Rosemary & Green Olive Focaccia

There is something so satisfying about making your own dough from scratch. The process of seeing it develop from flour and water through each stage of rising and kneading to the end result makes the eating experience so much more for filling. I don’t know about you but I love the feeling of accomplishment that home cooking gives and of course the exceptional flavour in result to the love and care you put into it. If you haven’t tried it already, add this to your list of to do’s it is a must try even if it’s only once an a while.

Rosemary & Green Olive Focaccia

You can use different topping for this such as oregano, anchovies, thin sliced potato, but I chose simple fresh Rosemary from my garden with green olives. The dough comes out quite fluffy and is a perfect addition to a weekend grazing antipasto board with olive and balsamic dipping oil and If you are inclined a nice glass of red wine while you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Rosemary & Green Olive Focaccia

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

950g 00 flour

500g luke warm water

15g fresh yeast

extra virgin olive oil

1 small sprig rosemary

1/2 cup green sicilian olives

1/2 tsp Salt

Directions

  1. Combine flour, water and yeast and salt in a mixing bowl using a electric mixer with dough attachment or by hand knead gently until dough comes together and smooth approx. 5 mins
  2. Cover the mixing bowl with a tea towel and leave to rest in a warm, place for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  3. While the dough is rising prepare a baking tray, lightly oil the base and sides with olive oil.
  4. Transfer the dough to the baking tray, spread out carefully using your fingertips.
  5. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough, Dimple the dough with your fingertips ensuring you don’t press all the way through.
  6. Sprinkle with rosemary and gently press green olives into the dough then Lightly salt
  7. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest again in a warm place 20-40 mins.
  8. Preheat oven to 200’C
  9. Bake in prepared oven 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Spinach, Leek & Goats Cheese Quiche With Homemade Shortcrust Pastry

Making your own shortcrust pastry can feel a little daunting at first, but let me assure you it is worth the extra effort. Crumbly butter crust that melts in your mouth is what makes a this quiche so pleasing.

Quiche is perfect for lunch or a light dinner with a nice green salad, It also is freezable if you don’t have family or friends (as we are still in quarantine) to share this with. Maybe making this for a neighbour or family to door drop as good gesture is also a lovely idea at this present time. Only if your part of the world allows.

You will need a food processor to make this pastry. There is a few easy to follow steps to making a shortcrust pastry, resting time in the fridge and rolling out and blind baking. With this extra time home at the moment it’s been an ideal time to enjoy the art and process of baking wouldn’t you agree?

Once the pastry has set in the fridge it will be easier to handle without the butter softening making the pastry break. You will then need to carefully mould the pastry into the tin, prick the pastry and blind bake, using baking paper and baking weights or rice so it doesn’t rise, puff and bubble.

Blind baking simply means pre baking the crust before filling with uncooked fillings. It is important to do this process or the crust won’t cook and pie/tart will be raw and soggy.

Once you have blind baked your pastry you can now fill it with your choice of filling. I have chosen to make a vegetarian quiche with spinach, leek and goat’s cheese. The flavours work really nice together but you can definitely use other cheeses like feta or ricotta if you prefer or leave out completely.

Word of warning the crust is quite fragile especially when just removed from the oven. As you can see from the above picture I rushed handling it as I’m always a little too eager and impatient when I cook and some of crust crumbled, though to be honest I like the rustic look makes it seem more homemade and authentic. Leave the quiche to cool slightly before slicing and serving. I enjoy it warm but you can also serve this cold.

Spinach, Leek and Goat's Cheese Quiche with Homemade Shortcrust

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: a little time and patience needed
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Ingredients

Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp salt

150g cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp cold milk

Filling

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 leek, cleaned & roughly sliced

170g english spinach, chopped

4 eggs large

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup pouring cream

1/2 tsp salt

pinch pepper

3 tbsp plain flour

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

75g goats cheese

Directions

  1. To make pastry: Place flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg, milk and process until a dough consistency forms.
  3. Roll out dough in between two sheets of baking paper to approx 4mm think. Place in the fridge for 15mins.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200’C. Lay the pastry over a tart form tin with removable pop out base. Gently push into the form trimming the edges. Place in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Prick the pastry all over with a fork line with baking paper and place baking weights or uncooked rice in the middle to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.
  6. Meanwhile make the filling. Heat a frypan with the olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic and leeks for 1 minute add spinach cook until soft. Once cooked remove from heat and set a side.
  7. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and cream together. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese, mix well to combine.
  8. Once the pastry shell is cooked, remove and lower heat of oven to 180’C. Make sure you have the tart tin placed on a baking tray for easy movement.
  9. Spread the cooked spinach and leeks in the pastry shell evenly on the base, carefully pour the egg mixture on top. Crumble the goats cheese into large pieces and evenly place in the mix.
  10. Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 50-55mins or until golden and set. Rest for 10 minutes before removing from tin and serving.

Spelt Shortcrust Apple & Rhubarb Galette with Real Homemade Custard 

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What’s even better than a warm apple pie? A apple and rhubarb galette of course.

Galettes are usually portrayed as a summer dessert with summer berries like strawberries and blueberries and served with ice cream. I decided they are too good to just enjoy in the summer, so I decided to make a winter version by using stewed apples and sweet  rhubarb. After  all galettes are just an open, rustic looking pie with a crumbly buttery crust so why can’t we.

 

I’ve used spelt flour for the shortcrust but you can always use plain all-purpose flour if you prefer. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30mins

Pre-cook the apples and rhubarb and strain the excess liquid

They may look tricky but they are actual super simple even easier than a pie. No need to be pretty and perfect with it which is what I like rustic and imperfect is part of the charm of this french dessert. I made the pastry a day ahead and had left it in the fridge for when I had some spare time the next day.

Roll out the pastry in a rough circle. Add the filling and close the edges to create a free-form rustic tart. If you find the pastry is too hard leave it out for half an hour before trying to roll it out.

Bake for 30 mins until pastry is golden.

I  also made a real custard no carton,  powdered kind it’s easier than you think to make it yourself and much better for you. It is a prefect accompaniment with this warm winter dessert. Cuddled up on the couch with a slice of this and I am one happy lady.

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Spelt Crust Apple & Rhubarb Galette with Real Homemade Custard

Ingredients

Spelt short crust pastry:

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

150g cold butter cubed

pinch salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 tbsp coconut sugar

Filling:

1kg (5-6) golden delicious red apples

1/2 bunch rhubarb (3-4 stalks) roughly chopped

1/3 cup organic raw honey or rice malt syrup

2 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp cinnamon

juice 1 lemon

2 tbsp coconut sugar, to top

Homemade Custard Recipe

Directions

  1. Make the shortcrust pastry by placing flour, butter, salt, water and coconut sugar in a food processor and blitz until forms a ball of dough
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured bench and gently knead 1-2 mins then wrap in cling wrap and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 mins
  3. Preheat oven to 180’C
  4. Meanwhile make the filling; Core and slice apples into thin wedges
  5. Place all the filling ingredient except the coconut sugar in a small sauce pan on medium/low heat
  6. Cook covered for 15-20mins till fruit has softened
  7. Take of the heat and strain and discard the excess liquid
  8. Unwrap pastry and turn onto a sheet of baking paper place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll the pastry out to form a rough rustic round circle around 5mm thick
  9. Remove top sheet and carefully transfer with bottom sheet onto large baking tray or round  pizza tray
  10. Arrange filling in the centre of the pastry leaving a border around
  11. Fold the edges over the filling leaving the centre filling exposed
  12. Sprinkle with coconut sugar and bake in the oven for 30 mins until pastry is golden
  13. Remove from the oven allow to cool slightly
  14. Serve with Real Homemade Custard

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