Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Credit to the book....
Food with Attitude, Kate Fay & Jeremy Turner (a Hodder Moa book, published 2005, NZ)

Mum made this and loved it. Gave it away as gifts this Christmas.

-Annie Mantell's Panforte-

160g runny hunny
150g castor sugar
125g whole blanched almonds
125g hazel nuts
750g of Lexia raisins or plump fat raisins
1tblsp orange zest
1tblsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
125g plain sifted flour
2tblsp cocoa

Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease and line a 25cm springform cake tin and line with baking paper. Melt honey and sugar gently in the saucepan, and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer mixture until sugar and honey are combined. This should only take a few mins. Set mixture aside, combine the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey and sugar mixture and mix well. (best to mix with your hand to ensure the nuts and raisins are well covered) The mixture will look dry. With wet hands, press mixture into the prepared tin, packing it down tightly. Bake for 45 mins. Until top is lightly browned and crunchy. Cool, remove from tin, and cut into 30-40 small pieces. (or cut from block when required to eat and serve.)

Russian Fudge

From Mum's *falling apart* Edmonds Cookbook - 1976 edition, 15th printing deluxe edition (worth keeping just incase it varies slightly in new editions!).

1 1/2 lb sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tin of sweetened condensed milk
4 oz butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp golden syrup

Put sugar and milk into pan and bring to the boil. Add condensed milk, butter salt, and golden syrup. Boil 1/2 an hour stirring frequently. (Note: tends to stick to bottom if heavy based pan is not used.) Beat until thick, about 5 mins. Pour into greased tins, mark and cut when set. Vanilla and nuts may be added if desired.

Brandy Butter

... for Christmas pudding, from Mum

75g unsalted butter
75g castor sugar
75g ground almonds
grated rind of 1/2 an orange
45 ml brandy

Cream butter with wooden spoon. Then beat in the sugar, ground almonds and orange rind. When well mixed, add the brandy and stir till thoroughly incorporated. Pile into a serving dish (jam dish or butter dish) and chill until needed.

This brandy butter freezes well.


Christmas food..... German traditional....

Found on a scrap piece of paper in Mum's pantry. This is the original recipe Mum used to make a few years ago. (She's been using a different one lately - shock horror) Mum said she hasn't made this version in a while cos it makes a fair amount that she gives away. (She said about 4 largish ones.) So here we go. Will have to ask Mum to elaborate on her brief instructions - which also happen to be overwritten in black felt pen with the note 'Rowan's wallet'.... wonder if he left it somewhere? Oh and sorry, it's not in metric - yet.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages dry yeast (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp lemon peel (fresh grated - or use mixed peel packet if no fresh)
1tsp almond extract
5 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup finely chopped candied orange peel (again, mixed peel packet if desperate)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 packet of almond paste (marsipan) - optional

(topping- a)
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp sugar

(topping - b)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar

Bring milk, butter, sugar to the boil in a pan. When just on the boil, remove from the heat and cool. Sprinkle yeast onto the warm water in a seperate bowl, leave to activate.

Put 3 cups of the flour, salt, lemon peel in a large bowl, add the cold milk mix, yeast mix, and almond extract. Beat well.

Add eggs one at a time. Add fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, slivered almonds and candied orange peel. And 2 cups of the remaining flour. Mix. Turn onto a board, knead till smooth, approx 10 mins. Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour where needed (excuse the pun)

Rise until double. Approx 1 1/2 hours in a warm place.

Beat down. (ie: punch down in bowl with knuckles) Divide into 4. Mould each piece into an oval about 3/4 inch deep. If wanting a filling, use 1/4 of the marsipan (1 for each of the stollen) and roll the marsipan into a small 'sausage' to fit approx length of the oval. Fold the oval in half lengthways so that the bottom layer extends beyond the top layer by about an inch - sealing the filling at one end and not at the other*. (if you have the filling)
*Mum says, the filling often represents the baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes so imagine his head is peeping out - but not his feet.

Brush with egg white mix (see topping - a) Leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 mins.

Bake at 375 deg F (180 deg C) for 25 mins. While still hot, brush with melted butter and dust thickly with icing sugar (see topping - b) Put back into oven for a few minutes.

When cold, wrap in foil and store in a cool, dry place. Can be left for a week before eating, however in NZ it tends to go dry in our summer climate. But it does 'keep' okay for a while. Can even be frozen.

To serve, slice and eat!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sago Plum Pudding

According to Delia, this was copied out of Mum’s mum’s handwritten recipe book - "I had to be careful... pages one through eight have disappeared into the time warp of pantries past..."

3 tablespoons sago
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup milk half cup of sugar
2 ounces butter (melted)
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup sultanas

Soak sago in milk for three hours or overnight.
Mix in other ingredients.
(Mum recommends adding dried fruit or a few spices)
Steam 3 hours.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Creamed Onions and Peas

For Thanksgiving this year I had to write home to Mum to get this recipe as I happened to find what I thought were small onions in the supermarket. They were in fact shallots, but worked at the same...

24 – 28 peeled white onions about 1” in diameter (2,5cm)

2lb (1kg) fresh green peas or 3 packets frozen green peas thoroughly defrosted

2oz butter

4tblsp flour

¾ pint of milk

¼ pint cream

1 teasp salt

pinch white pepper

¼ teasp nutmeg

Place the onions in a 6 pint saucepan with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest point and simmer the onions partially covered fro about 20 minutes, or until they show only a slight resistance when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife. Drain the onions in a sieve placed over a small bowl and set aside. Reserve the cooking water to use in making the sauce.

Cook the fresh peas by dropping them into 10 – 12 pints of rapidly boiling salted water. Boil briskly uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until they are tender. Then drain the peas and immerse in a bowl of cold water for 2 – 3 minutes. This will stop them cooking and help keep their bright green colour. Drain and put the peas aside with the cooked onions. Frozen peas need not be cooked, merely defrosted.

In a heavy 5 pint saucepan, melt the butter over a moderate heat and stir in the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in about ¾ pint of the reserved onion cooking liquid, beating with a wire whisk until the flour butter mixture is partially dissolved. Add the milk and cream, return the pan to the heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Simmer for three to four minutes to remove any taste of uncooked flour, season with the salt, white pepper and nutmeg, then add the cooked onions and the cooked peas. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are heated through.

Taste for seasoning and serve.

The super stuffed turkey

The storm that hit on Thanksgiving Sunday