While it is true that winter is my favourite season of the year, I can’t help but feel a little enlivened by the warmer weather and the knowledge that summer is on its way. The shops are starting to supply summery fruits once more: mangoes, melons, apricots and other stonefruits, my favourite being the yellow peach. To celebrate the promise of all things summer, I decided it’s the perfect time to try out this simple and delightful recipe from my friend Jess. I love the way Jess does hospitality – simple and tasty food accompanied by no amount of fuss and flourish, she simply focusses on the folks she’s serving. This lovely dessert is the first of a number of affordable and tasty recipes contributed by Jess – costing no more than $5 and even less when peach season is in full swing.
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 cup / 220g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups / 220g self raising flour, sifted
- 2 peaches, cut into thin wedges
- 150g raspberries
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line 22cm springform tin (not a tart tin – the first time I made this I used a loose-bottomed tart tin and it overflowed because the walls of the tin didn’t come up high enough).
2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well.
3. Fold in flour and put in tin.
4. Top with peaches and raspberries and sprinkle with icing sugar (you can do this randomly or with an ordered pattern. I tried to go with random, but seriously struggled not to order my randomness! The picture above shows a bit of both)
5. Bake 1 hour or until cooked through and serve with vanilla ice-cream, thick cream or good quality yoghurt.
Recently my friend Anna reminded me of this recipe I’d used lots a few years ago. The recipe is my take on Portuguese Tarts, morphed into its current form from a Stephanie Alexander Lemon Tart recipe. These little custardy wonders are dead easy, really yummy and make a very affordable morning/afternoon tea or dessert when served with a dollop of cream or a scoop of ice-cream. They’re quick to make and store for 5 or so days in an airtight container. This recipe makes 36 tarts and costs around $5.
- 4 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry
- 6 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 300ml cream
- 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
1. Cut pastry rounds big enough to fit muffin sized tins, with a little extra to go up the sides. Should get 9 out of 1 sheet of pastry.
2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients with a whisk. Pour liquid into a jug.
3. Fill pastry cases to almost full and bake at preheated oven at 180 deg for 20 mins or until browning on top. Tarts will have risen and look huge, but will fall again when cooling (which is what you want).
4. Cool on wire racks and serve either warm or cold on a platter with them all piled up and dusted with icing sugar. Makes 36.
This is one of the easiest, yummiest and affordable dessert recipes I’ve ever come across. I love food that’s served in ramekins because it always looks great and costs are kept down by controlling portion size. Originally from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites, this gluten free dessert is a winner in my book because it takes no more than 10 minutes to make and then it’s straight into the fridge for later – and it’s literally all done. Every time I make these rich little treasures they get devoured. The mixture makes 8 small ramekins (about 1/3 cup capacity each), but In the photo above, I over-filled mine and so it only made 6 portions. I picked up my little ramekins from Kitchen Antics for $1.95 each. Tonight they’re on offer because it’s the State of Origin and my sister and brother in law are coming to watch it with us. Total cost $3.
- 175 grams dark chocolate, minimun 70% cocoa
- 150 ml thickened cream
- 100 ml milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- Crush the chocolate to smithereens in a food processor. Heat the cream and milk until just about boiling, add the vanilla and pour down the funnel over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Process for another 30 seconds, then crack the egg down the funnel and process again for 45 seconds.
- Pour into 8 little ramekins until 3/4 full. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Serve naked or topped with berries.