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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Brae

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.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Little apple pies


This is one of the most comforting things you can eat in our book; hot apple pie and ice cream.

You'll need

1 kg Granny Smith apples (about 7), peeled and diced 200 gm caster sugar 20 gm butter, diced ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water 1 sheet butter puff pastry rolled to a 3mm thick square and refrigerated until required Eggwash, for brushing Pure icing sugar, for dusting Vanilla ice cream or pouring cream, to serve   Shortcrust pastry 250 gm plain flour 40 gm caster sugar 200 gm chilled diced butter 2 eggwhites

Method

  • 01
  • For shortcrust pastry, process flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add eggwhite and process just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for pastry to rest until firm (1-2 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, combine apple, sugar and 2 tbsp water in a large saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until apple is tender and translucent but still holding shape (15-20 minutes). Drain syrup from apples and return 50ml syrup to pan with butter and cinnamon and bring to a simmer (any flavoured syrup remaining makes a great addition to flavour various cocktails). Add cornstarch slurry to apples and stir until sauce is thick (2-3 minutes). Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
  • 03
  • Divide shortcrust pastry in half, then working with one half at a time, break pieces over a sheet of baking paper to form a small rough rectangle. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll to a 30cm x 15cm rectangle, then refrigerate in between paper to rest and firm while you roll the other half. Trim pastry edges and cut each into four 14cm x 7cm rectangles, then place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate again to firm (15-20 minutes).
  • 04
  • Trim puff pastry edges and cut into eight 14cm x 7cm rectangles and refrigerate to firm also (15-20 minutes).
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Spoon apple filling along the centre of each rectangle of shortcrust pastry, brush edges with eggwash, place a piece of puff pastry on top and press sides to seal, then cut edges to evenly trim and seal short ends with a fork. Poke a hole in the centre for steam to escape, brush with eggwash and bake on a large baking paper lined oven tray, turning tray once until golden and puffed and pastry is crisp on base (14-16 minutes). Serve hot, dusted with icing sugar with ice cream or cream.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

April 2016

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