So, today we’ve reached R in The A-Z of Cooking (1977) and…what? Yeah, I know the heading for the post is Blackberry and Apple Pie. But we’re at R already; you should know by now that The A-Z is never going to give you Roasts or Rice or Root Vegetables. Anyone want to guess the “R” in blackberries or apples or pie? No? Good thing because you may as well be shouting “Rumpelstiltskin”. The R in question is “Reheatable”. What makes this even weirder than the normal bonkers of The A-Z is that you’ll quite likely never need to reheat this Blackberry and Apple Pie because it is so good that you’ll eat it in one go!
If you follow me on Instagram, this picture may be somewhat familiar as I posted it the day I made it which was waaaaayyy back in February. As they say, good things some to those who wait! The February baking also explains the heart-shaped decorations because nothing says “I love you” like pie right?
The pastry for the Blackberry and Apple Pie came together really well which was awesome because pastry and bread, even after just doing two months of bread with Tasty Reads, are still things that frighten me! I used frozen blackberries so my mixture was quite wet so when before I placed the filling into the pastry I sprinkled some almond meal into the mix. This helps to soak up any juices that would have resulted in that anathema to the British Bake Off – the soggy bottom. Having recently spilled my water bottle all over my lap en route to the gym and having to do an entire class feeling like I had wet my pants, I am also totally against the soggy bottom!
Okay, I know I need to work on my edges but come on, you gotta give me points for the hearts right?
Long story short. This was one of the best recipes so far from The A-Z of Cooking. Shame it was hidden away in “R for Reheatable”. If I was going to randomly allocate it a category, it would certainly fall under “T for Totally Awesome”. Here’s the recipe, including my l’il almond meal trick.
Blackberry and Apple Pie
A delicious and easy to make Blackberry and Apple Pie
Add the butter and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar, the egg yolk and enough water to make a firm dough.
Roll out half the dough into a circle and line a 22cm pie dish.
For The Filling
Peel, core and slice the apples.
Mix them with the blackberries, the lemon juice, the almond meal, and sugar to taste.
Spoon the filling into the lined pie dish.
Heat your oven to 425F or 220C.
Roll out the rest of the dough and use it to top the pie. Seal the edges, trim neatly and decorate as you wish. Make sure you include a hole in the centre, either as part of the decoration as I did or, just with a skewer. This will allow the steam to escape.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Place in oven and bake until the pastry is golden-brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired!
By Taryn Fryer
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Back to work tomorrow after an Easter break filled with doing a whole heap of nothing! I feel like I’m getting back into the swim of blogging regularly. Let’s hope my holiday filled May doesn’t derail my best intentions!
It seemed quite appropriate that I made my Pieathalon pie on Eurovison weekend. After all, my pie was a Belgian Onion Pie with French Pastry Dough. And in 1974 ABBA won Eurovision with their song Waterloo which draws its inspiration from the site in BELGIUM where the Brits defeated the FRENCH army lead by Napoleon.
The coincidence is almost spooky.
But would this pie take me down like a diminutive French General? Or, like a bearded drag queen was I going to “rise like a phoenix” to Euro glory?
And I Have Met My Destiny (In Quite A Similar Way)
A few weeks ago, the lovely Yinzarella put out the call and 19 bloggers answered. We were going to take part in a global event to rival Eurovision, Pieathalon 2.
The History Book on The Shelf (Is Always Repeating Itself)
My recipe, which came from S.S. over at A Book of Cookrye is taken from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972:
Which looks and sounds like it comes more from the Mississippi Delta than any field in Flanders I ever saw. Which is fine, I just finished reading Miss Hazel and The Rosa Parkes League for bookclub. I’m feel like I’m down with the M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter….
I also recently made a French Apple Flan, so my credentials for France are also solid.
I have driven through Belgium on a bus.
I have watched “InBruges“. Twice.
They have waffles. And chocolate. And smurfs.
And that’s pretty much the sum total of my knowledge about Belgium. If there’s going to be a weak link here, it’s bound to be Belgium…is Pieathalon going to be my Waterloo?
My, My, I Tried To Hold You Back (But You Were Stronger)
I feel like the The French Pie dough recipe is very French. And by that I mean both annoyingly pedantic in some details (Triple sifting flour? Really?) and then just gives a big Gallic shrug and leaves others mostly up to your imagination. The implication being if you are that much of a dummy to not know what spices and liquid to use in your pie dough, you probably shouldn’t be making pie dough.
My imagination told me to use a pack of French Onion Soup Mix for both – a spoonful of the dry mix as my dough spice, then make up the rest of the soup and chill it down for my liquid.
My imagination is a psychopath.
The soup mix made the pastry quite salty. If I had added more salt by adding the soup, I’m pretty sure it would have become inedible. So, after a moment of panic and some highly creative swearing I used some pear cider as my liquid. Purely because I happened to be drinking it at the time of making.
And you know what? It worked!!! Really well. The sweetness took out some of the salt and I think the bubbles helped to make the pastry really light and crisp.
I loved this pastry. It had a real French Onion Soup flavour. I am going to make it again but into “cheese” straws to have with dip. And I will probably use Pear Cider as my go to chilled liquid again too!
Now to the first way I “tweaked” this recipe…you may know that have a weakness for small round food. I’m also very much of the mind that more is more. So, why make one pie when you can make a lot of pies?
And Now It Seems My Only Chance Is Giving Up The Fight
I was actually pretty confident with the filling. Because pastry is the hard part of any pie right? And honestly, I nailed that French pie dough like a….like a….French hammer…Yeah…just like that. (Note to self, find some better metaphors).
So bring on the filling….
First up -looking at this very cute picture made me think the pie was baked in onions. I’m not actually sure HOW you would bake a pie in an onion but I do know I want to find out. Another entry into the bucket list of weird food I want to make. I think it also may have sub-conciously influenced my idea to make party-sized pies instead of one big one.
Then? Chopping three large onions? There were tears before bedtime. Then I weighed the butter. Half a pound of butter seemed like an awful lot. I checked my measurements from ounces to grams and weighed it again. No, my measurements were right and that was still a, pardon me for using a very technical baking term, a shit ton of butter.
Suddenly my mountain of onions seemed like barely a hill next to that Everest of butter. In the end, I couldn’t do it. That skyscraper of butter was too overwhelming. I cut off about a third of it and stuck that back in the fridge. I felt really bad about this because I had wanted to follow the recipe exactly. But I was convinced this was just wrong.
And I could just add some extra butter if I needed, right?
Then I started to saute my onions. I was a bit worried that the onions would suck all the butter up and it would be too dry. It seemed ok when the onions were sautéing, however once I added the flour the butter problem became apparent….
Far from being too little butter there was still too much. WAY too much…it was pooling everywhere…
I made the decision to tip some more butter out….turned out to be about another two tablespoons.
I was kind of worried about doing this but as soon as I added the milk and cream, it all came together perfectly and I knew I had made the right decision. Look how lovely and smooth the filling looks.
I only had filling for ten little Belgian onion pies so I ate the additional pie shells. That pastry was awesome!!!!
And half an hour later they came out like this. Puffed up, golden brown, the Belgian Onion Pie babies looked like little golden buttercups!!!
I was so happy with these. And not only were the baby Belgian Onion Pies so pretty to look at, they were delicious too – the light crisp pastry, the creamy filling, they were gorgeous!!!! And they tasted just like French Onion Soup!
You could almost say they were souper!
Gahhh…….Thankfully, the Belgian Onion pies tasted better than my puns!!!!!
I Feel Like I Win….
So despite a couple of hiccups, Pieathalon 2 was a total success.
Huge thanks to S.S. for the recipe and Yinzerella for the opportunity. I LOVED it! Here is my slightly twisted Muriels Wedding thanks to you both:
“I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I’ve met you and moved to Sydney joined in Pieathalon , I haven’t listened to one Abba song. That’s because my life is as good as an Abba song. It’s as good as Dancing Queen”
High praise indeed!
And as a fitting finale to this Pieathalon, Ladies, Gentlemen…bring out your best moves and your favourite satin jumpsuit and join me, Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths in a little celebration of all things Pieathalon. Feel free to sing along with my ever so slightly modified lyrics below as you bust a synchronised move…
Pieathalon, Belgian pie with butter galore,
Pieathlon, promise to love you for ever more
Pieathalon, couldn’t escape if I wanted to,
Pieathalon, Knowing my fate is to be with you,
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Pieathalon,
Finally facing Pieathalon!”
The entire list of bloggers and pies are here. Please check ’em all out but check out Sarah who made my Fiesta Almond Peach Pie recipe first!
OMG. I was downloading some photos from my camera of the Ice Iced Vovo when I found all the photos I had taken of the Orange and Chicken Surprise Salad. I had totally forgotten about it. How, I do not know. I’m sure I didn’t drink THAT much over the holiday period. I’m equally sure you will agree that the Orange Chicken Surprise Salad should be unforgettable (in every way).
Given that I have named January the month of crazy, it seemed fitting to post it here. I totally had something else in mind to close out the month and we may yet get there. But this had to get a mention.
It looks quite pretty. Like a lovely orange jello dessert. But wait! A surprise lurks within.
Not much of a surprise as the name pretty much gives it away….(There must be some sort of term for that….is it a paradox? A tautology? Someone smarter than me please tell me….) But hiding under that innocent orange jello exterior is a chicken salad. A rather tasty chicken salad to boot.
The idea of mixing sweet jello and savoury items kind of freaks me out. It should not work. It freaks me out even more when, like this, the result is actually pretty tasty. Mind you, I loaded the jello with lemon juice so it was not as sweet as the original recipe dictated which may have helped make it a bit more palateable to my taste. The original recipe is below:
The hardest thing about this recipe is getting the layer of jelly on the top the right thickness. My cup sank way too deep the first few times, requiring some melting and resetting of the jelly. It was still a little bit thin in this version and it kind of fell into a heap when I cut into it.
But all up, this was a success. The jelly actually added a light tangy touch to the salad which was refreshing both on a hot day and after the heavy meals of Christmas.
My version, which includes cranberries and tarragon is below.
I’ll be spending this week working on my post to celebrate Australia Day….I’m venturing into the best left alone arena of “things people eat when drunk” and, believe me, whether I love it or hate it, it’s going to be a doozy!!!
Orange & Chicken Surprise Salad
Surprise! Hidden beneath the layers of tangy orange and lemon jelly is a super tasty chicken salad.
Combine the jello, fruit juices and boiling water, stirring until the jello melts. Place in fridge to set.
When about half set place a small bowl into the jello and weigh it down (baking beans are ideal if you have them, otherwise use rice or beans or anything else you have to hand).
Chill for several hours until very firm.
Meanwhile combine all the salad ingredients and season to taste.
When the jelly is set, take a sharp knife and dip it in hot water. Dry the knife then ease all around the small bowl. You may need to dip it in the water a couple of times.
Once the bowl is removed pack the chicken salad into the cavity. Put foil or a plate over it and chill until firm.
When ready to serve, place the mould in hot water to loosen the jelly, it only needs to be in there a short time. Then turn it out and garnish with the orange segments, cranberries and mint leaves.
If your cup sinks too low in your jelly mould like mine did, place the bottom of the mould in hot water. The jelly will melt. Keep the mould in the water until you get the level of jelly you desire then place back in the fridge to reset.
By Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne - Wilson, Salad For All Seasons
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne - Wilson, Salad For All Seasons
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Don’tcha just love it when bits of your life just seem to fit together? This Hayman Island Chicken Salad pretty much joined all the dots for me last week.
If last week my life was a movie, this week is a jigsaw.
I have always been inordinately fond of a jigsaw. I think it stems from being an only child and it being one of the things I could do alone. We have been doing some jigsaws at work recently and it has been awesome. We set them up in the kitchen so, at lunch time or randomly through the day, people can go in a do a piece or two.
Although, just between you and me, I think the lady who is bringing them in secretly hates us. Not for her the art prints which are my favourites or the Alpine scenes and waterfalls of my childhood, No way, Uh uh…She likes the impossipuzzle. We had only just recovered from #2 which was this:
No, not a series of pieces thrown on the table. The top one is the picture.The bottom one is a close up. It was only five hundred pieces and it took us three weeks to complete! It also left us shattered remnants of human beings. Then she brought in number 3.
Yep, no borders and five extra pieces. Not to mention a plethora of cats that all look the same She really does hate us.
There was some weirdness as well. We finished puzzle #2 on a Friday but left it out so people could admire our puzzle making skills and laud us accordingly. No change on Monday. However, when I came in on Tuesday, someone had removed the four corner pieces. They hadn’t taken them or thrown them away. Just removed them and left them on the table. Who or why? No idea. I work with some strange people.
But enough of the literal, here’s the metaphorical.
After eating my weight in bacon whilst being obsessed with Fruity Devils I felt the need for some slimming.
I also had some left over pineapple and oranges and Rosemary Mayne Wilson’s Salads For All Seasons.
There is a section on diet salads in the book however it contains recipes like this
I don’t know, maybe I’m just being picky but if I was making a recipe that I wanted people to eat, I’d think twice about having the word “mould” in the title. Just saying. Maybe that was Rosemary’s cunning plan. You are so repulsed by the name of the food that your appetite is automatically reduced. Then you realise it’s either cottage cheese and pineapple juice (note, you don’t even get the pineapple) or lamb and curry powder in gelatine and what’s left of it disappears all together. Voila. I suppose it’s one way to get skinny!
Handily, not all of Rosemary’s recipes are that disgusting. I made my version of her Hayman Island Chicken Salad which used up my leftover oranges and pineapple. It was pretty tasty and looked quite pretty with the green from the avocado, celery and spring onion, the orange from the oranges (duh) and the yellow pineapple. Mango would also be great in here and would add to the tropical vibe. I have shown it here as a sandwich but I also took some into work for lunch and it was great just as a salad too. Also, there was no avocado in the original. I just had one that needed to be used….
There is no explanation given the Salads For All Seasons as to why this recipe is named after Hayman Island which is a holiday resort on the Great Barrier Reef. I can only assume it was served there back in the 1970’s. It is possibly the thing in the white dish front and centre below.
So I had made my Hayman Island Chicken Salad and then, in a coincidence weirder than someone removing the corner pieces from a jigsaw, I happened to glance at the cover of this month’s Gourmet Traveller which had been sitting on my coffee table unread for a couple of weeks. (It actually made an appearance last week, slightly obscured by my huge glass of wine…)
And totally obscured by my hot sauce was this!
Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think the universe is trying to tell me something. And I’m fairly sure that it is that I need to get to Hayman Island pronto.
You see, I read that article and there is no mention of a chicken salad. Nor does it appear on any of the resort menus.
Which is, as far as I am concerned a travesty.
I feel it is my duty, no my mission, to bring this salad to the attention of the resort owners. I would be quite happy to spend a weekend working with the chefs to bring help back this piece of Hayman Island history. Although…we would probably need to match it with some wines and a cocktail or two. Hmm…maybe I’ll need a week.
And we needn’t go all out with the retro vibe. The outrigger canoe as a buffet table? That can stay gone.
And I’m not greedy. I don’t need the $10,600 a night penthouse. I have simple tastes. The $1990 per night beach villa with private pool will be just fine.
How glorious does that room look? The only downside is that now I have that Coldplay song running through in my head.
As do you now too. Don’t thank me. You’re more than welcome.
All together now…Para, para, paradise…..Whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh.
So what do you think of my chances of getting the all expenses paid trip to Hayman to act as historical cuisine consultant to the chefs?
Great article on the interwebs today about Retro Holiday Foods that have, according to the authors, gladly been forgotten…although…I’m not so sure…
I thought this Shrimp Christmas Tree was brilliant…it reminded me a little of Yinzerella’s Shrimp Sputniks from a few days ago. I also loved that massive goblet of sauce… I had a little bet with myself that it would be nothing more than ketchup and mayo and…almost!
I”m doing this…Christmas 2014, your name is Shrimp Christmas Tree. Recipe here.
Funnily enough, this also reminded me of the lovely Yinzerella:
Whereas this just made me giggle for hours. Because I’m really a 12-year-old boy…
I’d ask what were they were thinking but it’s kind of obvious….