I was born in England and raised in Australia from the age of three, but all I ever really remember was growing up in central Victoria.
Surrounded by creative people, great role models and kind and loving parents with wonderful ethics, for this I am eternally grateful.
Remembering back, when I left the country town I grew up in to experience the big city lights, all I ever tried to do, no matter where I lived, was to create a little bit of home.
So I hung flowing curtains, tried to keep a piece of ‘handmade’ close by at all times and created my own space. I have always done this, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t do this, I don’t know any different….this is just me.
After many years living in the city I felt a real pull to return to the country…..now moving forward a thousand years, that is after travelling overseas and doing all those things you do when you’re young and silly….I returned back to the country.
This is where, just like fate, I meet my best friend and now husband. A short time later we move to Tasmania with two dogs and a miss-match of two lives thrown together.
OK, we’re here now, and I finally feel like I’ve found where I need to be.
Our first home, an old Church down South in Tasmania, was renovated to an inch of its life……'we’re happy, but we feel we need more space'…..so this brings us to the North West of Tasmania, now with two dogs, a cat, chooks (another ‘must have’ from my childhood) ducks, sheep and a veggie garden that looks awesome one year and ho hum the next. All bundled together in a half renovated house that we feel is our home.
Phew, I don’t know about you, but I'm exhausted!!
Today we run two small businesses, one being The Black Hen, and we love this little life we call our own. It really feels like it’s taken me 20+ years to find myself back where I started, and where I really need to be…..in the country.
In my first blog post I’d liked to share just a little part of what I enjoy doing, living in this beautiful place….
Crabapple Tarte Tartin
We planted these two trees two years ago and we must have picked the right spot, they are growing extremely well and are full of fruit. I went looking for their tag so I could tell what sort they were....but it's lost! I'll keep looking :)
"We have come to realise how much more fulfilled we are by the simplest of things - eating an apple we've grown, cooking produce we've tended or preserving a season." -Me
I've not tried this recipe before, so I think I've picked enough crabapples...if not, I'll bob out and grab some more.
I've also decided to make my own pastry this time, but I already know I've put too much butter in this batch. No turning back now, I'm still going to use it.
Note to self: if you follow a recipe, it will turn out perfect!
If you decide to try this recipe, but don't want to make your own pastry, just get your favourite from the supermarket.
I've halved and cored these little gems as I like the shape of them. This is quite a delicate process because they are so small and I am not the most patient person, but I have persevered.
We have a old cast iron pan which I'm going to use, it's about 30cm across, but use anything that can go on top of a heat as well as in the oven.
Combine sugar, butter and honey until it turns smooth and golden. I'm using Golden Bee Honey, made just up the road in Molecreek.
I'm going to try and roll this pastry out......because there's too much butter in it, after half an hour in the fridge it's gone a bit hard.
OK, so now I've had my upper body workout I've placed the pastry on top of the gorgeous caramelised crabapples, if you can tuck the sides of the pastry down, please do and don't forget to put some slits in the top.
You'll know when it's ready because your partner or your neighbours will be asking "what ya cooking?" Otherwise 25 - 30 mins or just until the pastry is golden and the apples are bubbling around the edges.
Oh, hello there you! Served up with yoghurt :)
Recipe- crabapple tarte tartin
Small or medium crabapples
1 cup of sugar
125gms of butter
3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
Pastry for a single crust pie or 1kg puff pastry, thawed.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees, halve and core your crabapples.
In a heavy ovenproof pan cook the sugar, butter and honey over a medium heat for 4-5 mins, until it turns smooth and golden. Place enough apples (skin side down) to cover the bottom of the pan, straight into the hot caramel and cook for a further 4-5 mins (pack them in tightly they will shrink) remove from heat.
Roll the pastry out until it's a little larger in diameter than the pan, cover the apples and tuck in the edge of the pastry. Cut a few slit in the top and bake for 25 - 30 mins or until pastry golden and the apples are bubbling around the edge.
Serve warm with yoghurt, cream or ice cream.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 Tbls. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 5 Tbls. ice water
Combine flour, salt and sugar in large bowl and stir briefly until the mixture is aerated. Using your fingers blended the butter into dry ingredients until its into crumbles that are slightly yellow in colour, takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
Drizzle in 4 Tbls. of the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough or it'll become tough.
Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Making little notes is just part of the fun.
I hope you have enjoyed my first post, if there is anything you would like to know about this recipe, please ask. N.B. this is not my recipe, I have taken some bits from a few websites and made it suit.