Last Summer Fruits

still more sour cherriesIan pitting cherries

Cherry pipping is done… (time management specialist & willing kitchen helper on hand!)…last lots frozen to make Ursula’s cake in more dreary days to remind us of such a fleeting delight.

On to the apricots & peaches!
The birds have had a feast on the upper canopy, and luckily we’ve savoured a few sun-warmed gorgeous ripe apricots…but necessity meant a rescue mission of the not quite ripe to make an apricot and almond crumble (once again from “Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book”) and a peach tart- this time from Elizabeth David’s “Summer Cooking”.
I’ve loved going back to these much worn & loved paperbacks to unearth some past favourites & to think about all those untried with such pleasure…to make one day?
apricots
apricot & almond crumble

peaches & zucchini

Actually these peaches came from Araluan…ours are not quite ripe yet. We went to Braidwood for a post Christmas breakaway…and came back loaded with beautiful white peaches and nectarines from a footpath vendor -a grower- up from the valley.

The zucchinis are from our garden though…and they’re beautiful. Had to make a side dish with them-pan-frying lightly in olive oil & garlic with thyme, some lemon zest & juice. Delicious! (“River Cottage Everyday” suggestion!)
zucchini,thyme & lemon

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Dumplings

dumplimg making
Dumplings…we love them!
Recently we’ve been eating the most delicious Shitake mushroom mouthfulls encased in a bouncy sticky Cantonese pastry (CHANS’s YUM CHA from the supermarket freezer) for fasting day lunches.Emily has decided she likes them too.
I found a recipe from an old Delicious magazine for a chicken & shitake filling with similar sounding seasonings so tried this different non-vegetarian home-made version!

3 dried shitake mushrooms, 250 gms chiken mince,3 spring onions,( white part only, finely chopped), 1 garlic clove crushed, 2 teasps grated ginger, 2 Tbspns grated ginger, 2 Tbspns finely chopped coriander,1/2 teasp Chinese 5-spice, 2 tsps soy sauce, 1 tsp honey, 25 round wonton wrappers (from Asian supermarket freezer)
chicken & shitake mushroom filling
making dumplings
dumplings for freezer

I’m sure these won’t anywhere near approach the authentic Cantonese dumpling skins version…but they will at least be a handy extra freezer fast food lunch (and they’re fun to make!)

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Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding weigh up
Myrtle’s pudding recipe has vanished…or at least is tucked away somewhere I haven’t discovered yet…
so this year’s pudding is a breakaway in a basin. It’s a pale imitation in more ways than one…I used golden raisins which I had on hand for a walnut cake recipe and they gleam brightly instead of melting mysteriously into the mix. It was a huge amount & had to be divided into a larger & smaller basin.
Tying the covers of paper & foil over the tops with string proved the trickiest part of the procedure with both Ian & I struggling to fit them (the baking paper wasn’t quite wide enough)…and both of us wishing I’d put the mixture in a rag as usual & hoping for the rainy weather to stop while it seasoned. Anyway,now they’re done,some other Christmas cooking can be contemplated.
finished Xmas puddings

Meantime our summer veggie garden is beginning to bear fruit (garlic & some onions harvested) and we had the first medley of our beautiful Lebanese eggplant & lime green zucchini. Yum!
first summer veg from the garden

Luckily we’ve snatched a few delicious fresh apricots down in the bottom corner away from the baby Wattle bird…the mulberries have been a great decoy for the Currawong baby and all the Silvereyes and now for this boofy baby too- mostly keeping them away from the other ripening fruit… and the mulberries are continuing to ripen in a second flush.

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Summer Abundance

Summer abundance-redcurrants & cherries
Glistening jewels of redcurrants & drooping clusters of ruby red cherries in our best harvest in years led me on the path of distraction (from the more pressing task of Christmas cooking) to deciding what to do amongst this ephemeral glimpse of plenty.
Fruit dillemas-spoilt for choice
Jane Grigson to the rescue and some more delightful tangents…reminders of an Austrian redcurrant Tart cooked long ago…and internet diversionary searches …till deciding on some redcurrant tarts which could be frozen for later.baking blind
So this time a sweet shortcrust (3 heaped teaspoons icing sugar added to my usual) and a filling made with brown sugar,eggs and cream.
400gms redcurrants, 2eggs, 4 Tablespoons brown sugar, 100mls heavy cream.
They look pretty…hope they taste good too.
redcurrant tarts

As for the cherries…made a clafouti and found a bookmarked recipe for a cherry cake in Ursula Ferrigno’s ‘Italian Cakes and Desserts’ still not made….Before the glut of sour cherries I’ve brandied the last of our sweet cherries for the store cupboard.
more brandied cherries

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Mulberry Pie

Well…we’ve shared the first one…no doubt there’ll still be more on the tree for another one…or possibly for a mulberry frangipane tart or mulberry jelly.

Made a shortcrust pastry…and tossed up how to make the filling…In the end I took the simplest route and just put the fresh berries(de-stalked) with added cornflour & sugar gently mixed then placed on the uncooked bottom pastry, & covered with the top piece. Not so pretty..but delicious,especially with ice-cream!

crumbly pie secondsneeds some icecream

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Okonomiyaki (Cabbage pancake)

taste testing

Post mulberry pie, & thinking about a healthy,non-sandwich lunch…Emily helped me make this simple cabbage pancake and voted it yummy! We thought it was good too.

2 cups finely shredded Savoy cabbage,4 chopped shallots,2 eggs,2/3 cup plain flour, 1 Tablespoon Mirin,salt.
Use sunflower oil for frying till golden.Toasted sesame seeds to garnish.Spicy sauce optional
.

ingredients mixed ready

 

 

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First Post…late spring…post November birthdays.

Summer is almost here…mulberries are dripping from the tree and the cherries are ripening.

There’s no excuse for not making a mulberry pie this weekend…before the Currawongs have called in all their friends!

DSC03303

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