Citrus Flavours

Citrus Flavours
Photo by Scott Bauer

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This blog has been designed to enlighten the world to sweet and savoury cusine. Personally, my favourite ingredient in cooking is citrus fruits, particually lemons, so I will try to inspire your inner chef to share the interesting flavour of lemons in the most indulgent cupcakes, muffins, cakes, slices, cookies and of course savoury dishes. My collection of recipes can be applied to any situation; formal or informal, in any case they are delicious and will interest your guests! Enjoy preparing and sharing the following recipes for what will be a memorable gathering with friends and family for any occassion.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apple Pie

Recipe and Photos by Yasmin

This is a classic dish that everyone should make at some point in their life, whether it is with your Grandma or your Grandchildren. This dessert, for me, isn't as much about the soft texture of the apples complimented by the sweet flavour of cinnamon and sugar, it is about tradition. Rain or shine, hot or freezing, without fail, I will make this dessert when my Grandma comes and visits from Melbourne. It is a tradition that strengthens our love and makes each other happy. My Grandma is the woman who taught me how to make this dessert by letting me stand by her side and peel the apples and roll the pastry. She is a major factor that made me who I am today and helped develop my love of cooking. Although I am older and more experienced in the cooking department, and my Grandma has become less capable, our tradition and bond is tighter than ever. Nowadays, when she visits (as she is at the moment) I am the one who makes this beautiful dessert for her and she is the one to judge if it is made with enough Grandma love. I hope everyone enjoys making Apple Pie as much as I do, and enjoys sharing this dessert all year round, but especially at Easter (as shown through the bunny on the table cloth!) with you much loved family.

  • 20 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk, to brush
  • 2-4 tsp sugar, to dust
  • 2-4 tsp cinnamon, to dust
  • short crust pastry (home made preferably - see recipe below)
  • 100g chilled butter
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tblsp chilled water

For Pastry; using food processor, pulse butter and flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add icing sugar and pulse for 1 minute. Combine the egg and water in a separate container. With the motor running, slowly pour water mixture into the food processor. The mixture should stick together making dough, if not add more flour until it comes together as a dough. Remove and cover in nonstick wrap. Form it into a ball shape. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

For Filling; stew apples by placing them in a large pot. Fill just a little bit of the bottom of the pot with water, to start the softening of the apples when boiled. Boil the apples and then turn down the heat and let them simmer. Constantly check the apples to see if they are soft. Once softened remove from heat and allow to cool.

Remove pastry and place the ball of dough on a floured mat. Take 3/4 of the dough to be the base and roll out in a circular shape until wide enough to fit the pie dish and go over the edges. Spray the pie dish with cooking canola spray and lay the rolled pastry on it. Add the stewed apples but do not overfill the dish. Using the 1/4 of dough left roll out in the same way as the base to use as the top of the pie (it is always better for the base to be thicker than the top). You can leave the top as a whole circle to cover the pie or you can cut the pastry into strips and create a laced top pie. If there is extra pastry hanging over the edge of the pie then cut it off with a sharp knife and use it to create patterns on top of the pie. For assistance in the decorations, use shape cutters. When placing the top pastry to the pie, brush milk on the edges to help the two pastry sheets to stick together. Then, using a fork, press the fork prongs around the edges of the pie to make sure the two sheets are stuck together and to complete the pie's appearance (as shown in the photo below). To finish, brush the top of the pie with milk and then dust with sugar and cinnamon (this allows the sugar and cinnamon to stick to the pie top).

Bake in the oven at 160'C fan forced for 40-45 minutes. When golden brown on top, remove and allow to cool a little before serving. Serve with cream and/or ice-cream and a dusting of cinnamon over everything (optional).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Cake

Recipe and photos by Yasmin

I understand completely that this is being posted a few days after Easter, but this is when I had time to make it. Also, I understand that I am going completely against my rule that this blog would contain no traces of chocolate whatsoever, however, Easter isn't really Easter without some chocolate. So here is my main Easter recipe that is a little bit naughty but a whole lot of fun. I guarantee that you will enjoy making and serving this dessert because it is full of life and the joy of Easter.

Coffee cake batter:
  • 2 tblsp margarine or butter
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla flavouring
  • 2-3 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 3 tblsp boiled water
  • chocolate icing
  • melted cooking chocolate
  • sugar coated mini chocolate eggs
  • cellophane and miniature chicken

For Coffee Cake; Grease a fluted cake tin. Heat oven 180'C fan forced. Melt butter in a medium sized bowl. Add all other ingredients and beat until smooth. Put in prepared cake tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once cooked turn out onto a wire rack. Prepare chocolate icing while cake is cooling.

For Chocolate icing see Icing and Sauces Page on blog.
Once cake is cooled, ice.

Leave the cake to set. Once set, arrange the cellophane in the middle of the cake to fill majority of the hole. Cover cellophane with sugar coated chocolate eggs. This arrangement of decorations should look like eggs in a nest.

Melt 2-3 tblsp cooking chocolate or cooking choc chips in a plastic zip lock bag (be careful not to burn the chocolate - melt on a low heat). Using scissors, snip a pin prick sized hole at one end of the zip lock bag to create a mess free piping bag. Pipe long lines from left to right until the cake is covered with chocolate lines (as seen in the photo below).

For the finishing touches, place a miniature yellow chicken in the nest near the eggs - giving the Easter and mother hen effect.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Anzac Slice

Recipe from Lesley Palmer (family friend)
Photos by Yasmin

I love this recipe. It is full of spirit from Anzac day and is very wholesome and filling. It is very similar in regards to ingredients to Anzac biscuits (also featured on my blog); however, it is just displayed differently - in slice form. A beautiful enhancer of this hearty snack is lemon icing. The sour flavour of lemons compliments this oat filled slice perfectly. I really love this combination. I thank my friend for sharing this recipe with me from all those years ago. I still use it every year (along with Anzac biscuits) to commemorate the Anzac troops hard work in Galipolli. Lest we forget.

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 tblsp golden syrup, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 113g margarine, melted

Beat together. Spread evenly in a bake tray, lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook for 20-25 minutes at 180'C fan forced. When cool ice with lemon icing (optional). For lemon icing recipe, see Icing and Sauces Page on Blog.

Zucchini, Ham and Cheese Cups

Recipe from Recipes+
Photos by Yasmin

This is a very unique and clever idea. Essentially this recipe is just another form of mini quiche; however, instead of using pastry to hold the filling, you use ham! I didn't have enough ham for all the mixture this recipe makes so I used pastry cups as well as ham cups. This is the first of my real Easter recipes I'm posting, not because it looks like anything to do with Easter, but because on Easter my family shares a big and beautiful BBQ breakfast which will include this savoury snack. In this way it is linked to Easter. Feel free to share with me what you do on Easter. Do you have a nice breakfast too, or perhaps a special dinner, but more importantly what do you eat while enjoying you family or friend's company? I wish everyone a very happy Easter. Alleluia!
TIP: For something a little different, use pancetta or salami instead of ham or pastry. Also, to make this snack healthier, add other vegetables as well, such as grated carrot or thinly diced capsicum.

(Left side is ham, Right side is pastry)
  • 24 (200g) slices shaved leg ham (or pastry)
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cream (I used skim milk instead)
  • 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (or normal sized tomatoes cut into small slices)
  • Mixed salad, to serve

Preheat oven to 160'C fan forced. Grease a 12 hole mini quiche tray (more if needed). Line each hole with 2-3 overlapping slices of ham to shape the nests. Coarsely grate zucchini; using hands, squeeze out excess liquid.

Whisk eggs and cream in a medium sized bowl. Stir in zucchini and cheese. Spoon mixture into prepared holes. Top with tomato. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. Remove from oven. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve with salad.


Recipe and photos by Yasmin

Scrolls are a brilliant invention. It is the simplest of recipes; needing only two ingredients and a constant ratio of 1:2 - 1cup of buttermilk to 2cups of Self Raising Flour. From this you can be as creative or subtle as intented; however, the result is undyingly satisfying. I have made this snack or lunch many times before today, yet today is somewhat special because I am sharing a memorable cooking experience with a longtime friend. A caring primary school friend visited and we prepared this dish, alongside many others, as we prepared a feast to celebrate the end of Lenten fasting. As a beginner we made scrolls, followed by the main meal of Chicken and Corn Pie, and finishing with afternoon tea of Apple and Cinnamon Cake and lastly dessert being Incredible Pie. This was a VERY filling and enjoyable experience - as every cooking session should be. I regard my kitchen and cookbook as an old friend as I embrace the task ahead, rather than some people today who believe cooking is a burden and a nuisance. I hope you enjoy the first of many recipes being posted after my Lenten break. It is both sweet and savoury - a perfect balance to start.

  • Buttermilk (a carton)
  • Self Raising Flour
  • Fillings of choice
Filling Combinations:
  • Plum Jam, shredded coconut, shredded apple and sultanas (as featured in photo)
  • Shredded apple, cinnamon and sugar
  • Nutella and choc chips
  • Apricot jam, diced apricots and shredded coconut
  • Strawberry Jam and mixed dried fruit
  • White chocolate and passionfruit pulp
  • Honey and sliced banana
  • Vegimite and cheese
  • Shredded ham, cheese and pineapple
  • Salami, ham and cheese
  • Semi-dried tomatoes, low fat feta cheese, ham, salami and cheese

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of buttermilk and 2 cups of flour with a fork until a soft dough forms. Flour a mat and rolling pin and roll out the dough until 1-2cm thick. Spread with a filling of your choice, sweet or savoury. Pick up pastry from one end and roll it up to the other (as shown in the photo above). Once the dough is now one big scroll, use a sharp knife to cut the scroll into 2-3cm slices. Place these lying flat on a non-stick baking tray as you cut (as shown in the photo below). Cook in an oven at 180'C fan-forced 4 for 20-25 minutes. Once cooled a little, serve.

This process can be repeated until all of the buttermilk is used. It makes approximately 2 1/2 batches. For the half batch make sure the measurements maintain that ratio of 1:2, in this case it will be 1/2:1. If you don't simplify the ratio evenly, then the dough will either be too sloppy or too hard.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Passion

 By Basher Eyre

As a result of me wishing away these last 40 days, I have been looking for the first opportunity to end the fasting and satisfy my cooking cravings. Before today I was not certain when Lent officially ended; at the start of The Passion or at the end with Easter? Instead of using my handy assistant, Google, I decided that one of the most knowledgeable people that I know would be my mother; as she is a religion teacher I believed her to be well suited for the task.

So what is my answer? For all of those who cannot wait a few days longer, Lent ends on Thursday at the Last Supper and washing of the disciples feet. From here on in is the upsetting happenings of The Passion, as cruelly depicted in the movie 'The Passion of Christ', directed by Mel Gibson.

By Stefano Costanzo

This answer was exactly what I was looking for and is very exciting news. It is amazing to imagine what Jesus must have witnessed and suffered during his time with us on earth. I have felt nothing compared to what Jesus went through, and although my small fasting was difficult, it has widened my understanding of Jesus' actions and enabled me to appreciate what he gave up for us.

One way to show my appreciation and thanks with this new found knowledge is by accepting the invitation to have my feet washed tonight at Church. It is an honor to be offered a position as one of the twelve disciples tonight as we reenact the celebration of the Last Supper.

On this night Jesus said to his disciples that one of them will betray him and the prophecy will be fulfilled over the coming days. He said that they will be scared and saddened by the consequences but that he will come again and they will be happy once more; this would happen on the third day.

I am just amazed at Jesus mental, physical and emotional strength to be able to cope with all of this pressure and hardship so that the prophecy could be fulfilled and mankind saved. There is one time when we see that Jesus needs reassurance and guidance from his Father; after The Last Supper Jesus takes his disciples to a garden to watch out for him (because he knew the betrayers time was soon) while he prayed. During this time Jesus says, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

The “cup” in this pray refers to Jesus' suffering and death at the hands of sinful men. Therefore, a simple interpretation of this pray can be concluded. Jesus honors and trusts his Father's judgement for the good of mankind, but is scared of his fate, therefore, he confides in his Father to, if possible, change the path that has been chosen for him; however, Jesus understands that God is all powerful and loving and knows best for his people. Thus, let God's will be done.

Jesus final act on earth would open up the gates of heaven for everyone; Gentile or Jew, woman or man, sinner or beggar. The moral to his actions is that everyone is welcome to the house of God, it is ok to make mistakes on earth - just repent and all will be forgiven.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Easter with family and friends. May God watch over us all. If possible, I encourage everyone to attend mass at some point this week, if not every day from Thursday to Sunday. People are encouraged to attend mass on each of these days because each mass is connected; all of these days are The Passion. Hence why there is no entrance hymn or concluding hymn; because The Passion hasn't ended yet.

God bless and take care.

Happy Easter.