Posted by: nancycurteman | July 18, 2013

Aussie Traditional Foods in “Murder Down Under”

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After posting my piece about South African specialty foods consumed by the characters in my forthcoming novel, “Murder Casts a Spell,” I received requests from you, my readers, for recipes for the Aussie delights the characters in “Murder Down Under” enjoyed. Here are three recipes I think you might try.

Australian Damper Bread

Damper is a traditional Australian unleavened bread baked in the hot coals of a campfire. This recipe uses an oven.  images-1

3 cups

flour, self-raising
¼ teaspoon salt
6 oz milk – if the mixture is too dry,add a little more milk
1  teaspoon sugar, caster (sugar, granulated)
1/3  cup butter, chilled
extra flour as needed

 

1.

Mix the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl.

2.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

3.

Add milk slowly and mix to form a soft dough.

4.

Knead lightly on a floured board until smooth. Shape into a round loaf, brush with milk and cut a cross in the top surface of the dough.
. . .  For oven cooking

5.

Grease and dust with flour a round cake tin. You can substitute a flat baking pan, but the round tin gives a better shape to the loaf.

6.

Place dough in the pan and bake in a preheated oven at  375° F for 30 – 40 minutes.

 

Australian Pavlova

th-1Pavlova is named for the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova who toured Australia in the 1920s.

!

Ingredients for Base

 as needed butter, melted
 dusting corn flour (cornstarch)

  6

eggs, separated

1 ¼

 cups sugar, caster (sugar, granulated)

½

 teaspoon vanilla essence (vanilla extract)

2

 teaspoons corn flour (cornstarch)

1

 teaspoon white vinegar


Method for Base

1.

 Preheat your oven to 250°F. Line an oven tray or flat pan with foil or baking paper (wax paper). Brush with melted butter and dust with corn flour. Shake off the excess.

2.

Take a spoon and gently mark out a 9 inch diameter circle in the dusted corn flour. This is the guide you will follow when you put the meringue on the pan. (see tip below)

3.

Use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl (see tip below) until soft peaks form.

4.

Very slowly add sugar(about 1 tablespoon at a time) beating well as you go.Continue until all the sugar is fully dissolved (see tip below) and the meringue is thick and glossy.

5.

 Now add vanilla, corn flour and vinegar to your meringue. Beat only until these new ingredients are mixed in thoroughly.

6.

 Spoon the meringue into the circle you marked on the foil lined pan. Using a small spatula, smooth the side and top of the Pavlova base and make little peaks around the top edge.

7.

 Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until it feels dry to the touch.

8.

 Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar with the Pavlova base still inside to cool down slowly.

9.

 When the base is completely cold, move it to a serving plate. You can also store it in an airtight container to complete later as needed.

 
Ingredients for Top

1 ¼ cups whipping cream (heavy cream)

2

 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

1

lime, juiced

2

bananas, sliced thin on an angle

3

kiwi fruit, peeled, thinly sliced

2

star fruit, thinly sliced


Method for Top

1.

Use an electric mixer to whip the cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl. Whip until it forms firm peaks.

2.

Spoon the whipped cream on the top of the base.

3.

Pour the lime juice into a glass or ceramic bowl and add the banana slides. Toss to coat and then drain.

4.

Decorate the top of the base with the fruit.

 

Serves 6 to 10 depending on how big you cut the slices.

Australian Meat Pie

Australians say they are the world’s biggest consumer of meat pies with over 250,000,000 eaten each year. Unknown

There are many ways to make
a meat pie. Here’s one we enjoy.a. Filling – Ingredients

2

 Lbs. chuck or round steak

 2

bacon rashers (bacon slices), chopped

1

 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

    13

 oz water

½

 teaspoon black pepper

½

 teaspoon salt

¼

 teaspoon thyme

2

 tablespoons flour, plain (flour, all-purpose)

a. Filling – Method

1.

 Remove any fat and cube the chuck into about½ inch pieces.

2.

 Fry the bacon and onion over a low heat and add the chuck when the onions are slightly soft.

3.

 Season with salt, pepper and thyme, add the water, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.

4.

 In a bowl, slowly add a little water to the flour and stir until it forms a smooth, runny mixture.

5.

 Slowly stir the flour-water mixture into the meat mixture until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.

b. Pastry – Ingredients

2 cups flour, plain (flour, all-purpose)
 pinch salt
2 ounces margarine or butter
5 oz cold water

1

 package commercial puff pastry

b. Pastry – Method

1.

 In a mixing bowl, add salt to the flour and then cut in the margarine until mixed with the dough.

2.

 Add water and lemon juice to the dough.

3.

 Remove the dough and gently knead on a lightly-floured surface.

4.

 Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes and then roll it out.

c. The Pie – Method

1.

 Line the small pie dishes with the pastry and fill with the cooled meat mixture.

2.

 Moisten the rim of the pies with milk or beaten egg so the tops will stick to it.

3.

 Place a layer of commercial puff pastry on top of each pie to form a lid and trim away the excess.

4.

 Press the edges together with a fork to seal.

5.

 Make a hole in the centre of each pie to allow the steam to escape and glaze the tops with beaten egg or milk.Bake pies at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let me know how your recipes turn out. I found these recipes on the All Down Under web site.

 

5.

 Make a hole in the centre of each pie to allow the steam to escape and glaze the tops with beaten egg or milk.Bake pies at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Let me know how your recipes turn out. I found these recipes on the All Down Under web site. Find more Australian recipes at All Down Under.

All Down Under

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Responses

  1. I am interested to know how I might get my own new mystery novella on your site

    Like

  2. I love books that share a glimpse at what the characters are eating. I would love to try that Pavlova.

    Like

    • I tried the Pavlova when I was in Alice Springs, Australia. I tried to make it, but I can’t seem to master meringue. Any suggestions?

      Like

      • I’ve never made a meringue. But know that my mother cooked it at a low temp until it sounded hollow when tapped. Not at all like the “wet” meringue on Lemon Meringue pie.

        Like


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