Artful is the new Rustic!

If the thought of a recipe described as RUSTIC sends shivers down your spine consider this!

“Artful is the new Rustic!

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Bread can be described as wholesome, earthy, crusty and rustic. Countries live and breath by the bread they make and have further developed a measure of quality by which a baker is referred to as, most popular being “Artisan Bread” or “Artisan Bakers”!

Why is it that a recipe handed down from Great Grand-mother to granddaughter not warrant the same respect , the feeling of deep admiration for a carefully crafted recipe measured not by grams but handfuls and the feel of the dough being carefully nurtured through every step.

“Don’t get me wrong I love the careful precision and craftsmanship produced in modern patisserie”

My point is we need to recognise that there is true art to be seen, valued and admired if only we looked closer with a child like wonder and used our sense of smell and our curiosity to enjoy the amazing baked spectacle that has been crafted together to produced a canvas of colour and long lasting memories.For all the recipes handed down for us to enjoy and to all the  “Artful Bakers”

” THANK YOU”

Pastry
Pastry
Home made Apricot Jam
Home made Apricot Jam
Mixed Sultanas, Currants, Orange Peal
Mixed Sultanas, Currants, Orange Peal & Mixed Spices
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Egg wash and a sprinkle of Demerara Sugar

Ingredients:

160g Self-Raising Flour

2 Tablespoons Icing sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

100g Butter – Unsalted

1 Egg

65g Light Sour Cream

Filling:

1 cup mixed dry fruit (Sultana, Currant, Mixed Peal)

Apricot Jam (optional Raspberry is lovely too!)

Cinnamon Sugar (optional)

 

Egg-Wash:

1 Egg yolk

1/2 Tablespoon Milk

You will Need:

1 Baking sheet lined with baking paper

1 pastry brush

Rolling Pin

Method:

Pre-heat oven 180 Degrees

1: In a food processor add Self-Raising Flour, Icing sugar, Custard Powder and Butter process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor rub the ingredients together using your fingertips.

2: Add the egg and sourcream, bring the mixture together to form a dough ball. Do not over work the pastry.

3: On a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry 4 – 5 mm thickness.

4: Brush the apricot jam over the pastry surface, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and lastly sprinkle over the mixed fruit. Gently roll the pastry. Place it on the baking tray brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top.

 

4: Bake till golden 25 – 30 minutes.

I hope you and your family enjoy this “Artful bake” 🙂

Happy Baking

 

Pandowdy an American Classic

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“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first” – Ernestine Ulmer

Now you might be reading this and thinking “what on earth is a Pandowdy”? Ive taken the time to look it up in the dictionary and even googled it….nothing. Im not sure where the origins of the name came from but at this moment all Im interested in is telling you all about the pastry.

Im never sure about a pastry until I have tried and tested it more than a few time with friends and family. This is probably one of my most favourite pastry’s its rustic it light and crumbly, its full of charm and a dream to work with …..all the characteristics you look for in a pastry. If you have oven proof bakeware the beauty of this dessert is that it can go from the oven to the table.

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Ingredients:

150g Self-Raising Flour

2 Tablespoons Icing sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

100g Butter – Unsalted

1 Egg

65g Sour Cream

 

Egg-Wash:

1 Egg yolk

1/2 Tablespoon Milk

You will Need:

6-8 Ovenproof Ramekins –  One serve per person

Poached fruit – your favourite caned fruit it perfect for this just drain excess liquid – Peach, Apple, Pear (are my favourites)

Rolling Pin

Method:

Pre-heat oven 180 Degrees

1: In a food processor add Self-Raising Flour, Icing sugar, Custard Powder and Butter process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor rub the ingredients together using your fingertips.

2: Add the egg and sourcream, bring the mixture together to form a dough ball. Do not over work the pastry.

3: On a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry cut enough pastry to completely cover the top and slightly hang over the sides of the ramekins to form a nice lid. Brush the pastry with the lightly beaten egg wash and bake till golden 20 – 25 minutes.

To serve:

Now its entirely up to you, ice-cream or a lovely big dollop of freshly whipped cream always works for me but I have to tell you its great just on its own. Now that said it all for this pastry.

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Inspired by recipe from “The Australian Good Taste Magazine”, 2012.

 

 

 

Shhhhhhh! An American Classic…………Bottomless.

“This bottomless fruit pie is simply indulgent”.

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Make life easy, bake and serve straight from the oven to the table. The beauty of this pie is that you can bake it in a fry pan or your favourite oven proof individual serving bowls, I have even baked it in colourful tea cups.  Yes its a little rustic and homely looking but thats its charm!

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“A lovely pastry thats easy to make, quick to bake”

The filling is entirely up to you, use your own poached fruit or use caned fruit it all works a treat. My personal favourite Apple & Rhubarb or Pear & Raspberry, oh let me not forget Peaches! Ok I think you understand me now when I say I love fruit but this pastry is a perfect marriage! Its become my favourite quick dessert and everyone always thinks I’ve been working on it for hours! “Lets keep that a secret”.  

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Pastry

Ingredients:

1 cup SelfRaising Flour

2 Tablespoons Icing-sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Zest of 1 Lime

100g Butter (cold and cubed)

1 Egg

1/4 cup Sour Cream                                                                                                                  *************************************************

4 cups of your favourite poached fruit ( discard extra liquid)                                                          *************************************************                                                                                                                 

1 Egg lightly whisked to brush pastry

1 Tablespoon Demerara or Raw sugar to sprinkle over pastry                                                             ************************************************

Double cream or Ice-cream to serve

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Method:

1: Place cold poached fruit into the baking dish (remove excess liquid only fill 3/4 of the pan)

2: Pre Heat Oven 180 Degrees

3: Process the flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter till it resembles a course crumb. Add the egg, sour cream vanilla and zest and process until the dough almost comes together.

4: Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and push together to form a round disk (don’t kneed). Cover with plastic and allow to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.

5: Roll out the pastry slightly larger than the dish you are using. Place pastry over the fruit mixture. Its ok if the pastry overlaps the dish. Brush the pastry with the whisked egg and sprinkle over with the Demerara sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes till the pastry is golden and crisp. Allow to cool and serve with a light sprinkle of icing sugar.

6: Serve with Cream or Ice-cream………….Enjoy!      

I first saw this pastry published in The Australian Good Taste magazine and its been a favourite ever since. Yes, I have changed it a little but it never lets me down nor those that enjoy it.

*Just a note if you are rolling out the pastry and its a little soft place it back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes then continue again.   

 

What a TART!

Chocolate Tart with a hint of gold leaf
Chocolate Tart with a hint of gold leaf

There are a multitude of beautiful tarts being created everyday by equally amazing pastry chefs. I consider these real works of art. Sometimes to stunning to eat, well you pause take a deep breath admire the craftsmanship and the next thing you know you have just taken your first bite. Pure joy!

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The pastry is fine light and buttery, flaky with hints of chocolate, almond or hazelnut meal and a hint of sweetness as to compliment the finished product and not overpower it. Shortcrust pastry like the more delicate Pate brisee a delicate pastry perfect for savoury tarts. Then there is Pate sucree and Pate sablee both contain a higher amount of butter and sugar making this pastry even more delicate and giving you a wonderful melt in the mouth.

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The filling are equally divine, salted caramel delicious chocolate, nuts, fruit, curds and creme patissiere are only a drop in the ocean of the delights used to make perfect tarts in different shapes and forms. The smell is intoxicating and the individual elements are unique spellbinding so you can be forgiven for giving in to moments when you can’t hardly wait until they are cooked to enjoy one.

Chocolate Tart

Lemon Tart

Caramel Pecan Tart

If I have wet your creative baking appetite then look to buy a book like Pastry Savoury & Sweet by Michel Roux or Baking with Passion by Dan Lepard & Richard Whittington. Still not feeling completely confident take the bull by the horns and follow your passion enrol in a course at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School here in Melbourne student enrol from all corners of the earth.  www.savourschool.com.au  The pastry chefs Robyn and Paul will hold your hands while you amaze yourself and might I add enjoy the fruits or rather the tarts of your labour!

Ever since I moved to Melbourne I haven’t been able to find a good old fashion Custard Tart with a light sprinkling of nutmeg.

Recipe coming soon!