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Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Baked matcha custard with ginger-poached pears


Matcha gives this baked custard a unique colour and flavour, which pairs beautifully with ginger-poached pears, while the crumb mixture adds texture and crunch.

You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) each pouring cream and milk 1½ tsp matcha (see note) 6 egg yolks 80 gm caster sugar   Ginger-poached pears 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 1 tbsp finely grated ginger Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon 4 small ripe pears, such as William, peeled, quartered and cored   Rice malt crumb 60 gm brown rice flour (see note) 20 gm caster sugar 20 gm rice malt syrup (see note) 15 gm melted butter 1 tsp matcha

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Whisk cream, milk and matcha in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine, then whisk in hot cream mixture. Pour into a jug, skim any bubbles from the surface, then pour into a shallow 800ml ovenproof dish. Place in a roasting pan lined with a tea towel, pour in hot water to come halfway up sides of dish and bake until set with a slight wobble in the centre (50 minutes to 1 hour). Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled (3-4 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for ginger-poached pears, stir sugar, ginger, lemon rind and juice and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, then add pears. Cover directly with a round of baking paper, weight with a plate to keep pears submerged, reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are tender when pierced (10-15 minutes). Set aside in poaching liquid, and drain pears to serve.
  • 03
  • For rice malt crumb, preheat oven to 180C. Stir ingredients in a bowl to form a crumbly mixture, spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp (8-10 minutes). Store in an airtight container.
  • 04
  • Serve matcha custard topped with ginger-poached pears and scattered with rice malt crumb.

Note Matcha is finely ground green tea. It's available from specialist tea shops and Japanese grocers. Brown rice flour and rice malt syrup are available from health-food shops.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jul 2015

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