Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fruit Mince

Jamie Oliver made a new version of mince pies on his Christmas Special. He used a bottle of fruit  mince. I know he is often about quick cooking and some people don't have a lot of time.

People, it isn't hard to make a batch of fruit mince and it keeps really well in the refrigerator. I made some last Christmas and it sat in the fridge until this December, it was just as good as when I made it.


Quick Fruit Mince

1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dried apple
½ cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup currants
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½  teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brandy
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
½ cup water
80 grams butter chopped into pieces
½ cup dark brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the butter and sugar melts.
Place into a sealable container and refrigerate at least overnight.
I have kept this in the refrigerator for 12 months and it keeps really well.

To make my version of Jamies Mince tarts

3 sheets of filo pastry
80 grams butter melted
2 sheets premade puff pastry
1/2 quantity of the fruit mince above
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
Brush a Muffin tin with lots of butter, inside the dips and on the top.
Lay one piece of filo pastry on your bench, brush with melted butter and lay another piece of filo on top, do this again so you have three sheets of filo. Brush the top with more melted butter. Drape it over the muffin tin, now carefully and gently poke the pastry into the holes.

Lay the two sheets of puff pastry on your bench
Spread evenly with the fruit mince.
Roll like a swiss roll.
Cut each piece into 6 and put one piece into each hole. Brush with more butter and sprinkle with the almonds and then a thick layer of icing sugar.
Bake for around 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the puff looks cooked. I had to put some foil over mine as it as the filo was cooking to fast.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hot Smoked Salmon Quiche

I love hot smoked salmon, I buy it in the supermarket already smoked and vacuum packed ready to eat. My favorite is the Huon Aqua brand. The flavour is different, richer and deeper than ordinary smoked salmon with more of the texture of cooked salmon. Delicious.
For this version I use Alexandrina Cheese Creme Fraiche and organic eggs.
I use powdered milk in my quiches and baked custards. I believe I get a better mouth feel from powdered milk and compliments fly when I feed them to friends and family.

Hot Smoked Salmon Quiche



100 grams butter
150 grams plain flour
50 grams cornflour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
30 mls water (If needed)


3 x 70 gram eggs
250 mls Alexandrina Cheese creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup water
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 cup green part of spring onion chopped
150 grams Huon Hot Smoked Salmon flaked
1 cup grated cheddar - I prefer a mild cheddar rather than an aged or tasty variety.

Line a 30 cm x 18 cm tray with bakepaper.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (If your oven is not fan forced raise the heat by 10 degrees)

Combine the flours and butter in your food processor and blitz until the butter is the size of grains of rice
Add the salt, egg and lemon juice and blitz until the pastry comes together.
You might need to add a little or all of the water to get it too come together.
Roll the pastry out and line the tin.
Sprinkle the salmon, dill and spring onion over the pastry evenly.
Mix together the eggs, creme fraiche, water and powdered milk in the food processor and blitz together until smooth. Carefully pour over the salmon and spring onion.
Sprinkle the cheese over the egg mixture and place in the oven and bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and the pastry golden.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
This is delicous served warm or cold with a dressed green salad. I like to use a Honey, Lemon and Mustard Dressing on the salad.

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon of your favorite mustard
1 teaspoon honey
100ml olive oil
Salt & freshly ground white pepper

Place the lemon rind and juice, mustard and honey in a small bowl and whisk with a hand whisk or your electric beaters, drizzle the olive oil in and beat until combined.
Pour it over your salad and enjoy.

I don't receive anything from these companies to promote their products.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Almond Lemon Biscuits (Slice)

I have been creating a lot of egg-free recipes lately and this is NOT one of them. As I was going to spend time with friends at a workshop (See my other blog for the details) I decided to make some morning tea. One of my favorite recipes is from this Womens Weekly Cookbook.

On page 52 is a recipe for Hazelnut Lemon Biscuits. I call this recipe a slice but who am I to argue with them. I didn't have any ground hazelnuts so I substituted ground almonds instead and it is delicious with both.

Almond (Or Hazelnut) Lemon Biscuits.


1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
90 grams ground almonds or hazelnuts
125 grams butter
1 egg


60g (2oz) butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 eggs

1 cup flaked or slivered almonds

Place flour and chopped butter in food processor and blend until crumbs (Or rub the butter into the flour).
Add the sugar and egg and pulse until it starts to come together.
Press half the pastry into a 28cm x 18cm tin.
Combine all the filling ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. It might be a bit curdled looking like this but it is fine. Pour it over the base.

Grate or crumble the remaining pastry evenly over the filling and then sprinkle over the almonds.

Cook for 30 -40 minutes. Cool in the tin, cut into 3cm squares when cold and enjoy.