Tuesday 27 June 2017

Jam and Cream Pie - the 1947 Way

I was reading a digital newspaper from 1947 the other day - the way you do, and I came upon this recipe.  In my spare time, I do text corrections of newspaper articles for Trove, the online resource managed by the National Library of Australia.  I often come across amazing old recipes, which give you (and me) a great insight into the social history of our country.

I was surprised to see them suggest using pecans in this recipe, as I thought these nuts had only been brought to Australia fairly recently.  I Googled it, and discovered that we (I mean Aussies) have only grown them commercially since the 1960's.  I certainly don't remember mum using them in her cooking!  I guess they would have been imported and quite expensive back in the day. 

golden and jammy pie

This recipe is from The (Hobart) Mercury 27 May 1947.

Slightly adapted by Sherry's Pickings:


2 sheets frozen puff pastry 

2 tbs semolina or cornflour

1½ cups (490g.) of cherry or raspberry jam - I used black cherry

250g. frozen cherries or raspberries depending on your jam choice

1½ cups (150g.) ground almonds or pecans - I used 100g. pecans and 50g. almonds

1/4 cup (60 mLs) cream 

1/4 tsp almond extract

3 tbs sour cream

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbs of white or caster sugar


Turn on your oven to 200C/400F

Lightly butter a pie plate

Line it with one of the thawed pastry sheets; trim the edges to make a neat circle

Sprinkle 1 tbs of the semolina or cornflour over the pastry

Spread your jam of choice over the base evenly

Tip the fruit over the jam; now sprinkle the other tbs of semolina over the fruit

Mix the nut meal with the cream, then stir in the almond extract

Stir the sour cream, egg yolk and cinnamon together

Now combine the 2 cream mixes

And spread happily over the jam and fruit

Whack on your top layer of pastry; neaten the edges and slit the top a few times

Sprinkle with the white sugar 

And bake for about 25 mins. till lightly golden brown on top


As this recipe was published in pre-metric times, I've adapted the measurements.  I found the conversion for a cup of jam was anything from 325g. to 340g.  I used 335g. per cup as my basic measurement for the jam, and that was plenty. 

The recipe says to use puff pastry, so I don't know if they meant homemade but probably not.  I'm sure even housewives in those pre-Liberation days didn't go around making their own.

I didn't bother to unthaw the fruit completely, but I did leave it out for a little while before using so it was somewhat less than frozen

gather your ingredients

I blitzed the pecans myself

Not sure how easy it is to buy pecan meal, so I blitzed my own as I had whole pecans in the pantry.

whack on the jam and the fruit to your pastry base 

the 2 cream mixes

the 2 cream mixes mixed:=) and ready to go on the fruit 

spoon on the nutty mixture

on goes the top layer and the sugar

golden and delicious

yep the filling is kind of runny     

I have to admit the filling gets runny once it's cooked.  But who cares?  It tastes delicious; just let it cool down and spoon up all the jammy wonder.  Mr P. and his staff said it was delicious, runny or not. 

the original recipe 

         my jammy doodle 

Wednesday 21 June 2017

A - Z Guidebook: Yosemite National Park, California USA


Half-Dome is an iconic granite peak in Yosemite National Park.  It is very beautiful, and definitely something to put on your bucket list.  We were lucky enough to be there for sunset, and watched the beautiful golden light being chased by the shadows on the peak as the sun disappeared.  The sun vanished and the cold set in.  

As you may have seen in a previous post, we very nearly didn't have a place to lay our heads for the night so we rushed off to find a hotel after this.  Luckily, we managed to find a spare (very cold) room for the night in a local lodge.  Our memories of this place revolve around the cold (even though it was only October), the incredible scenery and of course the stunning redwood trees.  A must-do!

Join in with Fiona from Tiffin Bite Size Food Adventures and have a wander around the globe.  Share in and post your own photo.  The letter Y is clearly the go-to this month.

TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Friday 16 June 2017

Dark Chocolate Nutty Brownies

Brownies?  I mentioned them to a friend recently; her response: "you mean those Girl Guide types?"  No girlfriend, I mean chocolatey, nutty, gooey lumps that you hoover up with a cup of tea.  I made a batch the other day, and as is my wont, I added a few little twists.  I prefer dark chocolate so I used that, and I added some PB chips and white choc chips to give it an even bigger chocolatey boost. 

The basic recipe is from a cookbook printed in 1978, called The Australian & New Zealand Family Cookbook, a treasure trove of what we would now see as somewhat old-fashioned dishes.   Can't wait to try out the Seamen's Stew!  And I bet you thought using cauliflower as a steak or rice was a new-fangled idea.  Nope, this book has a recipe for nut and cauliflower flan, set on a shortcrust pastry base.  Sounds really delicious.


125g. butter

185g. dark chocolate with roast almonds - I used an Old Gold block

6 tsp water

125g. caster sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract

125g. self-raising flour

pinch of salt

2 large eggs

60g. chopped nuts - I used 30g. each of walnuts and pecans

50g. peanut butter chips

40g. white chocolate chips


Set your oven to 180C/325F

Put the butter, dark chocolate and water in a medium saucepan

Melt it gently, giving it a stir now and then

Take it off the stove, add the sugar and vanilla, give it a good stir and set it aside to cool

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl

Then stir the chocolate mixture into the flour

Add the eggs one at a time and mix in well

Fold in the nuts and peanut butter chips

Spoon the batter into a greased 20cm. (8 inch) square baking tin - some recipes suggest lining with baking paper instead of greasing so take your pick

Throw over the white choc chips on top of the delicious batter

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until "a knife plunged into the centre comes out clean" - I had to quote that bit 'cos it sounds so good

I actually like my brownies a leetle bit squidgy so you can take them out of the oven a few minutes before you have a clean knife if you fancy them like that too

Cool, cut into squares and sift some icing sugar over the top if you like even more decadence - of course you do!

casting on the cute little white choc buttons 

yep I could eat a few of these 

This recipe is so easy peasy, even your toddler could do it - blindfolded:=)  And you can ring up the changes as you please - different nuts, different chocolates, add some spices like cinnamon, whatever takes your fancy.

Author: Girl Guides of Canada 1945

Young Canadian girl in her Brownies uniform  (source: Wikimedia Commons).

or the other type of Brownie

Source: Wikimedia Commons- author VateVG - Public Domain

Sunday 11 June 2017

Putia Pure Food Kitchen - Review

Putia, you may be saying to yourself?  What the heck is a Putia? Yep me too.  So I looked it up; it is an old Sicilian word for a small corner store selling food, wine and household goods.  It's also a Maori word for butcher's shop, just by the by.  But in this instance it is a café cum cooking school cum caterer cum function venue.

gorgeous day; tasty lunch at Putia 

Mr P. and I headed out to Banyo one sunny day to try out this intriguing place.  It is owned and run by Dominique Rizzo, she of Sicilian heritage and TV fame.  She used to chef at an organic café in inner Brisbane, but has now turned her hand to her own place which aims to provide healthy, seasonal food, as well as the catering, and the cooking school.

cappucino $4 and vanilla milkshake $8

We both had our usuals.  These were both fine; not much you can say about a coffee unless it is bad:=)  Mr P. said his milkshake was fine too.  He does have very high standards in regard to milkshakes - i.e. it has to be ice-cold and creamy.  I get the feeling this was okay but not outstanding.  I chose grilled house-smoked salmon from the breakfast menu, which goes till 2 pm.  It too was okay but not my fave lunch dish ever.   

grilled house-smoked salmon $21 

I appreciate that the salmon was house-smoked, but to be brutally honest, I would have preferred just plain old grilled fish.  I couldn't really discern much of the smokiness, and for my tastes, the fish was a bit drier than it should have been.  If the smoking had given it more depth and flavour, I could understand why you would go that extra step.  Sadly it just wasn't to my taste.  But the eggs were soft and runny, just how I like them.  The greens on the plate I found a bit trying.  They were just in the way, and not pleasant.  I had to fight them off!  

truffle polenta fries $10 

We absolutely adored these polenta fries.  Even better than Jamie Oliver's, said Mr P. And boy, does he love those!  So crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, with only the teensiest hint of truffle, if any.  That didn't worry me as I am not a huge fan anyway. My only quibble is that they seemed a wee bit expensive; there were just 6 fries.  We were begging for more.  

handmade tagliatelle pasta with Italian pork sausage $23 

This dish also had rocket, pancetta, peas, onions and parmesan.  A bit surprisingly, Mr P. said it didn't have much flavour.  He felt it needed some kind of lift - herbs, spices, chilli - something along those lines.  He found it a bit bland and lacklustre.  He is a big fan of pasta though, so he wolfed it all down anyway.

Service was okay; not bad, not good.  Yes it was lunchtime, and yes it was fairly busy, but we weren't inspired by the friendliness or service.  It was average and okay.  The atmosphere is nice; it is an open space on a back deck with plenty of air and light.  And I would love to go back for a cooking class sometime.  I loved the train station being just across the road; it gave an air of excitement and interest.  All up, a decent place to spend a bit of time and have a healthy bite to eat.

the seat outside the café

Yes that's the train station just across the road from the café.  Fun to watch the trains go in and out.

Putia interior shots

After our lunch, we were served by the lady herself, Dominique, who took our money at the cash register.  She gave us a big smile, and was quite lovely.  She was a nice end to a pleasant meal.

Ph: 07 3267 6654
Shop 4/17 Royal Pde.,
Banyo 4014  

Putia Pure Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Berry Compote - aka Relish aka Sauce

Perhaps your freezer is like mine?  Full of interesting 'stuff' that takes me by surprise every time I scrabble around in its icy depths. Well, I sort of knew there were various types of frozen berries hidden in the backblocks, and I kept meaning to do something with them all. This morning I got up horribly early (why brain, why?), so once Mr P. was out of bed, I grabbed them and began to make this saucy little mixture for our breakfasts.

I prefer this to be not very sweet, and I like it a little spicy, so I added a couple of spices and a wee bit of caramelised balsamic vinegar to give it tang.  Mr P. put it on his morning cereal and yoghurt straightaway, telling me that the taste was "mediaeval".  I asked what that meant?  Perhaps he meant the spices? :=)  He wasn't sure! 

love those sunny stripes across the cloth

Recipe by Sherry's Pickings:


300g. frozen berries of your choice - I used cherries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries

a (big) splash of whiskey (optional)

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp caramelised strawberry balsamic vinegar

1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

a couple of grinds of black pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger 


Put everything into a medium saucepan

Stir and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes till slightly thickened - keep an eye it and give it a stir every so often

Cool then store in the fridge

Will last for a week or more in a sealed jar in the fridge


I really love cherries so I used more of those than the other fruits

Use a good Italian red wine vinegar or perhaps a Sherry vinegar if you don't have a fruity one

Leave out the whiskey if you are worried about the gluten. Apparently, there are arguments both ways saying that distilled liquor is either gluten-free or not!  Take your pick!

a real mix of berries here

cooking down the compote 

sunny stripes across the pot 

spooning into the jar

gloopy and luscious

looks like jewels

delish on your breakfast yoghurt

my fruity compote doodle

Thursday 1 June 2017

In My Kitchen - June 2017

Hi fellow IMK friends!  I am happy to catch up with you here again this month, for another fascinating look into everyone's global kitchens. Hopefully any glitches from my first hosting gig last month are fixed, and all will go great guns from now on.  I'll keep the sidebar going for a bit longer, as well as the link images.  So here is the link to the guidelines for adding your wonderful posts. And I thank you for joining in!  

(Just in case you've forgotten, here are the options for adding your post:
1. Adding via the link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found at the top of this page, under Add your IMK link
2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it to the linky list below
3. Email me: sherrym1au@gmail.com, with your link or any queries about the link process)

Let's check out some of my own recently acquired kitchen goodies:

a huge bunch of dried oregano

Whenever I run out of oregano, I make a trip over the river to bohemian West End to grab a monstrously huge (dried) bunch from the Greek deli.  I then spend a bit of time pulling the leaves from the stems, risking a rash from the pungent oils.  It is worth it, not to have to use the ghastly dustbin scrapings they sell in the supermarket.

Marigold pattern breakfast plate 

I happened to buy a bowl in this pattern last time we were in Toowoomba at a lovely Antiques Store.  When hubby and I were up again recently to meet some Instagram friends, I had to have another rootle around this huge, jam-packed store.  It is sooo tempting, but I restrained myself and only bought this one. 

a foodie gift from Sandra @Please Pass The Recipe 

I caught up with Sandra, a fellow Brisbane food blogger for lunch recently.  She kindly gave me one of her jars of cumquat marmalade.  Look how it gleams in the sunlight. Thanks Sandra, and let's do it again soon.   

lovely local capers

I just received these in the post from Bunya Red Farm.  They grow and sell their capers and caperberries from their farm in the South Burnett region of Queensland.  I can't wait till the caperberries are in season again.

wonderful Mexican molinillo

I also have to say a huge thank you to Fiona from Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures for giving me this wonderful wooden hot chocolate whisker.  It is a thing of beauty for sure. She knows of my attraction to things Mexican, including the fabulous artwork of Frida Kahlo.  I followed her recent adventures in Mexico with a smile and a slightly jealous heart.

oh, and don't forget the Mexican chocolate  

This chocolate bar has such a divine smell.  Yes it is indeed sunshine chocolate as the name states.  Mexican chocolate is made up of milk chocolate and cinnamon, though sometimes other spices are used.  Great for mole sauces also apparently.  Thanks, Fiona.

new season olive oil  

Every year I buy a bottle of the new season's Limited Release oil from Cobram Estate. It is a blissful, golden liquid.  And yes, I use mine for everything including frying up aromates and ...well, everything.

my tin of dried oregano

I can't resist showing you the tin of oregano, all labelled and ready to use.  I remembered I had a heap of bookplates sitting around so I thought why not put them to use as food labels?  So much better to make use of them, than have them sitting there doing nothing:=) 


Sherrys Pickings