Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Boasting and baking

I went to Clunes Booktown last Saturday and made an egg & bacon & herb pie - an old favourite - to take along. Best picnic dish ever. Easy, too.

You layer freshly cooked bacon pieces, then add a thick layer of  chopped fresh herbs - parsley, thyme, chives, sage - then a layer of eggs, each just broken a little and a touch of cream, black pepper and a LITTLE grated nutmeg very lightly stirred in with the tip of a fork so the eggs mostly keep their shape. If you're greedy you repeat the layers, and cook the pie a bit longer.

I bought a few fascinating books and had the best scones from the tea and scones room at the RSL.
As well as books I brought home apples. Clunes streets are planted with apple trees and apples were falling out of the trees.

I wasn't the only one who took a few apples home. 
Some of the Clunes apples became a tart tatin, or upside-down apple tart.

This is so easy! You wash but don't peel the apples and cut them in half across the middle, so that you can see the star of pips in the centre. Just take out the littlest bit of the stem and core. Put a clove in each half then sit them in a baking dish on butter, lots of brown sugar with cinnamon and with the peel side on top.
I usually add honey, or apricot jam to the brown sugar etc. This year I put in a little of my quince jelly.
Bake very slowly until the apples are glazed and super soft, smell delicious but still keep their shape - and the sauce is thick and just a little runny in the pan. Put the pastry on top and bake it. When it's cooked and cooling, you turn it upside down and the pastry soaks up all the sweet sauce. Beautiful hot or  cold.

This is my quince jelly.

I  made it just after Anzac Day. Quince jelly is something I don't always achieve. I never know, each time I cook up a batch of fruit jelly, exactly what I will make. I  have made quince syrup, I have made crabapple paste, and one sad year I made feijoa rubber - yes it bounced and had a burnt rubber tang to it.

This is real jelly, and it stands up for itself!

Now what will I make with the last of the windfalls?


freefalling said...

I thought of you when I saw the tv ads for the Clunes Book Fair - I remember your post from last year.
How wonderful to have apple trees growing on the streets - my Italian father-in-law would be so pleased to hear that - he's always been amazed that we don't plant fruit trees as street trees to feed poor people.
These days though - we are spoilt and most would probably just fall to the ground and rot.

Today I'm cooking up the last of the apples. I'm giving Apple Jam with Caramel a crack - fingers crossed.

Elizabeth said...

I've always wondered why we don't plant chestnut and walnut and almond trees, apples and persimmons and pomegranates, quinces and plums and herbs all over the nature strips and traffic islands. Insane, that's what we are. And lemon trees on every corner.
Have to check out this apple jam with Caramel, sounds delish!

Suzanna said...

Oh yum. Lately I've been mixing my persimmon jelly in with yogurt and then granola. There is a man at the farmers' market who sells frozen pie crust that is very delicious...I think I will try both of these recipes with that pastry. It's dinnertime now and I'm suddenly very hungry.

Elizabeth said...

Let me know if they work out for you Suzanna - I think I've included all the info, but writing up a recipe is an art really!