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AA Gill's final column for Gourmet Traveller

We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

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Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Ricotta, candied orange and Marsala crostata


"I use pasta frolla, a shortcrust pastry, for most of my sweet tarts," says Brigitte Hafner. "This is a great recipe because it's so easy to handle and very versatile. If I have any left over I make little biscuits like Garibaldi with sultanas and lemon zest. Another variation on the filling is ricotta, figs, honey and roasted hazelnuts. I love to use That's Amore ricotta from La Latteria in Carlton. I find this cake is best eaten on the same day it's made, but it can last up to three days."

You'll need

325 gm fresh firm ricotta 70 gm caster sugar 70 gm sultanas, soaked in warm water for 1 hour 60 ml (¼ cup) pouring cream 60 ml sweet Marsala 1 egg Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 tbsp finely diced candied orange peel, plus extra thinly sliced (optional), to serve 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note) For brushing: eggwash For dusting: pure icing sugar or snow sugar (optional)   Pasta frolla 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 200 gm cold butter, chopped into small, even pieces 100 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind of ½ lemon 1 egg 1 egg yolk

Method

  • 01
  • For pasta frolla, process flour, butter, sugar, lemon rind and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk egg and egg yolk in a small bowl with a fork and, with the food processor running, add to the mixture and continue to blend until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 02
  • Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured surface. Break off two-thirds and roll out to a thickness of 5mm. Roll over the rolling pin and ease into a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim edges, press dough into the corners and up sides of tin and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Roll the remaining dough into a rectangle, cut into ten 25cm-long, 2cm-wide strips, place on an oven tray and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Blind-bake base until starting to turn golden (20 minutes).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, beat ricotta and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add drained sultanas, cream, Marsala, egg, lemon rind, candied orange peel and vanilla, stir to combine and spoon into tart shell. Arrange dough strips in a lattice pattern on top, brush with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked (30-40 minutes). Set aside on a wire rack to cool, dust with icing sugar, top with extra candied orange peel and serve.

Note Brigitte Hafner uses Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean paste. It's available from Simon Johnson and The Essential Ingredient; if it's unavailable, omit the vanilla and add more lemon rind to taste. Snow sugar is great for dusting cakes because it's less likely to melt than ordinary icing sugar. It's available from pastry and hospitality supply shops. 


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

Sweet Marsala.

Featured in

Jul 2013

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