Dutch Apple Tart

8 oz flour (6oz plain / 2oz S.R. flour)
6 oz butter/margarine
5 oz caster sugar
(grated peel of 1 lemon - optional)
Approx 1 lb eating apples
2 oz sugar, some Dutch Cinnamon
2 oz currants (or raisins)
1 egg

Take butter, flour, caster sugar (and peel) and mix to a smooth paste. Lightly grease a springform tin. Keeping some of the dough for later, flatten the rest of the dough into the tin, working it up the sides of the tin with your fingers. Peel and slice the apples. Arrange the slices neatly on the bottom of the tart, then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and currants. Add another layer of apples, sugar, cinnamon and currants, and continue in this manner until the tart is filled. Roll the rest of the dough into a thin sausage and create a cross pattern on top of the tart. Mix egg with some water, and brush lightly over the dough. Sprinkle the top of the tart with sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes at 180C, until golden brown. Put jam in the squares on top when the tart is ready to stop the apples from drying out.

Coffee Kisses

3 oz margarine
2 teaspoons Instant Coffee (or Cocoa Powder)
3 oz brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups S.R. flour
1/4 cup cornflour

Cream Filling:
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon coffee (or drinking chocolate)
2 oz butter
1/2 cup pure icing sugar

Cream margarine, coffee and brown sugar. Beat in 1 egg. Stir in flour and cornflour. Place small teaspoonfuls of biscuit dough on greased trays and bake for 12 minutes at 200C (392F).

For cream filling: Blend milk with coffee, beat into butter and icing sugar until creamed. Join cookies into pairs with cream.

Oma's Chocolate & Vanilla Biscuits

12oz plain flour
8oz butter/margarine
6oz castor sugar
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 tablespoon cocoa

Mix the flour, butter and sugar together, kneading to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough into two equal parts. To one half add 1 tablespoon custard powder and to the other 1 tablespoon cocoa. Mix well. If the dough becomes too dry, add a little milk.

Roll each portion of dough out on a piece of plastic wrap until they are a 1/4 inch thick. Place the chocolate layer on top of the vanilla layer. Roll together to for a thick sausage shape, sealing off the plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to cool and when ready cut into slices (I do about a cm thick - 1/2 inch), place on a lined baking tray and cook until golden.

Oven temp 200C (392F).

Blowaway Sponge

4 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup cornflour
1 tablespoon custard powder

Beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Slowly add sugar, beating until dissolved. Add the lightly beaten egg yolks, then beat for a further 2 minutes.

Sift the dry ingredients together 3 times, then fold into the mixture with a knife.

Grease 2 cake tins or 1 large springform tin. Cook in a moderate oven for 25 - 30 minutes. (I set my oven to 170C - 338F and it seemed to work fine. It might take a little longer than you think. The cake is done when it springs back from the touch. Don't skewer it!)

Remove from the tin immediately and allow to cool completely before decorating. I like to cut the cake through the middle and fill with jam and fresh whipped cream, and then ice the top.

Individual Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce (Serves 6)

3/4 cup pitted dried dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
30g (1oz) butter
1 egg (60g / 2oz)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup caster sugar

Butterscotch Sauce:
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup thickened cream (35% fat) - I substitute Light Evaporated Milk if I am looking to reduce the fat of this recipe. The sauce is not as thick, but still very yummy.
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon butter

Whipped cream or ice-cream to serve.

Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Grease 6 holes of a muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity). Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add bi-carb of soda and butter and remove from heat. Stir until butter is melted and set aside to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, add egg and vanilla, whisking until combined.

Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add date mixture and stir until just combined. Divide mixture evening between the six muffin holes. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the pudding comes out clean.

To make the Butterscotch Sauce, place all ingredients into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat, bringing it to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Serve puddings hot from the oven, covered with a generous serving of the sauce, and a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice-cream on the side.

Overnight Bran and Sultana Rolls (aka Grandma's Nut Loaf!)

1 1/4 cups All Bran
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
1/2 cup sultanas and currants
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups S.R. Flour

Combine All Bran, sugar, milk and honey in a large bowl, cover and stand overnight.

Grease 2 nut roll tins. Stir fruit, nuts and sifted flour into the All Bran mixture; stirring until combined. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared tins. Bake in moderate oven (180C - 350F) for about 1 hour. Stand rolls in tins, with lids on, for 10 minutes. Remove lids, turn out on to wire racks to cool. Keeping time - 3 days. Suitable for freezing.

Date & Walnut Rolls (aka Nut Loaf)

1 cup chopped dates
60g (2oz) butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour

Combine dates, butter, sugar and water in pan, stir constantly over heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, remove from heat. Transfer mixture to large bowl, cool to room temperature.

Grease 2 nut roll tins. Stir soda, egg and walnuts into date mixture, then sifted flours. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared tins. Bake in moderate oven (I had mine on 180C - 350F) for about 1 hour. Stand rolls in tins, with lids on, for 10 minutes. Remove lids, turn out on to wire racks to cool. Keeping time - 3 days.

Jam and Coconut Slice

100g unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
1 cup apricot or raspberry jam

Coconut Topping:
2 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs

Set oven to 200C. Grease or line a slice tray (I lined mine as it was easier to pull the slice out after it was cooked).

Place butter in a microwave proof jug, cover and microwave on high (800 watts) for 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Sift flour into a mixing bowl and then stir in the sugar. Slowly mix in the melted butter and vanilla essence until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and mix well. Knead lightly until the dough is smooth. Press dough into the base of the tray and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C.

Place the jam in a microwave proof jug, cover and microwave on medium (500 watts) for 2 minutes. Using a spoon, spread the jam evenly over the slice base.

In another bowl, combine the coconut, sugar and eggs and arrange this mixture over the jam, pressing down gently. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Stand for 15 minutes, then remove from the tray and set aside to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.


4 egg whites (60gm's = 2oz)
1 cup caster sugar (9oz)
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons white vinegar

Set oven to 110C (230F). Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually and continue to beat until mixture is stiff. Fold in cornflour and add vanilla and vinegar. Pile on oven tray or place in springform pan. Bake at 110C (230F) for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, until firm, without allowing pavlova to colour.  Cool on tray.

Once cooled, you top with whipped cream and then cover with fresh fruit. I find passionfruit, bananas, peaches, kiwi fruit are all excellent toppings.

Fresh Fig Cake

4 ripe Figs
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Sugar
125 g (4oz) Butter or Margarine
1 teaspoon finely grated Lemon rind
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda
1 tablespoon Milk
2 cups Self-Raising Flour

Mash the figs well, sprinkle with the lemon juice and the teaspoon of sugar, and put aside. Beat the butter with the lemon rind and the 3/4 cup of sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the mashed figs. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sifted flour. Spoon into a greased ring tin (kuglehopf tin) and bake in a moderate oven (180C - 350F) for about an hour, or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Leave in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack until cold. Spread icing over the top and serve.

90g (3oz) butter
2/3 cup sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons warm milk

Beat the butter until creamy then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla essence and warm milk and continue beating until creamy.  (This might take a while, and you may need to add more icing sugar).

Fresh Fig Crumble (Slice)

4 cups fresh Figs, chopped
1 cup Water
1 cup Honey
2 tablespoons grated Lemon peel
2 tablespoons Plain Flour
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 cup Butter or Margarine
3/4 cup Brown Sugar - packed
2 cups Plain Flour
3 cups quick-cooking Oats

Combine figs, water, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon peel in saucepan and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until dark and thickened, stirring occasionally. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and water and stir into fig mixture. Cook 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Cream butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and oats and stir into creamed mixture. Press half of oatmeal mixture into bottom of well-greased 9x13 inch pan. Spread fig filling evenly over oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle remaining half of oatmeal mixture on top and press with fork.

Bake at 180C (350F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cut into squares while still warm. Cool completely before removing from pan.

We served this with ice-cream as a dessert. The kids loved it!

Roasted Pumpkin and Zucchini Quiche


Shortcrust Pastry:
1/2 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Self-Raising Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine (chilled)
a little water

Sift the flour and salt and then rub the butter in to the flour using your finger tips until the consistency is like breadcrumbs. Add a little water slowly until it forms a dough and the bowl is clean of crumbs.  Put some flour on the bench and knead the dough until smooth, then roll out until very thin. Once the dough is the right size, use your rolling pin to transfer it to the greased quiche dish.

Quiche Filling Ingredients:
1 cup milk (warmed)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small zucchini (grated)
200g (about 1/2 pound) pumpkin diced (roasted)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cracked pepper
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

Whisk the eggs lightly into the milk, then add the grated zucchini and season to taste with cinnamon and cracked pepper. Pour into the pastry base. Place the roasted pumpkin into the liquid mixture making sure to distribute it evenly around the base. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Cook at 200C (392F) for 15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 160C (320F) until filling is set. (This took me about 20 minutes).

Serve hot with a fresh baby spinach and rocket salad drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar as the side.

Jen's Fig Paste

1kg (2.2 lb) roughly chopped fresh figs (just remove the stems, leave the skin on)
1/2 cup (4.2 fl. ozs) water
juice of 1 large lemon

Place figs, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until the figs are soft and can be mashed. Remove from the heat and puree the figs in a blender (or use a stick blender) until finely processed.

Measure the quantity of pureed fruit, and for each cup of fruit, add a cup of sugar to the saucepan. Return to heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then bring it to the boil again. Keep cooking until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream, stirring regularly (this might take an hour).  Once you have reached the desired consistency, you can pour it into sterilised jars and seal. (Here are the specifics about sterilising your jars)

This should keep in the fridge unsealed for a month or more, and in the sealed jars for 4 to 6 months (if not longer). Make sure you sterilise the jars and seal them properly to get the best out of your paste.