Hot Desserts

It is a perfectly normal reflex.  When baking a homemade apple pie, you reach for cinnamon.  No?  I think it is safe to say that cinnamon is intrinsically connected with the humble apple pie.  So it was a hard decision to temporarily disregard this natural food pairing for my final item during savoury sweets month.

The nutty, spicy and rather citrusy flavour of ground coriander was my spice of choice instead when putting together these modest little pies.

Apple holds up very well to the addition of flavours, and I must (surprisingly!) admit it took to this little substitution with much enthusiasm.  The end result was a lovely combination of tart apple, a punch of spice with subtle citrus overtones to round out the flavour.

It would be hard for me to walk by cinnamon once more in any future apple pie efforts, but I enjoyed the experiment.

{ Coriander spiced apple pies } Original recipe by Julia @ Mélanger

If you do not overwork the pastry, you will be rewarded with a perfect flaky, buttery pastry that melts in your mouth.

* Ingredients *
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
250g / 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and frozen
1/3 cup iced water
800g / 28oz canned baking apple
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Milk, to brush pastry
Sugar, to sprinkle on pastry

* Directions *
For the dough, mix the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine.  Add the butter and pulse gently to roughly incorporate into the flour mixture.  Do not over mix – it is fine to have some butter chunks showing.  Again pulsing the processor, slowly add in the iced water until the dough starts to come together.  Once again, do not over mix.  Tip the dough out onto a floured board and gently knead for a few seconds to bring together.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  In the meantime, prepare the apple mixture.  Combine the canned apple, flour and spice in a bowl.  Set aside.  To prepare the pastry, remove from the refrigerator and cut into eight even pieces.  Roll out each piece larger than your individual pastry cases.  Line the base of each pastry case with the prepared dough so there is a little overhang.  Top each with one quarter of the prepared mixture.  Brush around the edges of the pastry with milk.  Then layer the pies with a final circle of pastry.  Crimp the edges of each pastry layer together.  Chill the prepared pies for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Place pies on baking tray and brush with more milk and sprinkled sugar.  Cut vents in the centre of the pies and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4 individual pies

Tropical fruit month summary

Pineapple, mango, passion fruit, pawpaw and payapa, coconut, banana, lychees.

This month on Mélanger, it was 100% tropical fruits.

Here in Queensland, we are blessed with a climate that produces fresh, sweet fruit.  Many native fruits and fruits from around the world are grown effortlessly in this tropical state.

Tropical fruit is at the heart of growing up in this part of Australia.  Mango trees at your school.  Banana trees in your own backyard.  Pawpaw that you can pick from your own back deck.  Passion fruit on a vine intertwined between neighbouring properties.  Summer is incomplete without them.

Here is a round up of the recipes from this month.  What tropical fruit dessert favourite would you add to this list?

banana crepes small Caramelised banana crêpes with roasted macadamia and caramel sauce :: Simple caramelised  banana paired with macadamia and caramel is simple to prepare and a delight to savour. { More … }

Pawpaw and lime sorbet small

Pawpaw & lime sorbet with coconut tuiles :: A thirst-quenching homemade sorbet teamed with crispy, coconut tuiles.  The combination is more than a wink to summer.  { More … }

Pavlova roll small

Pavlova roll with mango and passion fruit :: In this quintessential summer dessert, the succulent, buttery flesh of the mango is cloaked by a soft pavlova roll, and finished with cream and passion fruit. { More … }

coconut ice cream single smallLychees in mint syrup with coconut milk ice cream :: Mint syrup soaked lychees, served with coconut milk ice-cream. Using a blend of cream and coconut milk as the base for the ice-cream, the overall flavour is not exaggeratedly sweet, perfect for the sugar rich lychees.  { More … }

panna cotta smallVanilla panna cotta with pineapple champagne granita :: The creamy texture of the panna cotta is a perfect complement to the cold, icy granita.  And extraordinarily simple.  Perfect for those slow, hot days.  { More … }

banana pudding ice cream smallBanana pudding ice cream :: A creamy and rich ice cream base injected with custard powder and cinnamon, along with a healthy dose of tropical bananas, produces a refreshing dessert reminiscent of banana pudding.  A winter pudding, with a summer twist. { More … }

Thank you to my father working tirelessly in his much-loved garden who gave me so many memories.

banana crepes

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere.  Big or small.

Growing up, there was an abundance of fresh fruit on hand.  All from the garden my father would lovingly tend.  Baskets filled to the brim, and arriving sometimes daily to the household kitchen, the always-varied selection of fruit was customarily served au naturel.  It was kept simple, and seldom served beyond a pairing of vanilla ice-cream or plain yoghurt.

On rare occasion when we did indulge in a sweet after-dinner luxury — that was not the unadulterated freshness of homegrown fruit! — we were almost always treated to one thing.  Served the same way.  A stack of crispy, wafer thin crêpes, drenched in fresh lemon juice and finished with a healthy sprinkling of sugar.

These two simple, but significant, memories have inspired me to create a fruit dessert of my own.  A dessert combining bananas, a favourite from my father’s garden, with crêpes, from my mother’s dessert repertoire. 

Remaining faithful to the simplicity of my childhood memories, and with my mother’s treasured crêpe recipe in hand, the ingredients of my fruit dessert are reserved – adding only caramel and macadamia to complement the original untainted flavours.

Simple caramelisation of the banana to enhance the natural sweetness, and gently heat the fruit to pair with a warm vessel such as a crêpe.  Macadamia to add crunch and texture, with the creamy, rich nut matching well with the caramel sauce that finishes the dish. 

All up, only a few modest ingredients.  Easy to prepare.  A delight to savour.

Sometimes, simple is better. 

{ Caramelised banana crêpes with roasted macadamia and caramel sauce }

Freshly cooked crêpes filled with banana caramelised in a simple combination of brown sugar and butter.  Finished with a petite drizzle of caramel sauce, and a small handful of roasted macadamia nuts.

* Ingredients *
One recipe basic crêpes
One recipe caramelised bananas
1/4 roasted macadamia nuts
Vanilla ice-cream to serve, optional

* Directions *
After preparing a stack of crêpes, set aside. Prepare the caramelised bananas. Fill each crêpe with 2-3 pieces of banana. Drizzle caramel sauce over the finished crêpe and garnish with a few roasted macadamia nuts. Vanilla ice-cream optional.

4-6 serves

{ Basic crêpe recipe } recipe by Mélanger’s mother

* Ingredients *
1 cup (150g/5oz) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
300ml milk

* Directions *
Mix flour and salt together. Make a hollow in the centre and mix in the egg. Gradually add the milk. Once fully mixed, refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Re-mix the batter as there may have been some settling. Fill a 1/4 cup half way, or measure out 2 tablespoons of mixture, and set aside. For each crêpe, melt about a teaspoon of butter/oil in a pan on medium heat. When it commences to smoke, lift the pan from the heat and tip on a 45 degree angle. Pour the prepared measure of mixture off centre into the pan and quickly swirl the mixture by continuing to tilt the pan but moving in a circular motion to distribute the batter evenly across the pan. Return the pan to the heat and cook.  After a few minutes, you will start to see some bubble blister appear on the surface. The underside of the crêpe at this stage is starting to brown. When appropriately golden, flip and cook other side.

Makes approximately 10-12 crêpes.

{ Caramelised bananas }

* Ingredients *
2 bananas, sliced
60g/2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

* Directions *
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, add the bananas. Watching carefully, gently cook until the bananas are well caramelised, and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.

Mum, thank you for your treasured crêpe recipe.   x

« Previous Page