Passionfruit Pie

The combination of buttery pastry, tangy passionfruit and creamy white chocolate in this pie is absolutely delicious! This is a fairly time-consuming recipe so definitely one I reserve for special occasions. I would recommend using a mixture of fresh and frozen passionfruit pulp to keep it economical unless you have an abundance of fresh passionfruit (in which case, feel free to send some my way!)

Ingredients (serves 12)
White chocolate ganache
125g white chocolate, chopped
½ cup thickened cream

Pastry
1¾ cups plain flour
¼ cup icing sugar mixture
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Passionfruit syrup
Pulp of 4 passionfruit
¼ cup caster sugar

Passionfruit crème pâtissière
Pulp of 8 passionfruit
400ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 wide strip lemon zest
4 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
⅓ cup cornflour
50g butter, cubed

Method

To make the ganache, microwave the white chocolate in short bursts until melted. Add the cream and refrigerate for 2 hours until thickened.

For the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar into a food processor and add the butter. Process in short bursts until the mixture has a fine crumb consistency. Add the egg and process until the mixture just starts to come together. Turn out onto a clean bench and gather the dough together. Press into a thick disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a sheet of non-stick baking paper to fit a 26cm loose-based non-stick flan tin. Carefully line the tin with the pastry, easing it into the corners. Trim any overhanging pastry, prick small holes with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

Cover the pastry with a sheet of non-stick baking paper and fill it with pastry weights. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes, remove the weights and paper, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

To make the passionfruit syrup, place the passionfruit pulp and sugar in a small saucepan with half a cup of water. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil, skimming the froth off the top as you go. Boil for about 2 minutes, until thick and syrupy, then remove from the heat.

For the crème pâtissière, place the passionfruit pulp into a strainer over a bowl and leave it to strain. Heat the cream in a saucepan with the vanill and lemon zest until it is just about to boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Strain the cream and pour over the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add the cornflour and stir over very low heat for approx. 5 minutes. As the mixture starts to thicken, whisk more quickly until it is very thick and smooth. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture is just warmer than room temperature. Beat in the butter and the strained passionfruit juice.  

Fill the pastry with the passionfruit crème pâtissière mixture, refrigerate for 5-10 minutes and then spread the white chocolate ganache over the top. Drizzle with the passionfruit syrup and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Julie Goodwin’s ‘Passionfruit puddle pie’ in My Family Table.

Pimm’s Jellies

This is a beautifully refreshing summer dessert. I’ve always been a fan of Pimm’s – it reminds of balmy nights, family BBQs and tennis – and this captures all of those memories in a silky jelly. Note: it should go without saying, but this dessert is adults only!

Ingredients (makes 6)
cup caster sugar
6 platinum-strength gelatin leaves
1 cup Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
2 cups lemonade
Handful of mint leaves
1 orange
3 strawberries
1 cucumber

Method

Soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes.

Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin leaves and add to the sugar liquid, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat.

Add the Pimm’s and lemonade to the saucepan, stirring until combined.

Divide evenly between 6 serving glasses, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.

Serve with mint leaves, orange slices, chopped strawberries and cucumber ribbons. Enjoy!

Adapted from delicious. ‘Simply the Best’ (2011)

Pavlova Wreath

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I made this pavlova wreath for a friend’s Christmas in July themed Birthday lunch. It’s a great, light way to finish a meal (perfect after a rich Christmas feast!) and looks festive without being kitsch. It’s great for Christmas Day as you can make and decorate it well ahead of time, giving you more time to focus on the main course and mingle with guests.

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Ingredients (serves 10-12)
6 large free-range egg whites
350g caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour

For the topping
600ml cream
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
½ – 1 tablespoon icing sugar (to taste)
2 punnets of strawberries
⅔ punnet of raspberries
½ punnet of blueberries
½ punnet blackberries
Mint leaves (optional)

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Method
Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line a large baking tray (or round pizza tray as I used) with baking paper and draw a 30cm circle in the centre.

Whisk egg whites with an electric mixer in a large, clean bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on maximum speed until stiff and glossy. Once all of the sugar has been added, continue mixing for 10 minutes or until all of the sugar has been dissolved (test this by rubbing the meringue mixture between your fingertips and ensuring it is smooth). Mix the vinegar and cornflour in a cup and stir it into the egg whites.

Spoon dollops of meringue mixture onto the prepared circle on the baking paper as below:5xNnVspLSUuZc9DoPgiObg_thumb_d68

Transfer to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 140°C (120°C fan-forced). Bake the pavlova for 1 hour–1 ¼ hours, until the outside is hard but still white. Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open with a matchbox and leave the pavlova inside for an hour to cool and dry.

To assemble, whip the cream, vanilla and icing sugar until thickened. Gently spread over the top of the wreath and top with fruit and mint leaves. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s Christmas Pavlova recipe on BBC Food.

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Tropical Ice Cream

This delicious, easy dessert has all the tastes of summer and is perfect served with fresh fruit on a balmy evening. thumb_img_3009_1024Ingredients (serves 6-8)
1 litre good quality vanilla ice cream
100g unsalted pistachio nuts
¾ cup desiccated coconut
Pulp of 2 passionfruit
2 tablespoons honey
Fresh fruit, to serve

Method
Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature until just soft.

Remove pistachio nuts from shells. Cover nuts with boiling water and remove their dark skins. Dry thoroughly.

Place coconut in a dry pan and cook over a gentle heat until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.

Combine ice-cream, nuts, ½ cup of the coconut, passionfruit pulp and honey. Place in a glad-wrap lined container (I use a log tin), cover and freeze for at least 2 hours

Serve topped with the remaining toasted coconut and fresh fruit. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Sydney Market Authority

Pavlova

The pavlova is a quintessential Aussie dessert that is said to have been inspired by the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova after a chef saw her perform on her world tour in 1926. A good pavlova has a beautiful high, crisp crust and a soft, pillowy marshmallow inside. It is one of my favourite summer desserts, especially when topped with seasonal fruit.

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Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
1 large cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour
2 egg whites (at room temperature)
4 tablespoons boiling water
300ml cream, thickened
Fresh fruit (this time I used a mango, strawberries and blueberries)

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Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large tray with baking paper and trace a circle around the bottom of an 18cm cake tin (or other round object of the desired size). Turn the baking paper over (so it is pencil side down).

Add eggs whites to a large bowl. Put cornflour and caster sugar to one side of the bowl.  Add boiling water to egg whites, pour in vanilla and white vinegar, and beat on high for 10-20 minutes until thick, glossy and the sugar has dissolved (you can test this by putting a small amount of mixture on your index finger and rubbing it with your thumb, if you can feel the sugar, keep beating). **It is hugely important that you have the sugar dissolved, otherwise the pavlova may crack and weep during cooking**

Using the circle on the baking paper as your guide, spoon the pavlova mixture onto the tray and shape.

Cook at 180°C for about 8 minutes and then reduce heat to 90°C and cook for another 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven for at least an hour, to prevent collapsing.

When fully cool and you’re ready to serve it (keep the meringue free of toppings until right before serving), gently spread the thickened cream over the top and decorate with fruit.

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Recipe from my lovely Grandmother, Margaret Payne.

Christmas Ice Cream Pudding

As an Aussie, Christmas day is often stinking hot and the last thing you feel like is eating a hot, rich traditional pudding at the conclusion of your meal. Enter my cheat’s ice-cream pudding!

This is more of a suggestion than a recipe (as you can adapt it entirely to suit you), but this combination is always a hit with my family, with the bonus of looking like a traditional pudding once complete.

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 Ingredients (serves 10)
2 litres good quality chocolate ice-cream
⅔ packet mini marshmallows
½  packet Maltesers
½ a packet lolly raspberries, chopped
2 large Mars Bars, chopped
50g white chocolate, melted (to decorate)
1 lolly raspberry (to decorate)
2 spearmint leaves (to decorate)

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Method
Soften ice-cream at room temperature until it is a workable consistency. Meanwhile, line a  large, deep glass bowl with clingfilm. Spray the clingfilm with cooking oil.

Once ice-cream is softened, transfer half to a large bowl. Add in half of your lollies and mix until evenly distributed. Repeat with the remaining ice-cream in its container. Transfer all ice-cream into your prepared bowl. Smooth the “top” with a spatula. Freeze until set.

To turn the pudding out, sit the bottom of the bowl in a sink filled with a few centimetres of warm water, and run a knife around the edge of the bowl as required. Once it is loosened (you may need to repeat a few times), it should slide out easily onto your desired serving plate. Peel off the clingfilm.

To decorate, spoon melted white chocolate on top to look like custard and top with the raspberry lolly and spearmint leaves.  Enjoy!

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Tiramisu Ice Cream

This ice cream is easy, light and utterly delicious. It is quite sweet, more like a Vietnamese iced coffee than a traditional coffee, but works beautifully with the tartness of raspberries. I’ve chosen to serve mine in individual glasses here, but it works well as one large ice cream cut into slabs too – I’ve included the instructions for both.

Start this recipe at least 7 hours ahead of serving.

Ingredients (serves 6)
2 tablespoons instant coffee (I use decaf)
⅓ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Tia Maria (or equivalent coffee liqueur)
400g can skim condensed milk
550ml cream
¼ cup milk
1 x 300g packet sponge finger biscuits
Raspberries & dark chocolate curls or chocolate covered coffee beans (to decorate)

Method
Combine coffee, water & Tia Maria and set aside until cool.

Combine condensed milk and cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thickened. Beat in half of the coffee mixture.

To make 6 individual servings, prepare 6 medium sized glasses. Split the cream mixture equally into 3 bowls. Divide the first bowl’s worth of cream mixture evenly between the glasses.

Combine remaining coffee mixture with milk. Cut 6 sponge finger biscuits into halves and dip into this coffee mixture until evenly coated. Fit two half biscuits in a single layer into each glass. Cut approximately 2-3 additional biscuits into 5 small pieces and dip into the coffee mixture. Use to fill the gaps so you have a fairly full layer of biscuits.

Evenly divide the second bowl of cream mixture between the glasses. Repeat the previous sponge finger process.

Finally, top each glass with an even share of the remaining cream mixture. Freeze until set.

Serve with raspberries and chocolate curls.

To make one large ice cream, line a 20cm square cake pan with aluminium foil. Spoon half of the cream mixture into the tray.

Combine remaining coffee mixture with milk. Dip 12 sponge finger biscuits into this coffee mixture until evenly coated. Place in a single layer on top of the ice-cream mixture in the tray (you may need to cut some sponge fingers to make it fit).

Top the sponge finger biscuits with the remaining cream mixture and freeze until set.

To serve, cut into rectangular slices and serve with raspberries and chocolate covered coffee beans.

Recipe adapted from Good Taste magazine.