If you’re not a big fan of fennel then you may just have to reconsider your standing once you have tried this dish. Baked fennel – particularly when teamed with the saltiness of anchovies, the crunch of crisp breadcrumbs and the savouriness of fresh thyme – is one of the best side dishes winter has to offer.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the anchovies dissolve. Add 30g of the butter and the breadcrumbs and toss until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Transfer to a bowl, toss through the parsley and set aside.
Add the remaining oil and butter to the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Add the fennel in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden and starting to soften.
Transfer the fennel, in a single layer, to a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity dish, and pour any pan juices over the top. Scatter with the thyme leaves and pour the chicken stock over. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the fennel is tender when pierced with a skewer and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.
This dish is best eaten straight from the oven, while the fennel is warm and the bread chunks still crisp, however it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Nestled in an aromatic, slightly spicy tomato and capsicum sauce and topped with tangy yoghurt, these baked eggs, originally from Tunisia, make for a wonderful centre-of-the-table brunch dish. Serve with pita bread and let everyone help themselves.
1 tablespoon (20ml/¾fl oz) olive oil 2 red capsicum, deseeded, cut into thin strips 1 red onion, halved, sliced 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes 2 x 400g (14oz) cans diced tomatoes Salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 x 60g (2oz) eggs, chilled 200g (7oz) Greek-style natural yoghurt 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ cup coriander leaves, to serve Pita bread, to serve
Preheat oven to 220ºC/425°F (200ºC/400°F fan-forced). Heat the oil in a medium frying pan or saucepan and cook the capsicum and onion over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add the cumin and chilli flakes and cook for a further 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to a good sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the sauce over the base of a shallow 1.5 litre capacity (6 cup/2pt 10fl oz) ovenproof dish. Use the back of a spoon to make 6 indents in the sauce. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a small dish and then gently slide into the indents, taking care not to break the yolks. Combine the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice and spoon half of this mixture around the eggs, in about 6 spoonfuls. Reserve the remaining yoghurt mixture for serving.
Bake for 12-18 minutes (see Baker's Tips) or until the eggs are just cooked but still soft in the centre. Serve immediately sprinkled with pepper and coriander, and accompanied by the reserved yoghurt mixture and pita bread.
If using an ovenproof frying pan, you can make the sauce and then bake the eggs in the same pan.
The baking time of the eggs will depend on the pan or dish you are using and the temperature of the sauce when you first added them.
These baked eggs can also be baked in 6 individual 185 ml (¾ cup/6½fl oz) ovenproof dishes or ramekins. Divide the sauce between the dishes, make an indent in each and add an egg. Top with a spoonful of yoghurt and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked but still soft in the centre.
I always say that muffins should have substance – they shouldn't have "cakey" character. After all, they're muffins, not cake! Dense with apple, sweet with spice and topped with pecans these muffins are one of my favourites.
150g plain flour 150g wholemeal plain flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 150g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar 2 (about 180g each) apples (such as Golden Delicious, Pink Lady or Royal Gala), peeled and cut into 1.5 cm pieces 185ml (¾ cup) buttermilk (see Baker's Tips) 80ml (⅓ cup) light olive oil (see Baker's Tips) 2 eggs, at room temperature 1½ teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract 75g (¾ cup) pecans, coarsely chopped 60ml (¼ cup) pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line 12 x 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tray holes with muffin paper cases.
Sift together both the flours, the baking powder and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl, returning any husks to the bowl. Stir in the sugar and apple and make a well in the centre.
Use a fork to whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined. (Don’t overmix – the batter should still be a little lumpy.)
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with the pecans and then drizzle with the maple syrup.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you don't have any buttermilk in the fridge, replace it with 160ml (⅔ cup) full-cream milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
You can replace the light olive oil with sunflower or safflower oil.
These muffins are best eaten the day they are baked, however they freeze well – wrap individually in plastic wrap and then seal in a plastic bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
Prep 30min (+pastry making time)Bake 1hr15minMakes 8-10 serves
Everyone loves a classic apple pie – it is the ultimate comfort food... Especially when teamed with some good vanilla ice cream!
2 quantities Sweet Vanilla Shortcrust Pastry (combine ¼ of one pastry quantity with the other, and then shape each into a separate disc before wrapping and chilling for 30 minutes) 1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons milk 1 tablespoon demerara sugar Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Apple Filling 2½ tablespoons caster sugar 1½ tablespoons plain flour 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 6 medium (about 140g each) pink lady or granny smith apples 1 orange, rind finely grated and juiced 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 25g (¼ cup) almond meal 20g salted butter, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
Unwrap the larger portion of pastry and place on a lightly floured, cool benchtop. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry into a round, about 5mm thick and about 35cm in diameter.
Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin, place it over an ungreased 20cm (top measurement) metal or ceramic pie dish (see Baker’s Tips) then unroll the pastry being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edges of the pastry and ease it into the pie dish to line the base and the sides and settle it into the corners without stretching it, allowing the excess pastry to overhang the edges. Place the lined pie dish on an oven tray and then place in the fridge to rest for while making the filling.
To make the apple filling, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Peel, core and quarter each apple. Cut each apple quarter into 4 wedges and place in a separate large bowl with the orange rind, 1 tablespoon of the orange juice and the vanilla bean paste. Use your hands or spatula to toss gently to evenly coat the apple slices. Add the sugar mixture and toss gently to combine evenly.
Sprinkle the almond meal over the base of the chilled pastry case, spoon the apple mixture over the top and dot with the diced butter. Whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the edge of the pastry with the egg wash. Roll out the remaining smaller disc of pastry into a round, about 5mm thick and about 25cm in diameter. Use a 2cm fluted or plain round cutter to cut out a circle from the centre of the pastry. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin and roll over the top of the pie. Use your fingertips to press the pie pastry top and bottom together around the edge of the pie to seal. Use a small sharp knife to trim the excess pastry from around the edge. Use your fingertips to pinch the edge of the pastry to decorate. Brush the top of the pie with some of the remaining egg wash and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) and bake for a further 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through and the apples are tender (see Baker’s Tips). Remove the pie from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving warm with ice cream.
For this recipe you will need a ceramic or metal pie dish measuring about 20cm across the top, 17cm across the base and 4.5cm deep.
To check if the apples are tender, insert a skewer into the centre of the pie.
Fun to make and scrumptious to eat, this homemade baked gnocchi combines pumpkin, tomatoes and spinach for a delicious, nutritious meal, made all the more fun by being served in individual dishes.
75g baby spinach 100g bocconcini, thinly sliced
Pumpkin gnocchi 350g unpeeled butternut pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 6 chunks 650g medium Desiree potatoes, unpeeled salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 110g (½ cup) plain flour, plus extra to dust
Tomato sauce 100g bacon rashers, trimmed and chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons pouring cream salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a tray with a clean tea towel and dust lightly with flour.
Place the pumpkin in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool slightly. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
Meanwhile, put the whole potatoes in a saucepan of water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender with tested with a skewer. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Next, peel the warm potatoes, return the flesh to the dry saucepan and mash until smooth. Use a metal spoon to press a third of the potatoes through a coarse sieve or fine colander into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining mashed potato in 2 more batches.
Remove the pumpkin skin from the flesh and discard. Add the flesh to the potato and mash together. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a firm but slightly sticky dough (adding a little more flour if necessary). Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each out on a lightly floured bench top into a log about 2cm in diameter. Cut the logs into 2cm lengths and then roll each into a small ball. Gently roll each ball, one at a time, over the back of a lightly floured fork to form the gnocchi, placing on the tea towel-lined tray as they are finished.
To make the tomato sauce, cook the bacon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until starting to colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, stir through the cream and season with salt and pepper.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add a quarter of the gnocchi and boil for 2 minutes or until they just rise to the surface. Remove from the water immediately with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain well before transferring to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi in 3 more batches.
Add the tomato sauce to the gnocchi with the spinach and gently stir through. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce into 6 x 250ml (1 cup) ovenproof dishes or ramekins, dividing evenly. Top with the bocconcini.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until bocconcini has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving.
You can also make this baked gnocchi by using 750g bought fresh gnocchi instead of making the pumpkin gnocchi.
You can also bake this recipe in a 1.5 litre (6 cup) ovenproof dish. The baking time and temperature will be the same.
I have been baking this gluten-free pudding for years. Not only is it completely heavenly, it is also very clever and can be baked as a cake when you want.
Melted butter, to grease
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, to dust
200g (1⅓ cups) chopped good-quality gluten-free dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa is good)
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons marsala wine or freshly brewed strong coffee
165g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature, separated
Gluten-free icing (confectioners’) sugar, to dust
Cream or gluten-free vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Brush a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity ovenproof dish (about 20cm diameter) with melted butter to grease. Lightly dust with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.
Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water, and stir until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the marsala, 110g (½ cup) of the caster sugar and the egg yolks.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 55g (¼ cup) caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add one-third of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold together. Fold through the remaining egg white mixture until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 55–60 minutes, or until crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the centre.
Remove the pudding from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve in scoops with cream or ice cream.
Chocolate Soufflé Cake: Bake the mixture in a 22cm (base measurement) springform cake tin that has been base-lined with baking paper, and then greased and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder. Bake at the same temperature for 55–60 minutes. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Cut into wedges to serve.
This pudding is also delicious served at room temperature. Leave to cool in the dish before serving.
Any leftover pudding will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Prep 30min (+ 1hr cooling and pastry making time)Bake 45minMakes 4 serves
On a trip to Finland a few years ago it only took me a couple of meals to realise how much dill and salmon feature in the country’s wonderful cuisine. This pie is a little ode to the Fin’s favourite ingredients, all topped off with a deliciously buttery, flaky pastry.
40g (1½oz) salted butter 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced 35g (¼ cup/1¼oz) plain flour 250ml (1½ cup/9fl oz) milk 125ml (½ cup/4fl oz) pouring (thin) cream 50g (½ cup/1¾oz) coarsely grated vintage cheddar 3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced 1½ tablespoons (6 teaspoons) baby capers, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons chopped dill 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 700g (1lb 8oz) skinless salmon fillets, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces 1 quantity Cheat's Rough Puff Pastry 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 2 teaspoons milk, to glaze
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the flour and stir with a balloon whisk for about 1 minute until the mixture is bubbling and leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in half the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk and cream, stirring until smooth. Return the pan to medium heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Transfer the sauce immediately to a large heatproof bowl and stir in the cheddar, spring onions, capers, dill and mustard. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
Place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until cooled to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400°F (180°C/350°F fan-forced). You will need a 1.5 litre (6 cup/2pt 10fl oz) capacity ovenproof dish to cook the pie.
When the sauce has cooled, add the salmon and stir gently to combine evenly.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the shape of the dish until about 4mm/⅛in thick. Spoon the cooled salmon mixture into the dish, then brush the edge of the dish with a little of the egg wash. Place the pastry over the filling to cover, then use a small sharp knife to run around the edge of the pie dish on a slight angle to trim the excess pastry. Use a fork to press around the edge of the dish to seal. Cut a cross in the top of the pie and then brush the pastry with a little egg wash to glaze. Decorate the top with the off-cuts of pastry, if desired, and then glaze again with the little of the egg wash.
Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden, crisp and cooked through. Serve straight from the oven.
This pie is one of my all-time favourites and brings together some of Greece’s most popular ingredients – silverbeet, haloumi, Kalamata olives, rice and filo pastry. It takes a little while to prepare but don’t be put off, I promise it will be well worth the effort.
20g butter, plus extra melted for brushing
80ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
2 leeks, white section only, trimmed and thinly sliced
To make the poached chicken, put the chicken, carrot, celery, onion and peppercorns in a large saucepan or stockpot and add enough water to cover the chicken by about 2cm. Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and poach gently, covered, for 40 minutes or until just cooked though. Remove from heat and stand the chicken in the stock at room temperature for 1 hour to cool slightly. Transfer to the fridge and cool the chicken in the stock completely (this will take about 2 hours).
Strain the stock, discarding the solids. Return 1 litre (4 cups) stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil (see Baker’s Tips). Continue boiling the stock for a further 12-15 minutes or until reduced to 375ml (1½ cups). Set aside.
Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Use your fingers to shred the chicken meat, cover and place in the fridge until required.
Put the butter, 1 tbsp oil and leek in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, covered and stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the leek is just soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the 375ml (1½ cups) reduced stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook gently for 10 minutes or until the stock is absorbed and the rice is almost tender. Transfer to a large bowl and place in the fridge to cool (this will take about 1 hour).
Meanwhile, put the silverbeet in a large saucepan, cover with a lid and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until wilted. Strain and cool slightly, then use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture. Set aside.
To make the herbed yoghurt, combine the yoghurt, garlic and herbs in a small bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 20cm x 30cm (base measurement) shallow slice tin with some of the melted butter.
When the rice has cooled, add the chicken, silverbeet, cream, olives, haloumi, parsley and thyme and stir gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Lay the filo sheets in a stack, cover with a dry tea towel and then a damp one to stop them from drying out. Take 1 sheet of filo (keeping the remaining sheets covered with the tea towels) and brush generously with the remaining olive oil. Lay another sheet on top. Continue to layer with the remaining filo to make two stacks, each with 6 sheets. Place the filo stacks widthways and slightly overlapping, into the greased tin to line, allowing the ends to overhang the top.
Spoon the chicken and rice mixture into the tin. Fold the overhanging filo over the top to cover. Brush top with remaining oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until filo is golden and crisp. Remove from oven and stand in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving plate or board. Serve warm or at room temperature with the herbed yoghurt and lemon wedges.
Any leftover pie will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat, covered with foil, in a preheated 160°C oven for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the filling is heated through and the pastry is crisp.
Much more like a cake than a pie, this apple-dense traditional Norwegian dessert is comforting, homely and can warm the soul with just one mouthful – especially when served straight from the oven in generous scoops and topped with ice-cream or a large dollop of thick cream. Don’t overlook the fact that it is also pretty good served like any other cake, cooled and in wedges. The trick to this recipe is not to over-mix – only mix until the wet and dry ingredients are evenly combined.
Melted butter, to grease
110g (¾ cup) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
3 medium (about 150g each) apples (such as golden delicious, royal gala or pink lady), peeled, cored and cut into 2 cm pieces
80g slivered almonds, toasted
100g butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons milk
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
Vanilla ice-cream or thick cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm springform tin with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, apple and almonds. Use a fork to whisk together the butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula to mix until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Stand the pie in the tin for 5–10 minutes before removing the sides of the tin. Serve warm in scoops or at room temperature in wedges with ice-cream or cream.
This pudding/cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperaturein a cool spot for up to 3 days.
Commonly referred to as potato ‘pita’ these filo pies are simplicity personified – and that is what makes them so good! Traditionally a homemade flaky dough is made to encase the simple potato filling and filo pastry is a great alternative, especially for the convenience. This recipe uses vegetable oil, but feel free to use olive oil in its place, if you wish.
125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
16 sheets filo pastry
sesame seeds (optional), to sprinkle
natural yoghurt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
600g potatoes (such as Desiree), finely diced
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Brush a large baking tray with a little of the oil.
To make the filling, heat the oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
Peel the potatoes and then use a mandolin to cut them into medium-thick slices (about 7 mm-thick). Use a sharp knife to then dice the potatoes finely. Add to the onion, season with the salt and pepper and set aside.
Stack filo sheets flat on a bench top. Cover with a dry clean tea towel and then a slightly damp tea towel to help prevent them from drying out. Take one sheet of filo, lay it with a long side closest to you and brush with a little of the oil. Cover with another sheet of filo brush with oil again. Spread about ⅓ cup of the potato filling along the long edge closest to you, about 3 cm from the edge and about 3 cm in from each end. Fold in the pastry ends and then roll up to form a log and to enclose the filling. Shape the filo log into a coil and place on the oven tray. Brush with a little more oil and then sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if desired. Repeat with the remaining filo sheets and potato filling to make 8 coils in total.
The key to working with filo pastry is to work quickly so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle and tricky to work with. Covering the pastry sheet with a dry and then a slightly damp tea towel will always help keep them moist and pliable.
Prep 30min (+35min pastry making time)Bake 1hr 15minMakes 8-10 serves
Classic apple pie (served with a overly-generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream, of course) is one of the perennial delights of winter and can only be improved by the addition of rhubarb and a deliciously rich vanilla sour cream pastry. This pie just may be a little hard to beat.
1 egg, whisked, for brushing 1 quantity vanilla sour cream pastry, shaped into a disc before wrapping and chilling as directed 2 teaspoons demerara sugar, to sprinkle pouring cream, vanilla ice-cream or custard, to serve
Apple and rhubarb filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 1 orange, rind finely grated 110g (½ cup) demerara sugar 1½ tablespoons plain flour 1kg (about 6 medium) Granny Smith apples 750g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 4 cm lengths (see Baker’s Tips) 30g unsalted butter, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
To make the apple and rhubarb filling, use your fingertips to rub the cinnamon, vanilla bean paste and orange rind through the sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour. Peel, core and cut the apples into thin (about 3 mm) slices and place in a separate large bowl, along with the rhubarb and the sugar mixture. Use your hands to toss gently to combine evenly.
Spoon the apple and rhubarb filling into an ungreased 23cm diameter (top measurement) ceramic or metal pie dish (see Baker’s Tips) and then dot with the diced butter. Brush the edge of the pie dish with the whisked egg.
Roll out the vanilla sour cream pastry to make a pie lid about 5 mm thick. Use a 2cm round cutter to cut out a circle form the centre of the pastry. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin and place on top of the pie. Use your thumb and index finger to press the pie pastry top onto the rim of the pie dish to seal. Use a small sharp knife to trim the excess pastry from around the edge. Brush the top of the pie with some of the remaining whisked egg and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) and bake for a further 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through and the apples are tender (see Baker’s Tips). Remove the pie from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving warm with cream, ice cream or custard.
For this recipe you will need a ceramic pie dish measuring 23cm across the top, 17cm across the base and 7cm deep.
You will need about 1kg untrimmed rhubarb for this recipe.
To check if the apples are tender, insert a skewer into the centre of the pie.
The simplicity of these roasted winter root vegetables allows their true flavours to shine – especially when finished with fresh herbs, lemon and ricotta salata.
1 bunch baby beetroot, scrubbed, trimmed and halved if large
1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and halved
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
3 small parsnips, scrubbed, trimmed and quartered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
40g ricotta salata (see Baker's Tips) or sheep's milk feta, crumbled or coarsely grated
1½ tablespoons oregano leaves
1½ tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, zest finely grated
lemon wedges or cheeks, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced)
Toss the beetroot, carrots, fennel and parsnip with the oil to coat. Spread over the base of a roasting dish and bake for 40 minutes, tossing once halfway through baking, or until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a skewer.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with a little more oil. Combine the ricotta salata, oregano, parsley and lemon zest and scatter over the vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Ricotta salata is an Italian ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It has a wonderfully salty flavour and firm texture which is perfect for crumbling, slicing or grating.