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Topped with some extra tomato passata I’d made, spooned some of the Homemade Basil Pesto  from the other day and topped with some shredded cheese. Popped back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese was melted and we had a delicious pre dinner appetiser. It is a great idea for entertaining,  something a little different and suitable for vegetarians. I just called them mini eggplant pizzas but soon discovered there was an actual name for them. You learn something new everyday don’t you. hehe

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Hello Winter…Cauliflower, Leek & Watercress Soup

Hello Winter… It is the first day of Winter in Australia and it has definitely shown up ready for the party. It was a crisp chilly morning on the GC. The kids all slept in late (which never happens) making us rush for the school drop off creating plenty of hysteria in the house. Welcome Winter I can not wait! (slight sarcasm)

After visiting my sister in the vibrant city of Melbourne I can’t complain much they have been putting up with cooler weather for months now. I came back gaining a better understanding on how weather affects places differently and how it affects your city socially. We all know that in our warm climate here in Queensland we don’t really have respect for the cold and can’t cope with a day under 20’C. It is apparent that we all go into hibernation mode as soon as winter peaks it head out.

This being said I can’t say the same for Melburnians. May it be that they are acclimatized being used to their radical weather patterns, the city’s bustling cafe culture, the sporting and arts mecca that draws people out or just a ‘get on with it’ attitude the people of this unpredictable inner city obtain. They still tend to eat out, lunch and brunch as much as the summer even in the coldest of days.

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Melbourne Autumn Day in Thornbury

Maybe it is the fact we are so spoilt with warm weather majority of the year that we take advantage of the cool weather to recluse indoors and have a break from the dining and party scene or  our bodies are just not equipped to tolerate the chilly weather, heaven forbid we wear a coat or jacket when we’re out and about.

A major factor would be that the city of Melbourne is known for it and have made it work for them. Heating and double brick cafes are a must and making it a  comfortable environment. Alfresco dining was once an only option on the Gold Coast, restaurants and cafes soon realising we don’t always have the warm sunny days like in the past decades and have been slowly changing it’s scene over the years offering more alternative styles of dining. While roof top bars, hip beachside cafes are perfect in the heat of Summer, indoor social spaces and quaint small bars and eateries are popping up all over the coast which makes winter socializing a much more enjoyable experience.

Autumn in Northcote, Melbourne

Our Winters are only short-lived and we may not have the array of contemporary dining  and entertainment like those Melburnians but for most that live here would agree our lifestyle is the sunshine and we have to be pretty grateful for that.

Home cooked meals and home entertaining are more what we crave at the moment  and why not enjoy the comfort of our home, it is a great excuse to brush up on your cooking skills and share it with loved ones.

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Cauliflower, Leek & Watercress Soup

I came back feeling like soups, soups and more soups. It is my go to in cooler weather apologies if  you see an abundance of soup recipes lately and to come I just can’t help myself. Here is one soup recipe that is bound to warm your belly up and satisfy those homecooking feelings, also with the combination creamy cauliflower and the pepperiness of watercress that go so nicely together. It is not too heavy making it a great starter or a light meal on its own with some warm crusty bread. If you don’t have watercress at home you can leave it out or use some fresh parsley but it really does taste better with watercress. It can be easily found in the fresh herb section at the supermarket.

Hope you enjoy

Caz

Cauliflower, Leek & Watercress Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30mins
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Ingredients

1 small cauliflower (500g) cut into florets

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped

1 leek, white part only thinly sliced

20g butter

3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

3 cups milk

salt and pepper

1/2 cup watercress leaves plus extra for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot on high heat, melt butter and add leek. Cook for 2-3 mins until softened
  2. Add the cauliflower and potato to the pot followed by stock and milk
  3. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 mins cauliflower should be soft.
  4. Take off the heat, Add the watercress leaves and blitz with a hand-held blender till smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with extra watercress leaves and cracker pepper and warm crunchy sourdough bread.

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Cauliflower, Leek & Watercress Soup

Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns, Tomato, White Wine & Chilli with a Toasted Sourdough Crumb

I have finally got around to posting this absolutely sumptuous seafood dish sorry for the delay life just gets in the way sometimes. Now with school holidays in full swing I find I have a little extra time to do catch up.

With Easter weekend only days away does anyone else eat meat free on Good Friday?

In our family we have been brought up in continuing this tradition. Which isn’t too hard for me as I don’t eat a lot of red meat these days anyway and my husband doesn’t need any more excuses to lash out and enjoy a seafood feast. We usually get together with the family and indulge  in all things from the sea. From fresh prawns and oysters to cooked calamari and baked fish even if you aren’t that religious how could you refuse, after all you have another 364 days to tuck into a roast or steak if you feel the need. Easter Sunday follows with the usual roast lamb with baked vegetables, a typical Easter spread like most Australian families. Whether you celebrate this time of year of not and besides the religious attachment to it food is a great way of bringing people together, friends, family, partners, kids to share a special meal together.

This spaghetti & prawn dish is about as simple as it comes anyone can whip this up and you have a perfectly impressive seafood meal for Good Friday feasting.

Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns, Tomato, White Wine and Chilli with a Parmesan Crumb

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20mins
  • Print

[recipe- ingredients]

500g spaghetti

salt

2tbs butter

2 garlic cloves crushed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

400g green raw prawns shelled and de-veined

1 tb olive oil

1/2 -1 small red chilli sliced

200g cherry tomatoes

1 cup white wine

1/2 lemon juiced

Sourdough Crumb

1/4 cup sourdough breadcrumbs

1-2 tbs olive oil

1/2 lemon zest

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

extra chopped parsley to top

[/recipe-ingredients]

Directions

  1. In a bowl mix butter, garlic, parsley together then cover the prawns in the butter mixture and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  2. Heat a large pot of boiling water. Once boiling add 1 teaspoon salt and spaghetti. Cook per packet instructions.
  3. Meanwhile heat a large pan over high heat. Add 1 tbs olive oil then add the garlic butter prawns and sliced chilli. Cook for  1-2 mins then add the white wine and cherry tomatoes and lemon juice. Cook for a further 2 mins.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked drain reserving a little of the water, add to the pan along with the pasta and toss through the prawns.
  5. To make the sourdough crumb heat a small frypan on medium heat add the breadcrumbs olive oil and lemon zest to the pan. Cook the breadcrumbs until become toasted and crisp. Take off the heat and add the parmesan stir to combine.
  6. Top pasta with the parmesan crumb and extra parsley and a drizzle of extra olive oil.

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