Saturday, February 16, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: the cheat's peach pie

A few weeks ago, I made the incredible investment of baking a peach pie from scratch. I made the pastry, let it rest, made the filling, popped it all together and into the oven. I whipped it out approximately 5 minutes after we were due to be at my friend's house. Complete palaver. The whole thing took an absolute age to make. But the tart? A revelation! Delicious and sweet and full of summery flavours. I resolved to make it again. Someday. When I had oodles of time to spare (ok, who am I kidding? I am a stay at home mum! There's no TIME!!).

So when a friend came over for afternoon tea this week, I decided to make the cheats version. The version that has just 6 ingredients. The whole recipe was adapted from a Donna Hay tart (current issue) and I promise, you won't be disappointed. And it's a great way to use the last of those gorgeous summer peaches.

Miss Kitty's Cheat's peach pie

1 sheet good quality bought shortcrust pastry (Careme if you have got it, otherwise an all butter, like Pampas is fine)
3-4 ripe peaches (about 400g)
40g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons almond meal (or breadcrumbs if you don't have it)
Egg white

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Cut the sheet of pastry into a 30 x 30xm square (or, if you are using pre-cut, simply defrost one sheet). Slice the peaches and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with 30g of sugar and the vanilla paste. Toss to combine. Allow the fruit to macerate for about 5 minutes.

Place the pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle the almond meal onto the pastry, leaving a 5cm border of pastry then top with the sliced fruit. Fold the pastry edges over the fruit, forming a rustic pie. Brush the exposed pastry with egg white and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and serve warm with double cream. Or ice cream. Or whatever you like!

Do you have a favourite cheat's recipe?

Kitty x

Monday, February 4, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: Chocolate Banana Bread

There is nothing I love more than a good slice of Banana Bread. Simple, home made, delicious. It's hard to improve upon perfection but last week I stumbled across a recipe that I think is better than Banana Bread.

Chocolate Banana Bread.

Oh my heavens. So good. Worth the effort (and there isn't much really), the chocolate elevates the ordinary loaf to something truly amazingly wonderful. It's an adult treat, that's for certain. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.

Chocolate Banana Bread (lovingly reproduced from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 67)

125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1/4 cup golden syrup
100g dark chocolate, melted
Dutch cocoa for fusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat for 10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Fold through the flour, baking powder, bicarb and mixed spice and stir well to combine. Stir in the banana and golden syrup.

Place half the mix into a separate bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix well to combine. Place alternating spoonfuls of each mixture into a 7.5 x 32.5 x 8cm lightly greased loaf tin lined with baking paper and swirl with a butter knife. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Dust with cocoa and slice to serve.