Five Favourite Things – September | Natural New Age Mum

Five Favourite Things – September | Natural New Age Mum.

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Homemade Apple Pie

Each week we get our fruit and vegetables delivered. Sometimes we eat all the apples and sometimes they seem to accumulate in the fridge. Last week I decided that I had to make something with apples in it and since I have always wanted to make my own apple pie the decision was pretty easy.

I decided to use my food processor to follow Jamie Oliver’s.

Ingredients:

for the pastry

• 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 50g icing sugar
• sea salt
• 1 lemon
• 125g cold butter, plus extra for greasing
• 1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
• a splash of milk

for the filling

• 5 large eating apples
• 3 tablespoons Demerara sugar
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• ½ a lemon

• Preheat the oven to 180ºC
• From a height, sieve your flour into a food processor bowl with your chopping attachment in it
• Add the sugar, a pinch of salt, and finely grate over the zest of the lemon
• Cut the butter into cubes, then add to the bowl
• Pulse the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
• Crack the egg into the bowl with a tiny drop of milk and pulse until the dough comes together
• Wrap it in cling film and pop in the fridge to rest while you make the filling

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• Peel all of your apples
• Cut the eating apples into eighths, get rid of the cores
• Add all the apple pieces to a small pan with the sugar and ginger.
• Finely grate over the zest of half a lemon, then squeeze in a little juice
• Toss to mix then put the pan on a medium low heat
• Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender
• Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely

To make the pie:

• Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour
• Divide your pastry dough into two and roll out one half until ½cm thick
• Carefully roll your pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it carefully over a 20cm pie dish
• Ease the pastry into the dish, making sure you push it into all the sides, patch up any tears or breaks
• Pack the apple mix tightly into the pie dish
• Separate your remaining egg and beat the yolk with a splash of milk and brush over the pastry rim
• Roll out the other piece of dough until ½cm thick
• Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it over the top of the pie
• Fold the excess pastry back in then pinch and crimp the edges together using your finger and thumb
• Brush the top of the pie with more egg wash, then using a small sharp knife, make a couple of small incisions in the centre of the pie to let steam escape as it cooks

The pastry turned out amazing and I had fun rolling it out and lining the pie dish with it.

Jamie Oliver recommends quartering the apples but I used the food processor to slice them thickly. I wanted to be able to cover the entire base of the pie easily.

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Bake for 40 – 45mins in the hot oven. I loved watching it cook and go golden brown.
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The outcome was a lovely rustic apple pie with a beautiful, slightly flakey pastry. Perfect served warm with ice-cream and vanilla bean custard.

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The universe is playing games with me!!

It is one of those strange days today.
I am feeling a little emotional for a few different reasons (nothing to share really), it is chilly 6.7 degrees outside and I have washing to hang on the line.

My problem is every time I open that door to brave the cold wind it starts raining. If I sit back on my bottom the sun comes back out again! It seriously feels like the universe is playing games with me. You know the one where you have a sprinkler watering the garden, turn it off and a curious child walks up to the sprinkler to find out where the water has gone. When they get close you turn it back on and surprise them, usually leaving them in fits of laughter.

It is like that but I’m not laughing. I just want dry clothes. 
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The rain is nice though. Might make myself a coffee and enjoy a spot of laziness. If Marty asks… the universe was plotting against me 😉

Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

With two (often fussy) boys staples such as pasta and rice frequently find their way onto our dinner table. They are our ‘safe’ dinner foods and our boys will pretty much eat anything if is served with pasta.

When I was excitedly searching the internet for meals that required a food processor I came across this blog post on creamy cauliflower sauce (the blogger, Lindsey, has also released a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook so it must be awesome, right?). Anyway, it sounded interesting, I had cauliflower in the fridge and I will try almost anything to get my boys to eat more vegetables. 

We love our creamy chicken and bacon pasta so I thought I would mix it up, ditch the cream and try the cauli sauce. It was a HIT and is much healthier than the cream based alternative. Both boys gobbled it up so very quick and even asked for more.

Here is our adaptation of pinch of yum’s recipe. Please check the link out.

Ingredients:
250g pasta
1 Chicken breast
Bacon (I’m not sure how much we put in)
Garlic (They recommend 8 cloves but we used a young green garlic bulb)
2 tablespoons butter
Half a large cauliflower (They recommend 5-6 cups cauliflower florets)
6 cups vegetable stock 
Cracked pepper to taste (they suggest salt as well but we don’t usually add salt)
½ cup milk

Directions:
1) Whiz the garlic in a food processor. Add garlic and butter to a frying pan and saute. Make sure you don’t brown it. Place it back in the food processor. 
2) Roughly chop cauliflower and add it to a pot of boiling stock. Cook covered until tender.
3) Meanwhile chop and fry the bacon and chicken.
4) Once the cauliflower is tender transfer it into the food processor with a cup of the stock along with the butter and milk. Whiz it up until it is smooth and creamy. 
5) Cook the pasta in the vegetable stock pot adding extra water, as needed.

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6) Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return the pasta into the pot. Add the bacon, chicken and cauliflower sauce mix. Stir together over a warm heat until the temperature is even.
7) Serve in pasta bowls and enjoy!

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Next time we will add some mushrooms.

Note to self – start using the good camera to take pics

 

Homemade butter

On Tuesday, I made butter in my food processor!

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making butter and it was one of the reasons I dreamed of owning a thermomix. I really wanted to see what pure butter tastes like without all of the crap they add to it. When I realised that I could make butter in my food processor I was pretty excited, in fact I popped straight down to the shops to buy some pure cream. 

This is how I made it:
I poured the cream into the bowl and turned it on to the second setting. I watched it quickly turn to whipped cream and then start to separate. Once the cream looked like it had separated I poured the buttermilk out into a glass (do not throw the buttermilk because it can be used in baking).

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I then added ice cold water to the bowl and turned the machine on to wash the butter. You have to wash and drain the butter over and over again to wash the buttermilk away. Do not keep this milky water.

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Once the water remained clear I poured the last of water off and used a spatula to squeeze the excess water out. It is important to squeeze as much water out as possible. I really found it amazing how much water I had to squeeze out. After you remove the water you can add some salt to preserve and flavour your butter. You can also add some oil to make the butter easier to spread. 

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I just left my butter plain. It was wonderful and creamy. I am sure it won’t last long in this house anyway. Next time I might experiment with different herb and garlic. 

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 I had so much fun making my butter and was quite happy with the cost and results. 

We normally spend around $6 for 375g of Mainland butter.
My homemade butter cost me $2.90 for 600ml of pure cream. That 600ml made 343g of pure butter and almost a cup of buttermilk.

Stoked!