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Strawberry Cream Pie(s)

Summer is waning (I don’t put pants on until Sept 15 so the goosebumps on my legs are a very good barometer of this). But what that actually mean is that the ripest strawberries around are here, now, and ready for the eatin’. This pie is the greatest things you can possibly do to strawberries. The no-bake aspect is for the southern states in the US where you don’t want to turn your oven on caus’ it’s just too darn hot. We don’t exactly have this problem in

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As seen in the Westender Magazine

Scotland, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste like heaven; the creamy custard, bursting fresh strawberries, and crunch of those vanilla (or oreo) cookies is just the ticket for a sweet end to a beautiful summer.

Ingredients:

30 vanilla wafers +2 for decor (or similar
cookies)

100g melted butter

600g sliced fresh strawberries

60g caster sugar

2 tsp corn flour

for the custard:

480 mL single cream

50g caster sugar

1 egg + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp corn flour

1 tsp vanilla bean

50g white chocolate

 

Method:

  1. Crush the cookies in a bag and then mix with melted butter. Press mixture flat into a pie pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For the custard, in a medium saucepan, heat the cream until hot to the touch.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs, adding in the cornflour.

Add a bit of hot cream to the egg mixture, beat and then put everything into the sauce pan, whisking constantly until very thickened. Remove from heat, add vanilla, cool.

  1. Place half the strawberries in a medium bowl and mash with the 60g caster sugar. Place over low-medium heat. Add the 2 tsp corn flour and heat for about 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place a layer of custard in the pie pan, then the mashed strawberry mixture, then the other half of the custard and the sliced strawberries on top. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  3. Sprinkle crushed cookies and melted white chocolate on top.

 

 

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White Pineapple Sangria

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First published in the Westender Magazine

It is officially summertime- if you aren’t bikini body ready, then you’re a bit stuck, but never fear! Liberty is here! Let’s do the whole two birds, one stone thing and make our booze and dessert count as one. That means you can have a double…

 

This is a killer recipe for BBQ hostesses or potluck bringers. I add outrageous amounts of fresh fruit so you are basically eating your boozy dessert. I like to serve this in a huge pot so that everyone can ladle out their own booze to fruit ratio.

 

Ingredients:

1 bottle cheap white wine (or sparkly moscato)*

500mL san pellegrino

100g caster sugar

240mL water

1 large pineapple

400g blueberries

3 oranges

2 lemons

1 lime

200g raspberries

20 fresh mint leaves

10 fresh basil leaves

 

DSC_5712-678x1024To prepare

  1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Lightly boil for 5-10 minutes. let cool.
  2. Muddle (i.e. crush up with a spoon) together 50g raspberries, 100g blueberries, juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lemon, 5 mint leaves and 3 basil leaves
  3. Mix into the sugar syrup mixture.
  4. Pour the wine and sugar/fruit into a large serving bowl.
  5. Mix well and add the rest of the fruit
  6. Serve over ice with a (healthy) splash of San Pellegrino.

 

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Rustic Strawberry Mousseline Cake

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Photography by Gregor Reid, As seen in the Westender Magazine

The weather is looking up and so are the strawberries! Let the first fruit of spring take center stage in this divine dish of creamy mousseline and soft, delicate white cake. There is no better combination as the days start to get longer- more time for dessert I say! Most importantly, if your decorating skills aren’t really up to par or you just simply don’t have the time- this cake will be your lifesaver…rustic is the word! P.S. as always, boxed cake is allowed as long as we keep it a secret.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 400g strawberries

For the cake:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 30g corn flour
  • 120mL whole milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened

for the mousseline:

  • 480mL whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 55g corn flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened

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To prepare:

  1. For the mousseline, heat whole milk over medium heat. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the corn flour.
  2. Pour ½ the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisk thoroughly. Pour all back into the milk over medium heat. Whisk until thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in vanilla, salt, and butter until thoroughly combined and remove from heat. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grease and flour a 20cm by 20cm pan.
  5. In a small bowl mix the milk, egg whites, and extracts.
  6. In a large mixing bowl (electric mixer) whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter until crumbly
  7. Add the milk to the flour mixture in thirds until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes until done. Turn out onto wire rack

To assemble, either in one large dish or individual ramekins or glassware layer the cake, mousseline, and strawberries. Decorate away

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Vanilla Essence Cupcakes with a Bourbon Whipped Cream Custard

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Photography by Gregor Reid, as seen in the Westender Magazine

Vanilla Essence Cupcakes with a Bourbon Whipped Cream Custard

(makes 36)

The dreamy holiday season is gone. What does that mean? Diets and foodless kitchens…Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, clearly, but after the hundredth batch of a holiday something I find myself wishing away the kitchen, the extra LBs, and most definitely the dishes (I took my socks off the last time I weighed…it didn’t help).

But this recipe is something special. In the month of dreary January, when you decide to break your diet and/or have a birthday to prepare for (ah hem, all types of gifts accepted on January 21st), it can be multiplied as much you want, and will turn out the most divine cupcakes you have ever tasted.

decjanfinalNow, I know what you’re thinking! Cupcakes, those are so out of style Liberty. I would agree, but not with these little fluffy darlings. The icing on the top (pun intended) is a game changer. It’s unlike any you have ever tasted and I promise, people will go crazy for them. If not, just bring them on over to my place (Jan 21st)… Best of all, these can be dressed festive for holidays, glam for birthday parties, or just a little bit of cheer for a dark dark January!

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P.S. if you choose to use boxed cake mix, I will know, but a lot of other people won’t, but you must make the icing.

Ingredients:

  • 415g plain flour
  • 70g corn flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 240mL milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean
  • 8 egg whites

For the icing:

  • 450g mascarpone
  • 480mL whipping cream
  • 8 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • optional:
  • red food colouring
  • sprinkles
  • holiday decor

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C
  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternatively with milk. Add vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes in cupcake tin with lining or until springy (nothing worse than an overbaked cupcake!).
  7. While cupcakes are cooling, whip the cream until thick.
  8. Add icing sugar and bourbon, then add cold mascarpone.
  9. Whip until stiff peaks.

 

Photography by Gregor Reid

Caramel Apple Pie

Photography by Gregor Reid

Photography by Gregor Reid

Fall is slowly winding down and turning into cold and dreary winter, but never fear! That means that the Christmas music is on at full blast, Saturday morning fall walks with wooly hats and hot chocolate are a must, and most importantly time to make use of the last apples of the season. That means making caramel apple pie is basically a public service (it also makes your home smell DIVINE!) For fun ways to decorate there are loads of online tutorials. Lattice away!

* Should you wish to buy the pastry crust pre-made, I promise not to tell anyone.

Ingredients for pie crust:

  • 400 g flour ( 1 2/3c)
  • 200 g cold butter, cut into pieces (1 3/4 stick)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs ice water

Ingredients for filling:

  • 10 pink lady apples, peeled, cored, and chopped in twelths
  • 8 Tbs dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 120g butter (1 stick)
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 Tbs bourbon

 

To prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 175 C (350F)
  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  • Rub in the cold butter until it resembles coarse sand.
  • Add the egg and water and mix well with hands.
  • Roll into a ball, cut in half, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes at most 24 hours.
  • Roll out ½ into a pie pan. Blind bake for 20 minutes (line the dough with aluminum foil filled with rice, beans, or baking balls, inside to stop the crust from rising).
  • In the meantime, prepare the filling. Heat 110g butter in pan until brown. Add the apples. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into pre-baked pie crust and either lattice or simply place rolled out dough on time (cutting holes for steam to escape.
  • Bake for 1 hour.