Sunday, November 30, 2014

Homemade Traditional Apple Pie

My Homemade Traditional Apple Pie

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
250g organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk

1kg apples
1/8 cup raw caster sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp cinnamon

First, make the pastry. Have a bowl ready.
Chop the chilled butter into cubes and place on a bench with the flour and salt.
Use a rolling pin to roll the butter with the flour.
Do this for about a minute then return to the fridge in a bowl to re-chill the butter.
This is important as we are making nice flaky pastry and the butter has to remain cold to form layers without melting and forming globs.
Roll the mixture again, folding over a few times to keep mixture together.
Return to the bowl and add the milk. Bring together with your hands.
 Separate into two balls (1/3 and 2/3 of the mix)
Refridgerate both, separately covered in plastic wrap.
 Meanwhile, weigh out just under a kilo of mixed apples.
Peel (a ceramic peeler was excellent here), core and slice the apples.
Add cinnamon, sugars and salt. Leave in bowl to macerate for 15 minutes. 
Make a tea...peruse the garden...
Then, place the apples in a sieve or colander above the bowl to allow the juices to drain out.
While waiting for the apples to drain, roll out the pastry and line to pie dish.
Place larger refridgerated pastry on a well floured benchtop.
Allow to warm up for about 5 minutes then start rolling out.
Roll to the size of the pie dish plus an extra 10cm for the edges.
 Lay pastry over pie dish
 Trim edges with a sharp knife
Place in the fridge covered in plastic wrap.

Back to the apples: reduce the apple juices in a saucepan by about one third so they are syrupy.
Pour back into bowl with apples and add the cornflour and mix well.
Add this to the pie and return to the fridge.
Roll out the remaining dough into strips and make a lattice over the pie. 
Place in fridge covered for 30 minutes to allow the pastry to relax.
Preheat oven to 190 C, then bake for approximately 40-45 minutes.
Serve with creamy chardonnay!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spicy chilli pork with knarly jerk hot sauce and salad

Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g Pork loin
2 cobs of corn
1 head of lettuce
bunch of mint
bunch of coriander
baby tomatoes

6 ripe tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 shallots
1 knob ginger
1 habanero chilli
3 cloves garlic


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Put all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend for 5mins.
Cook in a saucepan till thick and keep stirring while simmering it.

Blacken the corn on a griddle pan then place in the oven.
fry the pork till medium then place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Polish Pierogi

Last week I visited Leszek and Nicoles place and we made these delicious Polish dessert dumplings called pierogi. Before that we had such a nice soup, I really want to try and make it sometime, it was a sourdough and polish sausage and potato soup, served with edible brassica flowers :)  I also got to try some amazing cinnamon-apple and grapefruit and cherry flavoured polish vodka cocktails, the honey vodka was by far my favourite with the dessert..


300g plain flour
2 egg yolks
1 cup water (or enough)
1 pinch salt
butter and cream


Mix using a mixer with a dough hook all the ingredients except the blueberries.

Make a nice dough that is silky but doesnt stick to your hands.

Roll out to approx 3mm thickness and cut rounds with a cup or glass.

Add a few blueberries to the middle and crimp around the edges.
Boil in a pot of water for approximately 5 minutes.

Serve buttered, with cream sweetened with sugar and Polish Vodka!

Gabe's Popcorn

I tried to replicate an amazingly tasty popcorn variation Gabe and Shaz shared with me before we drove to Dan's place before a skiing weekend.
I throw in a wide range of random spices to popcorn and most things work
Chilli is good. 
Cocoa and brown sugar is also a goodie but I prefer savoury/lemon


Rice Bran Oil
Popcorn kernels

herb and garlic seasoning
lemon zest
lemon juice
rice wine vinegar
lemon infused olive oil
*optional raw caster sugar


Mix dressing ingredients together to get a balance of savoury flavours - salty and vinegary. Add a touch of sugar if you like it like that.

Heat the RB Oil in a saucepan with a lid, enough to coat the bottom with about 2mm.
Add corn and put lid on and shake sporadically while the corn pops
Once most of the corn is popped, place in a big bowl and add some of the dressing, mix and add more to your taste.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chia Ciabatta

I used the River Cottage Recipe Book, and advice from The Sourdough Companion website on adding chia seeds which absorb 6 times their mass in water.
Soak 2 tbsp of chia in 12 tbsp warm water.
Add this paste to the ciabatta dough before forming into loaves.
This keeps the bread more moist, and fresher for longer.

Maple Toffee Bacon

This is amazing in caesar salad or...any salad.

I do it on the stove so I can watch it, make sure it doesn’t burn, and taste test as I go, of course.

Some people may choose to oven bake it.


Get whole strips of bacon, remove rind and cut it up into pieces.

Put in frypan, cook for a short period to render some fat, drain.

Add back to pan with enough maple syrup to coat bacon with a little extra to spare in the bottom of the pan, but not so its swimming.

Cook on low heat till it goes sticky. Approx 10-15mins. Remove from heat and put in a ceramic bowl to cool.

Optional: add extra maple syrup (swimming) and cook until it candies then spread out on a wooden board and fracture it into shards after its cooled. This makes harder pieces that can be added to salads and wont go soggy.

Scottish Oatcakes

Savory oatcakes (or bannocks) are quintessentially Scottish.
Perfect with some hearty cheese, smoked salmon, goats cheese & dill or chutney.


225g Scottish oatmeal
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g butter or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Mix everythign together in a bowl except the water.
It should have the consistency of large bread crumbs.
Start adding the water until you have a thick dough.
The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.
Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll out the dough to1/2cm thickness.
Use an upturned whisky glass to cut rounds.
Bake for appprox. 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.
I think these are nice with bananas or with honey, or almond butter :)

Baker Garden Family Dinner ~ Lasagne

We had a family dinner at my new house last week ~ my new housemates are Ingrid, Joe, Shaun, and Siobhan. We had vegetarian lasagne and salad. Joe had a genius idea of coating the entire tray in the 3 cheese mix before laying out the sheets and ingredients so it turns into a big cheese cookie lasagne. To do next time.

Vegetarian Lasagne


3 cups strong pasta flour
4 eggs
2 tbsp water
pinch of salt

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes
1 jar tomato passata
1 glass of good shiraz
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1 handful fresh torn basil

1/2 a pumpkin
1 large eggplant
2 red capsicum
2 green capsicum
2 zucchini
bag of mushrooms

3.5 cups milk
60g butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups of grated cheese (I used mozzarella, cheddar and colby)


Mix the pasta flour, eggs, water and salt together and knead for 5 minutes.
Cover in glad wrap and refridgerate.

Tomato sauce
Saute the onions and garlic.
Add the tomatoes and passata and simmer continuously while preparing everything else.

Cut all vegies into 1cm slices
Lay the pumpkin on a tray and cook in the oven at 200.
Heat olive oil in a pan and cook eggplant till browned, do the same for the other vegetables.

Bechamel Sauce
Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan and frying the flour in the butter for a couple of minutes. do not allow to brown. slowly pour in half a cup of milk and whisk rigorously, taking it off the heat if need be (if it is bubbling too much). Slowly add the rest of the milk in small 1/2 cup batches, always, always whisking.  finally, add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. set aside.

Find a cool dude and a lovely lady to help make the lasagne!
Use a pasta roller to roll out sheets of lasagne pasta
Lay a bed of tomato sauce on the bottom of a deep oven tray. (you could use cheese instead!)
Have fun placing layers of vegies with red or white sauce alternating with the pasta sheets.
Throw some random things in there. A cinnamon stick is a nice surprise treasure.
Finish with the white sauce and a layer of cheese!

Bake for 30 minutes at 200 then serve with a crunchy zesty salad

Im so happy to have found such nice people to live with, this was a nice family dinner to start getting to know each other :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Salmon Jerky and Salmon Candy

I needed to dehydrate some protien for a long bushwalking trip I am doing in tassie and I have always wanted to do Salmon Jerky. So, I called Warren - from Warren's Fresh Seafood - and asked him to cut me some nice big fresh side fillets of Atlantic Salmon and to keep them from the hordes at EPIC markets in Canberra until I could pick them up. Warren - thankyou! The Salmon was excellent and firm for drying. 

recipe adapted from Alaska From Scratch - an awesome website.


Soy-Lemon Pepper Salmon Jerky
2 large side side fillets of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp mollasses (or thick brown sugar paste
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Maple candy Salmon Jerky
2 large side side fillets of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
4 Tbsp flaky sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp thick brown sugar paste


Place salmon fillets in freezer for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to slice).
Meanwhile, mix marinades in two bowls that will fit the salmon. 

Remove salmon from the freezer and slice the salmon in 1cm thick slices. 

Place the salmon in the marinade bowls and refrigerate 3-4 hours.

Strain salmon well in colander and dry on paper towels. Lay salmon slices on dehydrator trays in rows, making sure pieces are not touching.

Place trays in dehydrator at 63 degrees C (HIGH on an Ezidri dehydrator) for 3-4 hours. Salmon jerky is done when salmon is dry and chewy, but not crunchy.
Pastor Alaska and Andy the Intern from Alaska From Scratch enjoy their Salmon Jerky with a side of honey mustard dipping sauce. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Homemade muesli


Puffed quinoa
Puffed amaranth
Puffed brown rice
Puffed buckwheat
Puffed millet
100g Shredded coconut
250g Raw almonds
250g Raw hazelnuts
150g Sesame seeds
200g Pepitas
200g Sunflower seeds
2 tbsp Chia seeds (not too many because they absorb 6 times their weight in water and make muesli gooey).

Unsulphured aussie raisins
Dried figs (sliced)
Dried pears (sliced)

Mix all the grains together and place on oven trays.
Bake at 120 degrees C for approximately 1 hour – checking regularly and moving the mixture around.
Make sure the small seeds don’t burn – if your oven is too hot turn down and cook for longer.
Bake till muesli is toasted to your liking!

Deghydrate the fruit fully (so it can be added to the muesli) in a dehydrator overnight or in the oven at 50 degrees C. However, the sultanas can go straight in the muesli as they are pretty dry already.