May 30, 2010

Mince Lattice Mini Pies

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"One of the most common mistakes in making puff pastry is to try and rush the process. Good results are achieved only with patience. Allow a day for the process so that the pastry can be prepared with care and kept well chilled. Keep all ingredients and equipment (including your hands) cool as you work." [Le Cordon Bleu: Dessert Techniques.]

With the weather we're having now, I am enjoying making puff pastry from scratch. I just love to enjoy the rewards. I love to see layers the pastry is made. I love the fresh buttery flavour a store-bought one cannot give. 

I am using the classic puff pastry recipe that KBB uses last year when we all try our best hands on making Danish Pastry. Only this time, we are making savoury lattice pies, and I chose to bake them in a Texas muffins tins.

The process of making puff pastry is just the same as last year's one. Now, I can see a lot of progress of the layers I supposed to make. I am much more patience!

kbb#17 (2)

kbb#17-pie lattice

The thing is making lattice on mini pies using puff pastry, I cannot work the strings quite close, otherwise, the filling will be invisible. But the good thing is, with only making 6 not-so-one-bite size, I still can use leftover pastry to make sweet ones. Isn't it great!

mince lattice pie-ab2010

I filled my pies with beef mince, one of our home-killed animals's. Do you know that Kiwis love pies? I was mad about pies when I first came here and I wasn't into baking yet, 8 years ago. We bought store-bought pies to stock in the freezer when I was due to deliver my son. Now, we do not need to do that anymore because I can make them fresh!

Beef Mince Filling
by Arfi Binsted

500g beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme, chopped (use young stalks)
1 sprig sage leaves, chopped
homemade beef stock (I made it from beef shin bones, large onion, a head of garlic, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and water)
a little spoon of cornflour, to thicken
salt, sugar, freshly cracked black peppercorns
a little oil to fry

Heat the saucepan. Add oil. Cook the chopped onion until soft, add chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant, and brown beef mince in. Flavour with thyme and sage. Pour in the stock, cook until bubbly. Cover and simmer until beef cooked and tender. Season. Mix cornflour with a little water, pour in. Stir until thickens. Set aside to cool. Use it for pies filling.

mince lattice pie-kbb#17

We enjoy these pies with my good old homemade plum sauce I made in February. I used our homegrown Damson plums and it tastes so good with mince.


Pies pake puff pastry bikinan sendiri emang ga ada duanya! Lipatannya berlapis2 ringan dan cantik. Latticenya ga begitu kentara untuk individual pies, emang lebih cocok diterapkan untuk pies lebar. Meskipun begitu, rasanya enak!

danish pastry-apricot jam-ab2010

Masih banyak sisa puff pastry aku jadiin camilan manis, diisi selai apricot, juga cream cheese butter. Enak deh! Meskipun aku ga bisa makannya, nowel dikit enduang juga!

May 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Hot Waffles

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Just want to share with you my recipe for gluten-free waffles today. We have them hot, served with rhubarb compote, mascarpone vanilla cream and a light dust of icing sugar. My children choose to have them served cut and eaten with slightly sweetened plain yogurt and macerated tangerine segments.

Hot Waffles with Rhubarb Compote and Mascarpone Vanilla Cream by ab2010

Gluten-Free Hot Waffles
by Arfi Binsted

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 Tbs caster sugar
a little pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (half milk and half yogurt)
1/2 cup melted butter

Hot Waffles with Macerated Tangerine Segments and Sweetened Plain Yogurt by ab2010

Sift together gluten-free flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in caster sugar, make a well, set aside. Whisk egg yolks and combine with buttermilk and melted butter. Pour egg mixture into the middle of the sifted flour, whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the egg-flour mixture. The batter should be quite thick, a little thicker from pancake batter. Spoon the batter on to one plate of the preheated and lightly greased waffle iron. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with your favourite topping. Have a great breakfast!

May 16, 2010

Gluten-Free Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

Cooking to Combat Cancer is back to round 4. I found Chris's tweets a few weeks back about the event and I thought I would contribute again. I meant to bake for CCC, as a new post to raise awareness of cancer, as soon as I got her tweets, but I have been losing my mojo of blogging once again. I still love taking photos, but have found writing is the biggest hurdle at the moment. 

With this pregnancy which is now on 32 weeks this week, I am moving forward to a bigger responsibility and casualness of being a mother for our third child, involved myself in preparing baby gears while the previous ones had been given away to an op shop at a church, that now we have to be collecting new ones. Just found it so amusing to see such tiny little gears for tiny little body again in a wardrobe, keep wondering if it's going to be a boy or a girl. So until now, I still play it safe with white and pale blue, or white with pale pink.

I also have managed to make some booties for the coming baby, crocheted. I wonder if I am using the right wool, though. However, I am preparing for the worst (like if it's going to be a dead cold Winter coming in a short time, as the baby's due date will be in the coldest month of the year in New Zealand). I just want to make sure everything is ready when the baby's arrived. Not long now.

Anyway, I managed to bake lemon and blueberry muffins as an entry for Cooking to Combat Cancer IV, mothered and initiated by Chris of MeleCotte. Yes, blueberries are quite costly these days, but they are still available in the farmer's market. God knows, how plentiful the trees must be to feed people in the edge of Autumn here. I love cooking with blueberries, either frozen or fresh. Fresh is the best, but couldn't go wrong with frozen, either. In case of blueberries in muffins, I just like them fresh.


Gluten-Free Lemon and Blueberry Muffins
by Arfi Binsted

I am using gluten-free flour, as a safe and healthier option for me, but you can use 60-70g self-rising flour and plain/standard flour for the remaining of flour measurement, omitting the baking powder.

blueberry and lemon cupcakes-2 by ab2010

100g unsalted butter, softened
50g sour cream
finely grated lemon rind of 1 lemon
85-125g caster sugar (I like it unsweetened too much, but you can adjust it with your own sweet tooth level)
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
100-125g gluten-free flour
1/4 tsp baking powder, sifted with the flour
1 cup fresh blueberries

blueberry and lemon cupcakes2

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 6-8 hole Texas Muffins with paper cups. Beat butter until pale, beat in sour cream and sugar, and then eggs and lemon rind. The mixture should be smooth. Beat in the flour in a very slow speed, until just well-incorporated. Fold in blueberries gently. Spoon the batter in each paper cups. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until spring back to the touch. Decorate with Cream Chantilly and fresh blueberries with a dredge of icing sugar. Makes 6-8.

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