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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.

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Maple pear and muesli crumble


"You can always count on d'Anjou pears in season to give you the perfect dose of bubbly goodness, baked under a crunchy muesli mixture studded with pecans," says Curtis Stone. "And here's a hot tip: leave small pockets uncovered so the juices can bubble over. A delicious dessert but, much like the breakfast cake, it could also be served as a morning treat."

You'll need

125 ml (½ cup) maple syrup Juice and finely grated rind of 5 mandarins (½ cup of juice) 2 tbsp lemon juice 1.2 kg ripe firm pears (preferably d’Anjou), peeled, cored, cut into 3cm wedges 100 gm fresh dates, pitted, coarsely chopped 50 gm brown sugar 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 420 gm (1½ cups) thick plain yoghurt   Pecan crumble 80 gm plain flour 60 gm (2/3 cup) rolled oats 80 gm caster sugar 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 100 gm unsalted butter, coarsely grated, frozen 60 gm (1/2 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For pecan crumble, place flour, oats, caster sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix to combine, then rub in butter with your fingertips until clumps form. Mix in pecans, spread on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze until firm (10-15 minutes).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 160C and line a baking tray with foil. Whisk maple syrup, mandarin juice and lemon juice in a bowl. Combine pears, dates, brown sugar, cinnamon, 1 tsp mandarin rind and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl, and toss to coat, then transfer to a 25cm-diameter cast-iron frying pan or baking dish, or three 16cm-diameter cast-iron frying pans. Pour maple syrup mixture over pears, sprinkle with crumble, place on prepared baking tray and bake until crumble is golden and filling is bubbling (45-50 minutes for small crumbles, 1-1¼ hours for larger crumble). Stand to cool briefly (10 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, whisk remaining rind in a bowl with yoghurt and serve with warm crumble.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jun 2016

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