OK, so this household is having a complete rejuvenated love affair with Jamie Oliver, the likes it has not seen since his Naked Chef days. I think it was seeing his hard slog in the US and how it knocked the wind out of his sails a bit that did it. It was cemented with his 20 Minute Meal iPhone app. Man I love that. Then there was his Christmas series which was just so quirky and lovely. And now, well now there is his 30 minute meal series (I’m gagging for the book because yeah, I really need another cookbook) and the whole household, well, me and Felix, are hooked.
The other night he made this awesome looking number involving salmon fillets, prawns and asparagus. Salmon fillets normally make me gag but I was all YUM about that. And then, THEN he made a quick banoffee pie.
Cue Felix badgering me for the last two days to go to the shops to buy the ingredients. And can I tell you – if you do use a store-bought pie crust, which we totally broke my religion and did, then this comes together in an absolute snap.
The filling is delightful – far less tooth-achingly sweet than pure pie-caramel and not over-powering in the banana department. An absolute winner.
Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meal Banoffee Pie
1 store bought pie crust
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp camp coffee
2 bananas, extra
100g block of dark chocolate
Blitz the two bananas with the milk until well combined and smooth
In a pan over high heat melt the caster sugar. Don’t stir it, just gently tilt as it melts to a dark caramel colour
Add the banana milk mixture to the toffee, stirring until the toffee melts back into the bananas
Pour into the pie case and freeze for 20 minutes (we didn’t need it to be within 30 minutes so just put it in the fridge)
Whip the cream and then fold through the camp coffee essence so it leaves pretty swirls in the cream
Slice the bananas and arrange over the pie filling, then spoon the cream over the top
Place the chocolate bar on the benchtop, smooth side up. Scrape a sharp chef’s knife on a 45 degree angle across the chocolate towards you, making chocolate curls. Arrange over the top of the cream.
I have Joke to thank for the filling in this pie recipe. I hate using corn syrup. For starters it is a pain to get in Australia and for some bizarre reason is stocked primarily at health food stores where, by default, it therefore costs around EIGHT bucks a bottle. Ridiculous
This recipe used maple syrup and sure, it’s $10 for 250ml but hey, it tastes so much better and that is all that matters.
I use Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry for the base. Blind bake the pastry case (in a 9inch pie tin) at 220C until golden, knock the oven back to 160C, pour in the filling and bake until the middle is just set – probably around 30 minutes in a fan forced oven.
Pecan Pie via Joke
1 sour cream pastry pie shell, baked blind
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup maple syrup
6oz pecans, chopped
In a double boiler melt the butter
Stir in the sugar then beat in the eggs
Mix in the maple syrup and stir until the mixture is nice and glossy
Stir in the pecans
Pour into the pie shell and bake at 160C until just firm in the centre, about half an hour.
Quiche is one of ‘those’ dishes that people either love or hate. The first time I ever made one it leaked all over the floor of the oven – a lovely heads up that the oven was broken at stony cold. Nice.
I think the reason so many people dish the quiche is because there are so many bad ones out there – those hideous high pie quiches at chain coffee and muffin stores. Eugh – just the thought of that high mound of coagulated egg makes me gag and I love quiche.
Then there are the thin mean quiches that seem all liquidy. What’s with that? I’ll have my water in a glass on the side thanks, not swimming around on the plate.
This recipe on the other hand is superb. I use the following as the basis for every quiche I make, changing the filling depending on what I have in the veggie drawer. Now, if I could just get more than one of my offspring to eat it I could add something else to the dinner roster.
I’ve given you a range of filling suggestions and also two options for the pastry. The filo is a great quick and easy solution but don’t expect a strong base to it. still, it add lovely flavour. The pictures below are using Maggie Beer’s most awesome sour cream pastry, the pastry I now seem to use all.the.time.
Quiche The foundation
300ml pouring cream
fresh herbs of your choice – I’m a big fan of chives and parsley in quiche
salt and pepper
Various filling ideas:
dash of olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
125g mushrooms, finely sliced
1 small zucchini, finely sliced
dash olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
4 slices ham or bacon, finely sliced
dash olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/2 bunch silverbeet, blanched or sauteed w/ the onion
Saute the onion or leek until softened but not coloured
Add the vegetables or the bacon/ham or the silverbeet and cook for 3-5 minutes
Let cool slightly
Combine the eggs, cream, herbs and seasonings.
Spread ingredients over the pastry base then top with the parmesan
Pour over the egg mixture
Bake for 30 minutes at 180C
The pastry case
Option A – filo
3 sheets filo
simply line the case with the filo
Option B – sour cream pastry
250g plain flour
120ml sour cream
Process flour and butter
Add 2/3 of the sour cream and then add spoon by spoon until dough comes together into a ball
Refrigerate for 20 minutes
Roll out, bake blind in a 220C oven*
Fill and bake according to the recipe
* I hardly ever bake blind anymore – all that faffing around with pie weights makes my neck itch – so now I line the pie dish with the dough straight away, freeze it for 20 minutes then bung it in the oven. If any bubbles come up just gently push them back down. Done!
Pie. Even the word is satisfying don’t you think? Pie. I’d like a piece of pie. I feel like a pie. Sweet or savory pies sing happiness, comfort and satisfaction to me.
I guess it’s because they do take time. They require effort and a little bit of care. It’s hard to just whip up a pie but even if you did, I would be most grateful.
This has been in my repertoire for years. It’s from Bill Granger’s first book Sydney Food. A tome I still look to for simple dishes delivering outstanding meals. It appears in many forms in this house, sometimes just as an apple pie (if there is ever such a thing as just apple pie), sometimes with strawberries or raspberries instead of the rhubarb. I must say, I gave up sticking to the butter and sugar amounts he stipulates some time ago, but on this last making Iwhile only using a smidge of butter I did measure the sugar but still only used 200g to his 300g – we like our pies a little tart around here.
Oh, and the shortcrust pastry recipe he provides? An absolute winner I use all the time.
BUT – that said, this time around I used Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry – a recent discovery and such a joy to work with. It was equally good.
So I bought these nectarines to make jam with but just knew I wasn’t going to get to it in time, so I just poached them in a simple sugar syrup with a vanilla bean instead, thinking they’d be good for brekkie w/ yoghurt. But I haven’t been in a yoghurt frame of mind for a few days and they’ve just been sitting in our fucking small tiny fridge taking up space.
So I thought, use them in a cake. But all the recipes I could find called for raw nectarines and I was worried they would be too wet.
Combine all that with a hankering I’ve had to make a ricotta pudding or tart of some sort and who should come up with a solution but the trusty Allan Campion and Michele Curtis in their most recent tome, In The Kitchen. It gave all manner of possibilities in terms of combinations, one of which was roasted nectarines – so while mine were poached, it worked a treat.
It tastes fantastic and looks very sophisticated which, you know, for me is quite a feat indeed.
Ricotta Tart with Poached Nectarines Adapted from Campion and Curtis, In the Kitchen
1 x 25 cm sweetcrust pastry shell (I used my shortcrust recipe, blind baked it until golden then proceeded as per recipe)
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp plain flour
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
6-8 poached nectarines (see ‘recipe’ below)
Preheat oven to 180C
In a bowl whisk together the ricotta, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla, cream and flour with the grated zest and lemon juice
Line the pastry case with the nectarines then pour over the ricotta mix
Sprinkle w/ cinnamon and bake for 40 minutes or until firm.
The nectarines Guys look, I can’t really call this a recipe. I dumped a bag of nectarines in a saucepan, covered with water, poured over some sugar and added a vanilla bean. I brought it to the boil, turned it down and cooked until the liquid was vaguely syrupy and the nectarines soft.