The February issue

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Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Rough puff pastry


This version of flaky pastry is long on buttery goodness and perfect if you're short on time.

You'll need

450 gm (3 cups) plain flour 450 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Sieve flour and 1 tsp fine salt onto a work surface.
  • 02
  • Scatter butter over flour and cut butter into flour with a pastry scraper until roughly mixed (there should still be small lumps of butter in the mixture). Make a well in the centre, add 180ml iced water and use pastry scraper to just combine.
  • 03
  • Bring dough together with the heel of your hand, divide in half, form each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator until firm (20-30 minutes).
  • 04
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to form a 1.5cm-thick rectangle, about 15cm x 40cm.
  • 05
  • Fold short ends in to meet in the centre.
  • 06
  • Fold dough in half to form a book-fold. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate until just firm (20-30 minutes). Repeat with remaining dough. Repeat rolling and folding with each piece twice more. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before use. Dough will keep refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

Note This recipe makes about 1kg.


The joys of puff pastry are widely appreciated. Witness the Saturday morning queues at any self-respecting pâtisserie, all those customers toting white-paper-bagged trays of golden goodness. Unfortunately, though, unless the aforementioned pâtisserie is willing to sell you a slab of its house-made pastry, or your local deli stocks the Carême version (yes, we sing its praises regularly, and no, we're not paid advocates - it's simply a great product), much of what's available from the shops is second-rate at best, generally made with margarine and lacking the buttery moreishness of a great puff pastry.

You could, of course, make your own (see our recipe for puff pastry). There's an art to it, and if you've got the time to invest, it will pay rich dividends. The reality is, though, that many of us are time-poor. Don't be dismayed. There's an alternative, and rough puff pastry is it. It doesn't require the technical precision that puff pastry does, it's less time-consuming, and it's a similarly buttery, flaky product - you'll find it difficult to resist going back for seconds.

The difference is in the rise. Well-made puff pastry rises and rises, and evenly, which is crucial when you're making delicate dishes such as millefeuille or pithiviers. This is less of a concern for dishes of a more rustic nature, and this is where rough puff comes into its own.

While it's not as lengthy a process as making puff pastry, you'll still need to allow a bit of time. Happily, you can do a fold or two one day and finish it off the next, with no detrimental effect at all. Conversely it can be done and dusted - and at a push, ready to use - in about an hour and a half, although it'll benefit from a good rest after you've completed the turning process. So clear a bit of your schedule, clear a bench and give yourself plenty of room.

Rough puff requires the same weight of butter as flour and just under half that quantity of water. A good pinch of salt is a must. Start off with your butter cold and cubed, your water iced. And have to hand a pastry scraper, preferably metal, available from kitchenware suppliers. Using this simple tool to cut the butter into the flour is super-quick, and also leaves large-ish chunks of butter dispersed throughout the mixture. This butter, when cooked, gives off steam, creating the requisite flakiness and layers. Never knead the dough or it will become tough and elastic, lacking those desirable layers. All you want to do is bring the mixture together, then rest it before you start rolling and turning, rolling and turning your way to pastry perfection. Try not to incorporate too much additional flour when you're doing this - dust your benchtop, your rolling pin and your pastry only lightly. Apart from that it's a fairly loose affair, and when you're done there's a whole world of pies, free-form tarts and other delights at your fingertips (such as this mushroom and ricotta galette).

Our final tip? Make a truckload and freeze it. Your cooking repertoire will thank you for it.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Aug 2010

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