Posts Tagged ‘Pie’

Mums Apple Pie.jpgSince my unexpected arrival back in Australia 2 weeks ago, I have been bunkering down at my parents’ house.  It has always been a place that I feel at home, get taken care of and can take some time to get my head on straight. I was fortunate to have one of my Apples.jpgclosest friends K and her baby and husband come up the first weekend for Sunday lunch. This was a wonderful distraction and enjoyable afternoon, a great way to get my mind of my own troubles.

I managed to help Mum whip up some food, making a mushroom risotto and some fresh bread. However in my less than stellar state I let Ingredients.jpgMum cook dessert. Mum’s apple pie (that is actually her sister’s husband’s grandmother’s recipe… yes it is one of those recipes) is sweet, delicious and not like the apple pies you get in the US. It has a sweet shortcrust pastry rather than the more savoury kind you get in the US.Pastry.jpg

Firstly put on the apples to stew… Just peel and slice up some granny smith apples and add them to a pot with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

For the pastry, beat 125 grams of butter and ¾ cup of sugar together until creamy. Add in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Next mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla Rolling.jpgand a pinch of salt. Then gradually mix in 2 cups of self-raising flour, ½ cup of plain flour and ½ cup of cornflour. Mix this until everything is combined.


The rest is simply rolling out the dough for the base and the top. Filling the pie with thecooled apples and then baking.

It bakes in a 180C oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. The great thing is that because the apples are cooked you’re Pie.jpgjust cooking the pastry until it is crispy.

This is now my new go to sweet choice for when I am down… not chocolate or icecream… Mum’s apple pie. Served with a dollop of icecream or fresh cream, it is just the perfect way to end a Sunday lunch or any lunch or dinner or breakfast… my new comfort food. Thankfully though it isn’t hard to make it is just time consuming enough for me not to make it too often… otherwise I could be in big trouble! Delicious, sweet and crispy… give it a try, it is guaranteed to help warm your heart!

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Muffin Tin Meat Pies.jpgWe reached a milestone this week… we have over 2500 followers now! To celebrate this great milestone I thought I would revisit a recipe from the early days of the blog.

Also, I have been craving a taste from home and what better way to taste Australia than through meat pies.

These were tasty little treats I made for J. and I during NFL season last year. A nice little snack for watching footy. We did an entire series of Football Food posts last year and with the NFL season only 3 weeks away, I am going to have to prepare some more great snack ideas.

These pies were very easy to make, especially since I cheated and bought the pastry instead of making it myself. You could also try all different kinds of fillings but we stayed with the traditional beef and added some spice and chili! You could also make them into a full size pie but these were the perfect size for a tv snack. Beer and a pie – a completely Australian way to watch the football.

So take a trip down memory lane, across the Pacific to Australia with me…. here.

J. discovered a new food truck a few months back… The Maine Lobster Lady. By the name one might wonder why the two of us here in the burning desert of Arizona might be interested. The reason this place interested us so much was because they actually spend their winters here in Arizona serving up deliciously good lobster rolls, chowder and shrimp puffs. All of this, in one little food truck.

Needless to say, we were excited. I followed them on Facebook so we would be able to find them somewhere, somehow once they returned to Phoenix. We had been planning this for quite a few weeks when they announced they would be at the JamMarket one Friday from 6pm until 8pm…. We would be there.

We really had no idea what was in store when we rocked up around 6.30pm to find a line of about 60 people snaking away from the Lobster truck’s window. There were 3 other food trucks in attendance, none with a line at all let alone 60+! We hopped in line and J. went to scope out the other food trucks. There was a Filipino food truck selling street food so J. picked us up some pork pancit to snack on while we waited in line. The pancit was delicious… the perfect appetizer for our meal!

It took about 45 minutes but it was finally our turn, we had our order chosen and we were set… disappointment hit us when they said there were no shrimp puffs left so J. thought quickly on his feet and placed our order. We got clam chowder, 1 Maine style lobster roll and 1 Hot Buttered lobster roll. We figured since we had snacked in the line this would be more than enough to eat.

Our order came and we fortunately got the last of the chowder, yay! We sat down on some lawn chairs and prepared to dive in. Let me say, the servings weren’t huge by any means but I can say that there was more lobster than roll in the lobster roll and that’s what counts!

Both lobster rolls were delicious. The Maine lobster roll was served with just a touch of lemon aioli, nestled in a butter grilled roll. This roll was cold. The second roll, well it’s called the hot buttered roll so you probably get what it is…  it was served dripping with butter and hot.

I tried the Maine roll first and couldn’t believe how good it was until I bit into the other lobster roll… so warm, juicy and delicious it really was the better of the two. Not that I would complain about being served the other anytime!

Then we tasted the chowder… oh my gosh it was wonderful! Generous chunks of seafood, in a really well seasoned, creamy broth. It in itself was a meal… though we “forced” ourselves to finish all of it. They served the rolls with potato chips and the chowder with some little crackers… all in all it was a really hearty meal. 

We bought a raspberry cream pie from one of the other food trucks to take home with us because we couldn’t face more food right then. The pie was pretty good, though I wouldn’t chase that food truck the way we would the Lobster Truck. I think the pie actually looked better than it tasted.

The only negative I could say about The Maine Lobster Lady, and I have to say it, is that it was a really expensive food truck experience. Though delicious and something we can’t get elsewhere, $17 for the lobster roll isn’t something we would do often. I am just glad that it tasted so great, we didn’t mind paying that much when it was so incredibly good.

We will definitely go back to this truck sometime, but probably not often. It is a fun night out on the street with the food trucks and we might go back to try some of the others sometime. We will be tempted to get in that long line again though for that buttery lobster roll… Yum!

This is one of my brother Michael’s Photos by the way.

I love Melbourne. It is a beautiful, diverse and exciting city. Full of great people, shopping, food, sport and bars. I loved my apartment and living in the centre of the city but we all do crazy things occassionally, so I moved to Arizona. I am learning to love  my new home and I am so happy I moved here, it was certainly the right choice but there are things I miss about Melbourne.

Strangely they are all food/drink related… This is just the top ten.

1. Meat Pies

As you may have realised from one of my earlier posts about Meat Pies, I love them. Seriously they are my favorite food, not just my favorite Australian food, my all time, last meal kind of food. These aren’t something I can get in my new home, whereas in Melbourne there were 10 places within 2 minutes walk of my apartment that I could get a vast array of flavors, meats, styles and more from. I just have to make them myself and turn Arizonians onto the joy of meat pies!

2. Good Coffee

Melbourne is a city of cafes. You can barely walk half a block without passing one in downtown Melbourne. The thing I love about this is that 99% of these cafes serve an above average coffee. Some of them will serve outstanding coffee. I miss those options, I miss cafes that aren’t Starbucks and coffees that taste good. I have pretty much given up coffee since moving here which isn’t a bad thing… less caffeine is better for me.

3. Walking

I walked everywhere in Melbourne, I didn’t have a car so I didn’t have much choice. Living in the centre of the city certainly helped but I loved to wander around the city on a weekend. Grab a coffee, walk down to the Botanical Gardens, meet some friends at a pub for lunch. All on foot. The only walking I do these days is to the car and back, and at the gym. Mind you I am enjoying being lazy!

4. Al Fresco Dining

All over Australia we have an outside, active lifestyle. I spent so much time in sidewalk cafes, beer gardens and on restaurant balconies during the warmest months in Melbourne. Even during the grey, cold winter I would sit under braziers with a coffee or glass of wine, enjoying a great meal. Though there are some options here in Arizona for Al Fresco Dining, they are few and far between and the summer certainly sends us all indoors rather than outside. However the places with outdoor areas have those fabulous misters to keep us cool… I do like that!

5. The Queen Victorian Markets

I mentioned these markets earlier this week actually but I do miss them so much!! The incredible range of meat, fish, cheeses, vegetables and so much other stuff. Not to mention the bratwursts!! Nothing beats the brats there.

6. Supermarkets

This may seem like a strange one but this is because everything is different in Arizona. I miss a supermarket where not only do I know where everything is, I know the brands, the names that I am familiar with. It is just a matter of learning new ones and finding new favorites but I do miss the familiarity.

7. Bakeries

Bakeries are one of my favorite places… the smell of fresh baked bread is unbeatable. I would seriously where a perfume that smelled like that. Bakeries at home aren’t just bread but a smorgasbord of sweet treats like custard slice, apple slice, cream buns. Then the savory treats like meat pies and sausage rolls, not to mention the fresh sandwiches that many bakeries will make. Yum, yum, yum.

8. Cooking in Celcius

This is really silly I know, but having to always do conversions is really annoying!

9. Beer & Wine

I am learning about and discoving new beers and wine here in Arizona but I miss my favorites. I am a big fan of Australian microbrews like Beez Neez, James Squire, and so many more. I also love Australian wines which aren’t readily available here. Smaller wineries’ produce just doesn’t make it to Costco. I am limited to things like Yellowtail and Jacobs Creek. I may be wrong but I don’t think these are the best Australian wines out there!

10. Dinner Parties with Friends

I was lucky enough that when I moved back to Melbourne from Japan many of my close friends had moved into the same downtown area. I had my dearest and nearest within walking distance! We would get together at eachothers houses, at restaurants, bars and cafes for dinner parties and gatherings quite often. I love hosting dinner parties! I am making new friends now, so hopefully there is a dinner party, Arizona style, on the horizon…. maybe this weekend!

Today I write of failure, my lofty goals not met. Usually failure will leave a bitter taste in my mouth but this one left the sweetest, most delicious taste. I more often than not make imperfect things with lots of mistakes in the kitchen, the chocolate pudding for example had sunk in the center, the Anzac biscuits were too flat. However this was worse than anything I had done before. It didn’t even come close to representing a true Lilikoi Chiffon Pie, yet somehow is still tasted great!

A few years ago J. and I went to Kauai, Hawaii to celebrate our 30th birthdays. It was such an amazing trip, beautiful surroundings, great beaches and fabulous food! I am sure I will do some retrospective blogs about our time on the island at some stage but this blog is about my attempt to recreate a little taste of the island at home in Arizona.

At a small noodle restaurant, Hamura’s Saimin we discoved the sweet deliciousness that is Lilikoi pie. This is a pie made predominantly out of passionfruit and eggs. It was light, fluffy and amazing! Although passionfruit are impossible to find here in Phoenix, I had brought some canned passionfruit nectar over from Australia to use at different times (pavlova uses some passionfruit on top). I decided a few weeks ago I would make the pie we had eaten a couple of years ago.

I researched recipes and found one I liked, I am not going to share it here because it didn’t work (not the recipes fault), but I will share it once I have succeeded.

Instead of a light fluffy filling for my pie I ended up with a sticky, thick jello like filling. I would like to blame the eggs, maybe they were a bit old and the egg whites didn’t fluff up enough… or I could blame the bowl I whipped them in, maybe it was a bit greasy and that affected the egg whites forming stiff peaks.

To be completely honest, I think I got a bit impatient and that added to the issue. The egg whites weren’t fluffy enough and the egg yolk and passionfruit custard wasn’t thick enough. However my store bought graham cracker crust was perfect. At least something worked out.

Fortunately the filling set even though it wasn’t light and fluffy, and we were able to eat it. Whatever the cause of my failure it was not the same amazing eating experience we had in Kauai but it was still delicious. The fill was sweet and the passionfruit flavour was so refreshing, we ate every last bite.

Here is a what real Lilikoi Pie should look like. I hate failure but think perfection is overated, imperfection is much more interesting, at least that is what I am telling myself today. I will attempt to make this again, I will not be defeated… I hope that next time though I can write about the sweet taste of sucess!