Lesley's Pineapple Lumps Tim Tams Cheesecake
Melt butter. Stir in crushed malt biscuits and ginger. If mix is looking a bit dry and cannot be pressed tightly, add a bit more melted butter. Line the sides of a 20cm (8") greased loose-bottom tin with the 2 packets of Pineapple Tim Tams standing on their ends, then press the crushed biscuit mix into the base of the tin. Put in fridge while preparing filling.
Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature. Put in a mixer and beat until smooth. Add the 2 Tbsp gelatine to 4 Tbsp hot water and mix quickly. Allow to plump a little then quickly beat into cream cheese, along with castor sugar. Gently beat in the double cream. Chop the pineapple lumps up into quarters with kitchen scissors or a knife. Fold into the mix. Spread the mix on top of the biscuit crumb base, pushing the mix towards the timtams so some of it goes inbetween the biscuits. Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with dark chocolate chips, or you could use more pieces of pineapple lumps. Leave in refrigerator until set.
Lesley's New Zealand Steak n Cheese Meat Pie Recipe
700g blade steak or gravy beef, cubed
Put garlic, onion, and cubed steak in a slow cooker. Mix contents of Cook in the Pot package with the water. Pour over. Stir in Marmite. Cook on low for 6 hours or until meat tender.
Make a paste with the cornflour and a little water. Mix in to the meat. Cook on high for 1/2 hour. Cool.
Using a pie tin as a cutter, cut the puff pastry tops for the pies.
Line 6-7 greasedindividual pie tinswith short pastry. Be careful not to stretch the pastry. Line with baking paper, add dried beans, place on a baking tray. Bake "blind" at 220C (450F) for 8 mins. Cool and remove beans and paper.
Fill pie tins with cooled meat mixture. Put slice of cheese on top. Wet the edge of the pastry with milk, beaten egg or water. Top each pie with its puff pastry top. Press edges together firmly. Cut a small slit in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush tops of pies with milk or beaten egg. Reduce heat to 180C (350F). Bake 20 mins.
While it's cooking, grate about 1/2 cup of cheese into a bowl. Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce. Mix. Remove pies from oven, sprinkle cheese on top of pies. Put back in oven and bake a further 10 mins or until cheese melted and pastry brown.
Feedback from my kids: "These are better than bought ones!".
Sophie's Breadmaker Bagels
OK, Bagels are definitely not a Kiwi invention. I've added this one in for a certain doctor at Whangarei Hospital who was particularly helpful when Sophie needed a diagnosis. And Sophie, currently aged 10, is a dab hand at making these bagels for us all. We love the chewiness of these bagels, they turn out great every time, and they sit well in the stomach.
4 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp Surebake Yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
Put water, flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the breadmaker, in that order. Process on dough cycle.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface, and leave, covered with a teatowel, to rest for 15 minutes.
Cut into 12 - 16 portions, depending on size of bagel you prefer, and shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the centre of the dough and gently enlarge the hole while you rotate and shape the bagel. (They don't have to have a hole, Sophie makes them into all sorts of shapes - faces, American hotdog shape, you name it, all without a hole!).
Cover with a teatowel and leave the bagels to rise in a warm place for 20 mins. Heat oven to 200 Celsius ( 400 Fahrenheit).
Meanwhile, get a large pot ( one you might make jam in), and put about 4 litres ( 1 gallon) of water on to boil. If you don't have a pot that large, just use your largest pot and fill 2/3 full with water. Add 2 Tbsp of golden syrup and stir to mix.
When bagels have risen and water is boiling, reduce temp of water a little so it is simmering constantly, and add 3 bagels to the water. Cook for about a minute, then turn them over and cook the other side. If using a smaller pot, only add 2 bagels. Drain bagels on a tea towel.
Place bagels on a baking sheet lined with baking paper ( or on a greased baking sheet), and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Bagels should be evenly brown on top. Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.
This is a classic New Zealand recipe, for a crunchy, brittle, chewy toffee that we call Hokey Pokey. Hokey Pokey nuggets also go into our Hokey Pokey ice-cream, my favourite ice-cream flavour.
150g (5 oz) sugar
4 Tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp baking soda ( bicarbonate of soda)
Put sugar and golden syrup into a large heavy saucepan, and heat over low heat until it all melts. Heat gently, increasing the temperature to medium, and stirring constantly until all the sugar crystals are dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce heat back to medium-low so the mixture continues simmering. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Add baking soda, quickly mixing it into the sugar until the mixture froths up. Immediately pour into buttered shallow tin ( or onto a marble slab, as has been suggested to me). Leave until cold, and then break into pieces. If you have put it in a tin, upending the tin over paper and bashing the bottom of the tin should release the hokey pokey!
Keep in an airtight container. Any little pieces are nice sprinkled over icecream.
Lesleys Fruit & Chocolate Slice
I make this for my kids cos I'm appalled at the levels of sugar and fat in ready-made slices for kids. This is healthier for them and the ingredients can be adjusted to suit tastes.
1 green or red apple
1 cup raisins ( or sultanas, currants, apricots, etc)
2 cups malt biscuit crumbs ( 1 pkt)
1/2 c rolled oats
75 g (3 oz) butter
100g (4 oz) Dark or Energy Chocolate
1/3 c Chelsea soft brown sugar (optional)
Grate apple ( skin and all). Place in bowl with raisins, crumbs, oats, and brown sugar. Chop chocolate roughly into small pieces and combine with biscuit base. Melt butter and add to ingredients.
Put mix into 20cm (8") baking paper lined square tin. Press down firmly. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars or squares. Store in fridge.
(Vary ingredients to suit - try adding nuts, ground almonds, seeds to the mix).
Breadmaker Foccacia Bread Recipe
This Focccacia Bread recipe never fails to delight. We eat it on its own or it can be sliced thru the middle and filled with meat and salad. Best eaten the day you make it.
Add the following to your breadmaking machine in this order:
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups high grade white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp mixed Italian dried herbs
3 tsp active dried yeast
Process on dough cycle.
Turn finished dough out into a greased bowl, turn dough over, cover with oiled plastic wrap and a teatowel, leave in a warm place to double in bulk.
Line a baking tray with baking paper or, alternately, oil the baking tray. Punch down dough with your fist. Press dough out onto the tray, making a big oval about 3/4" (2cm) thick. Make dimples with your fingers in the surface.
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp rock salt
1/4 c olive oil
Peel, crush and finely chop the garlic. Combine garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Spread topping over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle rock salt on top. Leave to rise again for about 45 mins.
Bake at 200 C ( 400 F) for 20-30 mins. Serve warm or cool.
Lesley's Legendary Chocolate Cake Recipe
This recipe makes the moistest, scrummiest, easiest chocolate cake EVER.
Bring to the boil ( to melt butter) and then remove from heat source:
1/4 lb butter
1 c water
1/2 c oil
Beat in a cake mixer or bowl:
1/2 c milk
splash of vanilla essence
Add to mixing bowl ( but don't mix just yet):
2 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Turn on cake mixer to slow and slowly add the butter/water/oil mixture. When combined, turn mixer to higher speed and give mix a good beating! Don't worry that it seems like a very wet mixture.
Pour into large baking paper lined cake tin and cook at 350 F ( 180 C) for 55 minutes. Ice with chocolate icing.
Our Best Bacon and Egg Pie Recipe
This is a jazzed up version of the classic New Zealand Bacon and Egg Pie. The pastry is well worth making yourself, but can be replaced by bought pastry if desired. I've included some tips to ensure your pastry turns out beautifully. :-)
6 oz flour
1 tsp salt
2 oz firm butter
1 oz lard ( I use Kremelta, vegetable fat)
2-3 oz ice cold water
a little egg to glaze
6 oz bacon
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 sm onion, grated
4 oz cheese, grated
2 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
First prepare pastry. Sift flour and salt into a food processor bowl, cut in butter and lard, process until nice and fine. With the food processor on lowest speed, slowly dribble the cold water into the bowl. Watch carefully. Eventually the mixture will start to clump together. When it starts to clump, turn the machine off and check the mix. If it is damp and forms a ball when you squeeze some in your hand, you're all done. If it crumbles, keep processing slowly with a little extra water until it clumps as above. Remove from processor, form into a ball, wrap in foil or clingwrap and chill in the fridge while you get the filling ready.
Filling: Remove rind from bacon, snip bacon into small pieces. Prepare other ingredients. Roll out pastry and use half to line a 9" greased pie plate. Spread bacon over, then parsley, onion, and half the cheese. Arrange half the tomato slices on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break eggs in, breaking each yolk with a knife. Top with remaining cheese and tomato. Moisten edges of pastry and place 2nd half on top. Crimp edges. Make a small slash in the top and glaze with a little beaten egg or milk. Bake at 180 C ( 350 F) for 1 hour. Remove and leave to cool, then foil wrap and refridgerate until needed. Serves 6.
Lesley's Blueberry Apple Turnovers
This is my own recipe, dated September 10, 2005, brought about by the desire to have cafe food at home for breakfast. Instructions are a bit rough, cos I wasn't paying much attention to quantities, but if you have some cooking skills, you'll know how to adapt it.
Approx 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
2 apples ( mine were soft type)
3 sheets sweet short pastry or flaky puff pastry
2 tsp arrowroot or cornflour
Preheat oven to 190 C ( 375 F). Lay out the pastry sheets and let them thaw. Cut the sheets into quarters and transfer to the baking tray.
Gently heat the blueberries in a pot to thaw them out and get the juices running. Mix 2 arrowroot or cornflour in a jar with a little water (probably about 2 Tbsp). I do this in a jar, giving it a good shake. You can also just mix them with a fork, but you don't want any lumps left. Pour the arrowroot water into the blueberries, quickly combining the ingredients. Allow to simmer a bit more, until the liquid thickens a bit, into more of a sauce. Remove from heat.
Peel the apples, quarter, remove cores, and cut into thin slices ( about 1/8" or 2mm thick). Cook on High in the microwave for 5 mins or until soft but still holding their shape. Gently fold the apples into the blueberries.
Plop about a Tbsp of fruit mix onto each square of pastry. Keep the juices away from the edges. Beat the egg with 2 tsp of water. Brush some of this egg wash around the edge of the pastry, and fold the pastry over diagonally, pressing the edges of the pastry together firmly. Crimp the edges with a fork. ( Flaky pastry is easier to use here. I also used sweet short pastry, which tended to rip. Don't worry about that. Fix the rips as best you can, but don't worry if some juice or fruit sticks out. It'll be fine).
Brush the top of the turnovers with egg wash. Sprinkle sugar on top. ( You can also use the pastry to line small pie tins, put the fruit mix in, a top layer of pastry, egg wash etc).
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 - 25 mins, or until browned. Best eaten warm, in my opinion! Serves 6 easily.
ANZAC biscuits ( cookies) were created sometime during the First World War. Mothers and wives at home in New Zealand and Australia wanted to send their sons and husbands some sustenance, but it needed to be something that would last the boat trip and did not need eggs, as these were rationed. The answer was the ANZAC biscuit and they are still a popular Kiwi biscuit to this day.
1 cup plain flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 /12 cups rolled oats ( breakfast oatmeal)
100g ( 4 oz) butter
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda ( bicarbonate of soda)
2 Tbsp boiling water
(NB: If you are not able to find Golden Syrup in your store, you can buy it here)
Mix together the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt the butter and golden syrup together . Dissolve baking soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup. Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients. Place level tablespoonfuls of mixture onto greased oven trays ( or baking paper lined trays). Allow room to spread. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit for about 15 mins or until golden. Allow to cool on trays for 10 mins then transfer to wire rack.
Hangi is the Maori name for an oven in the earth. Food, usually a variety of vegetables and meats, is steamed in the oven. A hangi is usually used to feed a large number of people.
A hangi is prepared by digging a large hole in the ground. A large pile of wood is put in the pit and volcanic stones are placed on top. The wood is lit and will heat up the stones. The heat from the stones cooks the food. These days the food is wrapped in tinfoil or leaves and placed in wire baskets. The wire baskets are placed on top of the stones, and wet sacks laid on top. Earth is spread on top to close it up. On average the food takes about 2-3 hours to fully cook, although this depends on the type and volume of food.
In some Pacific Islands coconut milk may be used to moisten or flavor the vegetables too, and the food wrapped in banana palm leaves.
Kiwi Smoked Fish Pie
1 lb can Sealord Smoked Fish Fillets
2 lb cooked mashed potatoes
2 oz butter
10 oz milk
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp flour
2 tsp chopped parsley
2 hardboiled eggs
Mash potatoes, mixing in 1/2 of the butter and a little milk. Season with salt and pepper. Melt remaining 1 oz butter in a saucepan, take off the heat and slowly add flour, put back on heat until butter is just bubbling again, then gradually add milk. Stir till mixture thickens and cook for 4-5mins to make a good white sauce.
Add parsley, chopped eggs and drained fish. Line a piedish with half the mashed potatoes, fill with the fish mixture, and pile remainder of potatoes on top, streaking the top of the potatoes with a fork. Cook at 350 F for about half an hour, until the pie is cooked thru and the potatoes are browned. Browning can also be done under the grill.
The addition of some parmesan cheese before popping the dish in the oven makes for a nice cheesy crust too!
Montana's Yummy Oat & Chocolate Cookies
I came up with this recipe due to the need to give my children more fiber, but in a disguised form - so they would actually eat it!
2 c flour
1 c rolled oats ( oatmeal)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 c raisins
1/4 c chopped dried apricots
1/2 c chocolate balls or morsels
7 oz New Zealand butter
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add rolled oats, cocoa, raisins, apricots, and chocolate balls. Melt butter, stir in sugar. When cooled, add egg and vanilla essence. Mix into dry ingredients.
Put handfuls on cookie sheet ( also used baking paper). Press down with your hand or a floured fork. Bake 20 mins at 350 F. Makes about 30, depending on what size you make them!
( You can add other bits as well - sometimes I use all kinds of chocolate morsels, sometimes I add craisins, sometimes I leave out the apricots. You can alter the bits to suit yourself, and it will still work out OK!)
If you have tried the traditional pavlova recipe and would like to progress on to something more up-market, here's a rolled pavlova to try. Don't be put off - it is super-easy but looks very " flash".
3 egg whites
1 cup fine sugar
1 tsp each Vanilla essence, vinegar
1 Tbsp cornflour ( cornstarch)
CRUST: 1 1/2 Tbsp each:
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
FILLING: 1 c cream, whipped
2 Tbsp coffee or similar liqueur
2 Tbsp icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sponge roll tin with baking paper.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the sugar has dissolved. Fold in the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar. Spoon into the prepared tray. Put the crust ingredients into a food processor and process until the consistency of breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the meringue. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Lift the Pavlova on its baking paper onto a rack to cool. Whip the cream with the liqueur, spread over the Pavlova, and roll up, removing the baking paper as you go. Don't worry if the Pavlova cracks a little - sprinkle with icing sugar. To serve, cut into slices.
( Also nice without the nuts and liqueur, and instead with pureed berry fruit mixed in with the whipped cream). Enjoy!
Lesley's ( Cheesy) Meat Pie
Foreword: This is one of those recipes where you can change many of the ingredients to suit your own tastes, so I recommend you make it as per the recipe first, and then next time change it to suit yourself.
2 lb stewing steak
1 large onion ( garlic is good too)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato relish ( or tomato puree)
2 tsp mixed herbs
a few slices tasty cheese ( optional)
3/4 cup water
1 sheet puff pastry
1 sheet savory short pastry
Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Peel and finely chop the onion ( or garlic). Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Throw in the meat and onion. Toss around to coat the meat. Line a pie dish or casserole dish with the sheet of short pastry, cutting or shaping it to fit. Throw in the coated meat and onion mix. Drop spoonfuls of tomato relish over the top and sprinkle the herbs over as well. Add sufficient water to cover the meat. Lay slices of cheeses on top ( optional extra). Wet the edges of the pastry. Roll the puff pastry sheet out to fit the top of the dish. Place the puff pastry on top and press the edges down onto the edges of the short pastry. Trim off any excess pastry. Pour the measured amount of water over the pastry. Bake at 300 degrees F for 3 hours ( it's that long, slow cooking that makes it taste so good).
Mum's Pavlova Recipe
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cornstarch
8 oz castor sugar
1 tsp vinegar
Heat oven to 300 F. Have eggs at room temperature before beating ( don't use cold ones from the fridge). Beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Gradually, slowly beat in sugar until you can't see any sugar crystals in the mix. Lastly beat in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla. Place a piece of baking paper onto a cookie sheet. Spoon or pipe the mixture onto the cookie sheet, forming it into about an 8" circle, about 2-3" high. Place pavlova on the shelf below the middle of the oven, turn down the heat to 180 F, and bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven at the end of baking, but leave the pav in the oven to cool.
When cooled, the pavlova is traditionally covered in lashings of sweetened whipped cream ( so don't worry if the outside cracks, just cover it with cream), and decorated with slices of kiwifruit and halved strawberries.
Pavlova is baked for special occasions, such as weddings or Christmas ( remember, we celebrate Christmas in the middle of summer) but feel free to bake it anytime you like!).