Golden syrup apple pie – taste tester


Most people would cook something and then think of the sides or accompaniments, but I’m not most people.

I had a craving for Tilba real double cream and since eating straight from the tub would be frowned upon in society, I decided to make an apple pie to go with it. My craving would double up as a dessert that I would take to TimmyC’s family dinner (Sunday treats), so winning all round!

I was sure that I had all the ingredients to make an apple pie at home and all I would need from the other side of town while I was there was the elusive Tilba double cream. When I sat down to browse the countless recipes, I found myself on a lot of American sites. The humble apple pie after all was almost their signature dessert, but most if not all recipes included shortening in the pastry… This I did not have, so I found myself back at the good ol’ taste.com.au. You might think I have a golden syrup addiction (and I do but you don’t need to worry about that) considering my previous taste tester post also featured this ingredient.

I really liked the texture of the apples in thin slices and the pastry really held well together while cutting it all up. I didn’t really adjust anything in the recipe except for using more apples as I had more laying around than required.

Golden syrup apple pie

Prep time: 45 minutes + chilling  Cooking time: 45 minutes + cooling

Ingredients (in Australian units)
Filling
  • 10 granny smith large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 170g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg straight from the fridge
  • 2 tblsp chilled water
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
Pie topper
  • 1 lightly beaten egg white
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
Equipment
  • a good knife or mandolin
  • food processor
  • pie tin (I used a fluted quiche plate)
  • cling wrap
  • baking paper
  • oven
  • rolling pin
  • non-stick Dutch oven or deep frying pan
  • mixing bowl
  • baking tray
Method
  1. To make the filling place the Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter. Add in the sugar, syrup and apples and cook until they start to soften.
  2. Mix the cornflour with 2 teaspoons of cold water thoroughly and add it to the apples along with the cinnamon. Stir and cook until the sauce begins to thicken and coats the apples. Pour the apple mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, butter and caster sugar into the food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add the egg and water and pulse until just incorporated (the dough will appear crumbly). Place the dough mixture on the bench and hand knead until the dough comes together.
  4. Divide the dough into thirds. Take 1/3 of the dough and shape it into a 2cm thick disc. Combine the other 2/3 into another 2cm disc and wrap each piece in cling wrap and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced and move the oven rack to the lowest shelf
  6. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the 2/3 portion disc until 4mm thick and the shape of your pie tin with a bit of overhang. Line the pie tin with the pastry and sprinkle almond meal on the base before putting in the pie filling.
  7. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the 1/3 portion disc until 3mm thick. Place the pie lid on and fold up the excess pastry. Cut a few slits into the centre of the pie lid. Brush a bit of egg white all over the top of the pie before sprinkling the white sugar and cinnamon
  8. Place the pie tin on a tray on the lowest shelf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes before reducing the temperature to 160C fan forced and baking for a futher 25 minutes
  9. Leave the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving
Tips
It is a really sweet pie with all the sugar and golden syrup so you really need to pair it with a good double cream, custard or ice cream.

My rustic looking pie with Tilba double cream.
The pastry cut really well and I love the texture of the apple slices.
Warm apple pie with cream, is there anything better?

Creamy chicken pie recipe

I went to buy a creamy chicken pie the other day but they were sold out, so I had no choice but to make myself some as I had already promised my stomach. I like to be efficient when I can (or some people would call me lazy) so I bought a roast chicken so 1) I wouldn’t have to pre-cook the chicken for the pies 2) to have delicious chicken sandwiches for lunch and 3) I could just roast chicken for general snacking.

I also used this opportunity to use or random bits and pieces in my fridge like slices of cooked haloumi, vegetables that were looking a bit sad and also use up some of those frozen vegetables that I thought I’d eat to create a healthier meal or curry puffs.

So here we go…

Creamy chicken pie recipe

(serves approximately 16 smallish pies)

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chicken breast shredded (use haloumi as a vegetarian alternative)
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh vegetables chopped into little pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1.5-2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 6 sheets of puff pastry
  • spray oil
  • egg wash

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Wok or a big fry pan
  • Texas muffin tin *see tips
  • Pastry brush

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and spray oil onto your muffin tin
  2. Heat some olive oil in the wok on med-high heat and then cook the garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and sauté until translucent
  4. Mix in your vegetables
  5. Add a dash of water and cover until all the vegetables are relatively soft
  6. Pour in your cream and let it simmer (take out your puff pastry to defrost)
  7. Add in your flour and stir in until the mixture has thickened (add more flour if it is still too runny)
  8. Remove off heat and season to taste
  9. Cut 4 defrosted puff pastry sheets into quarters for pie bases
  10. Cut the remaining 2 sheets of pastry into 9 equal squares for pie lids and cut two small slits in the centre of each square
  11. Mould the pie bases into the muffin tin and fill with pie filling
  12. Delicately stretch the pie lids over each pie and tuck in the edges for a neater look
  13. Brush on egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Tips

I really like the Texas (6x) muffin tin size but you can use a normal 12x muffin tin, which will mean smaller pies

You can make the mixture a few days ahead of time and just spoon the filling into defrosted pastry on the day. I have never had a pie left over for freezing but I’m sure you’re able to.

I served 1-2 pies per person with a side of salad for a meal

Enjoy!

Bspoke cafe and bar

It would be by complete luck and nerdy reasons that I found Bspoke cafe and bar out in Fyshwick.

TimmyC had rushed into MSY for computer parts, leaving me in the car (with the air con on) to reply to messages but after I was done I turned my head to notice a cute cafe that I had never seen before and in true foodie fashion, I locked the car and went straight in to explore.If you’re somehow not tempted by their extensive cabinet, there is a small menu to choose from.Bspoke is actually inside the Pushys bike store. They have a cute small bar to one side, an open cafe next to it and plenty of seating which extended to an outside courtyard. It looked like there was  limited menu and not a single piece of bacon in sight but it still intrigued me. I wasn’t really hungry as I just ate my weight in popcorn but my eyes lit up when I saw home-made pies in the cabinet. I messaged TimmyC to come next door to meet me.

Smoothie of the day mango honey and coconut ($8.00). This was really light in texture, not all foam but frothed into light fluffy texture which made this very easy to drink. It didn’t have a strong flavour overall but you could still taste the mango, honey and coconut.Flat white medium coffee ($4.00). TimmyC said it was a decent coffee but it wasn’t good enough to just come just for their coffee.Homemade pepper steak pie ($9.00). I am the first to admit that 9 bucks for a small pie is a bit steep but I loved the outer pattern of the pie and I’m a sucker for pepper steak. The pastry was golden brown which encased big chunky pieces of tender steak with a good dousing of pepper. It was served with a side of delicious sweet tangy chutney but it could have done with some simple green leaves to make the plate more complete.I really liked the huge tender chunks of steak inside the pie.If my friend or partner wanted to shop for bike bits, I would definitely appreciate this oasis with a laid back atmosphere as they shopped on the other side of the store. I found the service to be very friendly and efficient.

Venue: Bspoke cafe and bar

Address: 79 Collie street, Fyshwick, ACT

Phone: (02) 6280 4984

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 6:30am – 5:30pm

Saturday 8:30am – 4:00pm

Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm

BSpoke Cafe and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chris’ patisserie and bakehouse

I like a bit of variety in my shopping so when I went to Weston Creek and drove out of the car park, I had a double take on a shop front when I had a glimpse of ‘patisserie’ in the name. I started messaging locals to see if they had been to Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse which had apparently opened three months ago. My friend who was intrigued went there and bought a large tart ($29.00) to take to a dinner party and she said it was really tasty which prompted me to take TimmyC at the first chance we got.It was a busy morning but we were greeted with smiling faces at the counter. When I asked who ‘Chris’ was, a young polite handsome man smiled and put up his hand, it appears to be a family business where they assured me that all the bread, pastries, tarts, cakes etc were all made in-house.

A large selection of cakes, tarts, slices and biscuits to choose from.They also have pastries and muffins.And a selection of quiches and croissants with fillings.I was a bit hazy with the prices, not everything was labelled and I was too busy choosing something to eat but the thick shake, pie, croissant and large coffee came to $17.00.

Vanilla thick shake. I sat there waiting like patient bear as multiple coffees, table water and toasted sandwiches were served to other customers. All our food had been served and half eaten while my thick shake was no where in sight; just as I was about to enquire about my missing beverage it appears and I stir it around with the straw, it didn’t feel very thick. I had a sip and it tasted like a milkshake and nothing more. It was served at the same time as a child’s milkshake, maybe they had gotten the order wrong and I just got what that kid got. When we were served a vanilla creme brulee which we ordered later, we asked if the drink was really a thick shake, when the answer was yes and I said it felt very runny, the owner quickly ran to the kitchen and returned with a replacement thick shake moments later. The second one was much thicker (still not crazy thick) and had a lovely subtle sweet vanilla flavour.Cheese and bacon pie ($5.00). A meaty pie with a little bit more bacon than your average cheese and bacon pie, but nothing particularly exciting.

Croissant. It has a lovely pastry network inside but it wasn’t buttery and flaky. It felt more like a squishy bread roll.

Large flat white. TimmyC said it was mediocre coffee.Vanilla creme brulee ($5.90). I felt that I didn’t try enough of their menu so I told TimmyC to go choose another sweet from the cabinet, he got the creme brulee which I thought was odd to have in a bakery (it is served in a ramekin so I presume you can only have it when dining in?). They pre-prepare the base and store it in the cabinet and sugar is caramelized on top before serving. The toffee ‘hat’ broke beautifully under the knock of my spoon which revealed a velvety smooth custard. I didn’t understand that since there was a toffee layer, how there were still some granules underneath the sugar top that didn’t caramelize, it didn’t do anything to the taste it just took away from the smooth custard texture.I didn’t have an overall amazing bakery/patisserie experience here but I’m not convinced it is a bad bakery, maybe I just didn’t choose their specialty items, which the website suggests is their cakes and bread. I don’t know how much their bread costs but I thought the large tarts and cakes had a hefty price tag (tarts $29.00 cakes $50.00) but I’m determined to try one soon, maybe not this week though.Venue: Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse

Address: Unit 1, 27 Brierly Street, Weston ACT 2611

Phone: (02) 62880587

Websitehttp://www.chrispatisserie.com.au/

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am | 4:00pm

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 | 3:00pm
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Adore tea re-run

I was shocked to find out that one of my friends who loves tea had never been to Adore tea at Gold Creek Village so we made a date with more friends to go there immediately if not sooner. I booked a table inside because of the cold wet weather forecasted, which allowed us a two hour window for our reservation (I didn’t know there was a time limit, we just saw the next scheduled booking for the table). It is advisable to book ahead especially on the weekends as they are very busy and also have lots of varying high teas and parties (we happened to go on Mad Hatter’s tea party day).

We all chose a different tea which made for a very pretty photo, I went with classic chai blended with milk.I thought the colour of my friend’s berry tea was beautiful. Not a drop was wasted.My usual ‘go to’ food regardless of the time of day are their scones or the poffertjes but friend was telling me how nice the apple pie was. I was torn between choices but as soon as she said that she would go halves between the pie and scones, I was sorted.

Apple pie classic style apple pie served with vanilla ice-cream ($10.50). The pastry was very soft and semi sweet and apple pie obviously pairs perfectly with vanilla ice-cream, I just wish for the price that the pie was a little bigger or more filling. A close up of the apple pie.Scones served with cream and tea infused jams (about $9.50). Tea goes so well with scones so it almost seems like a ‘must’ when you come here. I really also enjoy their house-made jams.Chicken focaccia with gluten free bread (around $15.00). I looked over at my friend’s gluten free plate with envy. I usually am the savoury girl type and her plate looked goooood…I ‘adore’ this place, it’s a lovely venue to catch up over sweets and tea with friends and family. They are often very accommodating and the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable. Check in store or online for their various high tea days and live music sessions.

Venue: Adore tea

Address: Shop 6, Federation Square One, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls, ACT 2913

Phone: (02) 6230 9962

Website: http://adoretea.com.au/

Opening hoursOpen Everyday: 10:00am to 5:30pm

Fridays: 10am to 7pm

Public Holidays: 10am to 4pm

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Son of Beaster pie

——-03/04/2012——-

Back due to popular demand but with a twist! With the success of the Easter Beaster pie a few years back, Scotty and Nige from 104.7FM have received input from their listeners and created a new pie named ‘Son of Beaster’.

Son of Beaster pie contains: mince; hash brown chunks; sausage; bacon; mushroom; tomato and special sauce ($6.00). It is like eating a breakfast in a pie! The ingredients you can really taste is the mince, sausage, tomato and hash brown chunks, which is a shame because I really love bacon.

Overall it was an okay pie (let’s face it, I have been spoilt by Gum tree pies from the markets), but I don’t think it was worth the $6.00. It has a great novelty factor as it is only released for one week and people go out of their way ringing up several bakeries to reserve these pies. Maybe the original Easter Beaster pie created shoes too big to fill for it’s successor but top markets for its unique contents though.

Only sold in selected Brumby’s bakerys (Lyneham, Gungahlin, Aislie and Kambah) until Easter Sunday.

Thanksgiving special

Thanksgiving didn’t really mean anything to me except that my favourite American shows were on hiatus for a week and there were black Friday and cyber Monday sales that followed, so this year my boss invited me over for a ‘real American thanksgiving’.

The table is is set, decorated nicely and ready to go!

What’s an American dinner without some corn syrup.

I have a thing for gorgeous cutlery and matching crockery *excited squeal* 

I was talking to the Americans about some Thanksgiving meals, it’s apparently not unheard of to have a ‘snickers salad’ or marshmallow fluff on top of yams or marshmallow fluff on top of anything really! How bizarre!

The turkey– so I’ve never bought or cooked a turkey before. This baby was an unfrozen bird which was left cooking for 3hrs on the BBQ and would set you back $120. The meat was very moist and juicy.

With all the trimmings

Unstuffed stuffing- mmmm this was really nice

And more importantly- the gravy!

Thanksgiving dinner is served! Assorted dinner rolls, turkey, gravy, stuffing, fluffy mashed potato, cranberry sauce, yams with pecans and asparagus.

Like the main (and the cutlery) wasn’t fabulous enough. They also had time to make 3 separate desserts- pumpkin pie (cold), pecan pie (warm) and cherry and apricot crumble (warm). Mmmm I’ve discovered I love me some pumpkin pie! YUM!  
  

Thanksgiving is a time to remember what we have and what we are grateful for which I think we should do more often. Now I’ll also remember it as a time that we should have a big joyous delicious dinner with friends and loved ones and I think we should do that more often too