A Recipe: Apple and Sour Cream Slice

My HipstaPrint 0-6

The Moon is in Cancer, so attention is turned to concerns of the belly. In view of this, I am parting with astrological wisdom today in order to bring you a recipe.

This one is good home baking, but, more importantly for those of us with less patience than others, doesn’t require any rolling or icing or cutting out of shapes and things. It doesn’t require anything fancier than a bowl, a wooden spoon and a grater to make, so can be done super quick.

This recipe comes from Matthew Evans, an ex chef and Sydney based food critic who has taken the ultimate in tree changes and relocated to a farm in Tasmania where he goes right back to basics and sources suppliers and ingredients either from his own land or locally. How very Cancerian. It is also very practical, and extremely healthy way to live and therefore very much in line with the principles of Virgo- albeit with a tad more sugar…

If you can, check out his cookbooksWinter on the Farm is my favourite…

Anyways, here is the recipe:

 

Apple and Sour Cream Slice

The things you need:

200g Self Raising Flour (although, the first time I made this slice, I used the wrong flour and it worked perfectly well…)

150g caster sugar

90g desiccated coconut

125g unsalted butter, melted

1tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

300g sour cream

2 granny smith apples

2tbsp brown sugar

What you need to do with it:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C. This is best in a 25cm square cake pan, with the sides greased & lined with baking paper.
  2. For the base, mix together the flour, coconut, caster sugar. Add the butter & vanilla & stir well. Press it into the base of your cake tin. I like to use the back of a spoon to make sure it is good & firm.
  3. Bake for 20 mins or until light golden. Allow it to cool completely. This bit is important. Increase the temperature to 180C.
  4. Mix together the eggs and sour cream until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Peel and grate the apples. I pop them into a sieve so the juice strains out- you only need the fruit. This can only be done immediately before you need it as the apples go brown & manky (ie oxidise) quickly.
  6. Spread the apples over the base, scatter over the brown sugar and then top with the sour cream mixture.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top has set and is starting to colour. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Daily Planets Sunday 9/1/11 And a recipe! Plum Bakewell Tart

Byron Bay Beach...from the pub. Pic by me.
Byron Bay Beach...from the pub. Pic by me.

Anyone else got that urge to space out? Five Foot Nothing just came back from next door with an invite for a pantry mashup BBQ and I can’t even summon the mental strength to decide- chicken or steak? Yep, the Moon is in Pisces and for the rest of the weekend you have permission to do Pisces things.

Blame the Moon when you cry at a labrador pup in a toilet roll commercial. Blame the Moon when that open bottle of wine just disappears. Blame the Moon for not wanting to get out of bed tomorrow morning & loll around reading the Sunday papers. Blame the Moon when you can’t decide even the tiniest little decision point. Blame the Moon when you want to wallow in self pity and be a victim. Blame the Moon when you want to escape to Byron Bay or some other coastal paradise. Or, take advantage of the Moon to dream, create and inspire. Pisces is the most imaginative sign, so while emotions run high and logic runs low those creative juices can flow in some really interesting directions.

Personally I have this need to escape down a black line & will be hitting a pool at some point over the weekend to do some black line meditation ie swim a lot of laps!

In case you feel like escaping into some decadent vanilla scented shortcrust pastry and smooth almondy frangipane, why not try this Bakewell tart. I made it with plums today, although the recipe uses figs. I have also done it with apricots for a great result. the link to the actual recipe (from ABC Delicious Magazine) is here. My variations are below.

Ingredients:

1 packet of shortcrust pastry (I use the Careme vanilla bean shortcrust pastry)…or you can make your own if your are feeling more diva-ish than me.

100g unsalted butter, softened

110g caster sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

seeds scraped from a vanilla bean

1tbsp brandy (I used cointreau today & it was good)

1/2 cup raspberry jam

plums- about 8- halved with the seeds removed (derrrrrrr)

The Method Bit

I use a round tart tin with one of those loose bottoms, but a rectangle one (33cm x 12cm) would be ideal.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Do the usual thing with the pastry: roll it out to fit in the tin, making sure you have pastry overlapping the top so it doesn’t shrink. Stick it in the fridge to chill for 15mins or so & the blind bake it ie fill it with pastry weights or uncooked rice (remembering to pop some baking paper in teh centre first!) & bake for 10mins. Remove the rice/weights & bake for another 5 mins or until golden. Cool it while you do the rest.

Blitz the caster sugar & butter in a food processor until creamy. Add egg, almond meal, vanilla seeds & booze & mix together.

Spread the jam on the base of the pastry shell & top with the almond mix. Arrange the plums cut side up on top of the filling & press them down a little.

Bake for 20-25mins until the filling looks set & is golden. Let it cool a bit.

Serve it with a dollop of cream or ice cream or just on its’ own with coffee.

A Recipe for Taurus Moon- In Case You Need More Sugar

I have friends around for dinner tomorrow night, so have made something called a Strawberry Cloud Cake in advance.

It is essentially a light & frothy mix of egg white, sugar & strawberries & frozen onto a biscuity base (which I made with 200g smashed up sccallywags biscuits & 100g butter). It is light & frothy & dangerously sweet & I will not be touching it tomorrow night- although hope my guests will!

In the spirit of the sweet loving Taurus Moon, here is a link to a site which has published the recipe. the original is in the best cookbook I have bought all year- Annabel Langbein’s Free Range Cook. the link to the series of the same name with some yummy recipes is here.

The Moon is in Cancer…so Whats Cooking?

The Cancer Moon should be called the Baking Moon, or the House-cleaning Moon, or the Nesting Moon. Given that my house is currently a pig sty (can no longer be termed a creative mess), and that I have friends & family over tonight for a Fathers day dinner, I will be doing all of the above today.

The Cancer Moon is also one of those times when a womans fancy moves away from perving on footballers at semi finals time to perving on the chocolate bar in the fridge (did I mention that my favourite teams in both codes of footy won last night????). So in honour of baking, in honour of chocolate and in honour of Cancer and comfort food, here is the classic choc pudding I am making for my guests tonight…enjoy!

Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

(from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection)

This used to be one of my favourite puddings to cook for people, but I seriously haven’t opened this cookbook in years. It is one of those puddings that is best served hot and squidgy with really good vanilla ice cream melting into it.

A million weight watchers points and it can’t be fitted into the CSIRO Diet in any way shape or form, but for some things you have to sigh, gaze at the Moon and say “the Moon is in Cancer, I have a valid excuse”…and so you do, but only for today!

Ingredients

9 slices white bread (crusts removed) & sliced into 4 triangles

150g dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids)

425 ml whipping cream

4 tbsp dark rum

110g caster sugar

75g butter

3 eggs

Pinch cinnamon

Ice cream or chilled double cream to serve

Method

Place the chocolate, cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and wait until the butter & chocolate has melted & the sugar dissolved. Remove it from the heat & give it a really good stir.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pour the chocolate over them & whisk again to blend.

Spoon a 1cm layer of the chocolate into the base of a lightly buttered shallow ovenproof dish and arrange half of the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Pour half of the remaining chocolate all over the bread as evenly as possible then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread down gently so that it is evenly covered with liquid.

Cover the dish with clingfilm & allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours before cooking. I have to admit, the standing in the fridge bit for so long never happens in my house. The most it ever gets is 6-8 hours. When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 180deg C, remove the clingfilm & bake for 30-35 mins. Leave to stand for 10 mins & serve with ice cream or chilled double cream. Yum!

Apple and Berry Tray Bake Cake

Venus moves into Taurus April 1, so I figured I would share a recipe. I like to cook, but am not a huge baking type person and tend to avoid things I have to measure, roll, ice or cut little dinky shapes out of. This, though, is easy looks sort of peasant-y and countryfied and I am making it this afternoon to take on a picnic tomorrow to a place where we are going horse riding afterwards (poor horses…).

This is one of those cakes where everything just gets slopped together and thrown into a baking dish. The whole thing can then be unveiled on your picnic in all its rustic glory. Make sure you have some double cream or custard in the esky alongside the beers and tomato sauce and this cake will add some decadence to the simplest sausage sizzle.

Looks extra posh if dusted with icing sugar and dolloped with really good proper berry jam… but i can’t usually be faffed.

Originally taken from Delicious Magazine (June 2008).

Ingredients:

300 ml thickened cream

175g unsalted butter (chopped)

3 eggs (from happy free range pecking and clucking and scratching chooks)

2 cups plain flour

1 cup caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

3 green apples (peeled, cored, thinly sliced & tossed through some lemon juice)

300g frozen mixed berries (thawed)

Heat the oven to 180C & grease & paper a 32cmx22cm baking dish. Heat the cream & butter together in a pan over medium heat until just before it boils. Let it cool down a bit so it doesn’t scramble your eggs.

Beat eggs and sugar together until thick and pale & then slowly add the cream & butter mix. Fold in the flour, vanilla & fruit & then slop it all into the pan.

Bake for 40mins or until golden and the skewer you poke into it comes out clean.