Homemade herb and garlic infused butter

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Our beautiful herb garden has really taken off which means we have more herbs than we need right now. After some research I decided to harvest some of the coriander and some of the parsley to make our own infused oil and butter.

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Garden fresh Coriander.

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Garden fresh Parsley.

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I whizzed the coriander up by itself and added it to half a batch of homemade butter. I then whizzed some Australian garlic up with the parsley.

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I put some in an old baby food freezer tray with some quality olive oil.

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The rest went into the remaining butter. I placed it on some plastic wrap and wrapped it up nice and tight to make a butter log.
It was delicious on fresh coriander.

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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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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!

I have a food processor!

I have been dreaming of a Thermomix for years and just making do with my limited kitchen appliances in the hope of magically one day being able to afford one. Something always comes up… anyway I digress.

For a very early birthday present my wonderful mother bought me a large and totally awesome food processor. It arrived on Friday and I have been dying to post about it ever since. 

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It is a Phillips Jamie Oliver 1000W. It has a 3.4 L bowl and 8 different accessories so that you can slice, beat, juice, knead, chop, cream, crumble, cut, fold, mash and mince. I am loving it. 

So far I have used it to make orange juice, pure banana ice-cream, CADA, breakfast bread, crispy garlic chicken strips, salad, cocktails, butter, chocolate buttermilk muffins, creamy cauliflower pasta sauce and beef burger patties.

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Thanks Mum. 🙂

Look what I made – Artisian No-Knead Bread

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This is seriously the easiest to make and tastiest homemade bread!

It is a lovely soft bread with an awesome crunchy crust. When my friend shared this no-knead bread recipe I was very curious so I clicked on the link and was delighted to see how easy it looked. It is seriously as simple as it looks and has no nasties in it. I seriously suggest trying it. Don’t be put off by the amount of time you wait before baking it; it is worth it. 🙂
If you do make it or have made it before, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Winning.

Thermomix blog list – For later

As you all know I am obsessed with Thermomix machines and learning. So instead of annoying Marty by sending constant email links his way I’ve decided to blog them.

First on my list is this hints and tips page

http://simonesthermomixessentials.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/thermomix-food-hints-and-tips/

This link is for converting favourite recipes http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/converting-recipes-for-thermomix.html?m=1

More tips – one on overflowing
http://www.whyisthereair.com/category/thermomix-tips-and-tricks/