Summer Fruit Galette

It’s the end of summer (already Autumn if you talk to some) but the summer fruit seems to still be coming thick and fast. We had some great peaches the other day so I whipped out this really quick and easy galette instead of a pie for a casual dinner with friends.  We were in a rush so I used bought pastry and it was perfectly fine. If you have time, homemade sweet short party would be next level.



Summer fruit galette

6(ish) peaches, ripe but not too ripe
1 punnet fresh blueberries (or 1 cup frozen)
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon sugar (optional – leave out if you think your fruit is ripe and sweet enough)
1 packet sweet short pastry, thawed

Roll pastry out on a piece of baking paper, to a rough rectangle the size of an A4 piece of paper.   Toss the peaches, corn flour and sugar (if using) in a bowl, then spread onto the rolled pastry, leaving a gap a few centimetres around the outside. Fold the edges up over the fruit, making a rough kind of pie crust effect. Gently dot the blueberries over the top of the pie, and in between any gaps in the peaches.

Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, depending how thick the fruit layer is. The peaches should be soft to the tip of a sharp knife and the pastry golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes to let the juices thicken, then dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots

According to my husband, I’m the only person who, when there’s a spare half bottle of cream in the fridge, says “Oh a half bottle of cream? I need to make salted caramel sauce”.  Except tonight, I had a craving for chocolate as well, and I’d had this recipe for Chocolate Pots on my to do list for ages so I combined the two and, well, here you go.

This dessert has only 4 ingredients (none of them healthy) but noone said this was a health  blog.  It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make in the morning and then have ready for dinner.  If you can avoid eating them for that long…

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The key to the salted caramel not being too sweet is to take the caramel as far as you dare.   It will start to smoke and you’ll think “oh god it’s going to burn” and then it will start to foam a little and someone will say “what are you burning in there” and then just when you think it’s all over and you’ll spend the next half hour cleaning burnt sugar off the pots, drop in your butter and cream and it will be amazing.image

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots (serves 4)

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
45g salted butter
60ml cream

Melt sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat until it starts to melt and then darken.  Swirl the pan (don’t stir it) to ensure it caramelises evenly.  The pan will start to smoke, when the caramel starts to foam and darkens to a dark amber colour, drop in the butter and then stir in the cream, taking care it doesn’t spit and foam on you.  I find I can turn off the heat at this point and the residual heat is enough to melt any hardened caramel into the sauce, but if you still have hard lumps, leave it on the heat and stir until it’s smooth. Taste the sauce, add a pinch more flaky sea salt if you think it’s required (I like my salted caramel on the saltier side). Leave to cool a little before you assemble the pots.  Any residual sauce can be kept in the fridge and served over icecream.  Or just eaten with a spoon.

Chocolate Pots
125ml cream
100g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 62% which was nice and dark and not too sweet)
20g butter

Melt cream, chocolate and butter over a low heat and stir gently until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Let cool.

To assemble:
Spoon two tablespoons of caramel sauce into the bottom of 4 125ml ramekins. Chill until set.  Gently divide the chocolate between the ramekins.  They will be about 3/ 4 full.  Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top, cover with gladwrap and refrigerate until set. Remove from fridge about 1/2 hour before serving.

These turned out super rich and decadent – the recipe would definitely work as 6 smaller desserts, especially if serving after a bigger meal.

Good times – Depot and Sugar Pie

We had one of the most incredible and memorable dining experiences on Saturday night. A last minute decision to head out for dinner on a “date night” led to a night reminiscent of hazy Saturday nights in London; bumping into friends, standing on the street drinking wine out of tumblers and some of the best and most exciting food I have had in a long while.  It’s taken me a couple of days to gather my thoughts and settle my excitement, when there is so much to love (from the New York style subway tiles and distressed wood floors, to the wine on tap and of course the food) there is a lot to untangle.

Depot in Auckland’s Federal St is the new abode of Wellington food scene’s constant, Al Brown. I haven’t eaten at any of Al Browns other restaurants yet, although I have long been a fan of his approach to food and hospitality, with emphasis on fresh, responsible and local. Reading his website this morning I am drawn to this quote that sums up completely our evening: “at the end of the day, sharing food, trading stories and having a laugh with good people is what it’s all about.”.

Depot does not take bookings, so we rocked up to put our names on the list and after a sneaky cocktail next door at Red Hummingbird (Luke Dallow’s new joint), we settled in outside with a carafe of the pinot on tap and a couple of tumblers to fantasise about what was to come.  And we were not disappointed.  As soon as we were seated at our table, Al Brown himself came along and suggested some starters – oysters, tortillas with baba ganoush and one of the highlights of the night – turbot sliders.  Two of us shared 3 each of the Tio Point and Orongo Bay oysters, accompanied by a Chardonnay vinegar and shallots.  The oysters were exactly as described, Orongo Bay were sweet and creamy and the Tio Point a bit more salty with a mineraly finish.  The other two non oyster eaters finished up the tortillas.  And then the sliders.  Sliders are a phenomenon that don’t appear nearly enough on Kiwi menus, and these were a great example, a soft bun, crispy piece of turbot with a tangy mayonnaise.  There may have been more to them but we didn’t wait long enough to find out before they were scoffed.

Second round of dinner, as suggested by the gorgeous waitress (I wish I had got her name because her recommendations were spot on) : falafels – crunchy, with whole chickpeas and harissa and a tangy goats curd; snapper tacos – like the sliders, scoffed too fast to notice what was in them, but so good I think they will be a lunchtime favourite any day I can sneak out of the office; roasted pork hock with apple and horseradish and amazing pressed crispy pieces of crackling (what is it about crackling…?); and the ultimate taste sensation – smoked beef brisket with rice and red beans.  The smoky flavour of this piece of beef was intense – I think we spotted pieces of chorizo which would have something to do with it.

Desert was gingerbread with tamarillo, and Sugar Pie, which, as Al Brown told us during one of his multiple visits to our table during the night, is from a recipe he was given by another chef in French Canada.  This pie was amazing.  Like a sweet custard, apparently slow cooked in the shell to make a buttery caramelly sensation.  I tried to recreate this pie the following day, but my pie tin leaked and the custart didn’t set – so stay posted later this week for an update on this when I try again.

I can’t really say more about the food – it was outstanding, simple but tasted amazing and the enthusiasm for the food and the stories behind it were infectious.  There’s no pretence here – it was a serve and share type meal, with a really casual feel – the place was chocka – we had to wait for the Prime Minister to vacate his table before we could sit – which also helped with the bustling atmosphere.  I would love to go back and spend some more time chatting with Al Brown about his food while he is still hanging about in Auckland, but one would imagine that the place will be a bit busy for that over the coming weeks.  I just hope it’s not so busy that I can’t get another fix of those tacos!!

Depot Eatery
86 Federal Street,
Auckland 1010, NZ
09 363 7048

PS – apologies for lack of photos.  I did try and take some on my phone, but we were so into the food, a couple of the courses we had eaten before I remembered to capture.