Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Apple slice, Gluten free pastry, Strawberry and haloumi salad

Once upon a time there was a princess.  Nope.  Not the little girl above.  That is her cousin.  The princess in question was totally spoiled with visits to farmers markets where she tasted much chocolate and apple followed by home made apple slice at home.  She made loom bands and went to parties and ate lots of cake, but always left room to taste a lolly from the party bag on the way home.

Yes that is my little Sylvia and my busy weekend!  As Vegan MoFo draws near, I am trying to keep my blog backlog under control.  Hence this action-packed and recipe-packed post!

Saturday morning we went along to Coburg Farmers Market.  It was very good and I ended up with my arms heavy with purchases.  Some purchases never got home.  Some of the apple juice just leaked out of my bag, a bagel went astray and the above chocolate cake was shared by Sylvia and me.  We had planned to go out for lunch but couldn't find the information we needed about the cafe (do you serve food?).  Instead, at home I stuffed bagels with haloumi and salad for lunch.  Then I baked apple slice.

I saw this apple slice recipe recently at The Life of Clare.  Not only was it a simple matter of a mere 5 ingredients but it came with a wonderful story.  Clare's grandmother sent it to the newspaper years ago and readers are still baking it.  I love all the quirky and innovative recipes I see online these days but there is something so lovely about a tried and trusted recipe.  It reminds me of how my mum and grandmothers baked.

As I expected, my mum said she had a similar cake recipe.  I gave her the recipe over the phone and she had baked it before the day was out.  She added cinnamon and a splash of milk.  I resisted any temptation to tinker with the recipe.  I would love to try it with coconut sugar.  You could just add other spices or dried fruit. 

I really loved this slice as it was.  It is almost a cake. On the day of baking it was so light and fluffy with soft apple that it felt like a cake.  The next couple of days it was a bit firmer and felt more like a slice.  It was so easy I am sure I will make it again, especially now that apples are starting to get past their best for eating fresh as winter draws to a close.

We spent some time in the afternoon making loom bands, ukelele practice, wrapping presents and grocery shopping.

Sylvia went to a school friend's party in the evening.  I suggested making some carrot and cucumber tulips.  Sylvia thought it a great idea.  They are quick and simple to make.  By the time we arrived pizza was being served.  I think more people admired the vegie flowers than ate them, but they did make a pretty decoration.

We left Sylvia at the party on a torchlit treasure hunt by the creek.  I returned home to make sausage rolls for my niece's party the next day.  It seemed a good idea to make some gluten free sausage rolls for the gf members of the family.  I had scribbled down a gf pastry recipe years ago and suddenly found myself with all the ingredients.  It was fate.  I liked the pastry.  It was so much nicer than the soft gf mashed potato pastry I made a few years back.  I am just sorry I never recorded the source.

It was easier to just make all the sausage roll filling gluten free.  I found gluten free oats in the supermarket but forgot about the breadcrumbs.  On the way to pick up Sylvia from the party I bought some gluten free breadcrumbs.  I doubled the filling so I could make some extra sausage rolls for the freezer.

The gluten free sausage rolls are to the left in the above photo.  They were a bit dry and crumbly but generally held together ok.  The other half of the sausage rolls were made with some vegan puff pastry.  I bought a bumper packet and need to think about ideas to use it up now.  The sausage rolls are a tad pale in the above photo because I took it after baking them at home but I forgot to take a photo of them once heated up at my sister's place.

Here is the baking stack in the kitchen the next morning.  We went to my parents' house for lunch and helped out with decorating little cakes and making popcorn.  My mum makes it in a saucepan with a glass lid which was heaps of fun for Sylvia.  She made some with salt and some with sugar, using a bit of pink food colouring in the butter for the sweet popcorn.  No photos.  My hands were too greasy from tossing popcorn with butter to pick up the camera.  My mum also made kale chips.  Quite an impressive snack for a 2 year old's party.

My sister Fran loves planning an event and always has such great party ideas.  She hired the best party entertainment.  They did face painting, craft, games, balloons.  The kids loved it.  The birthday girl was right in among it at the tender age of 2.  I loved the strawberry and caramel milkshakes in little bottles.  Sylvia loved them and the frog in a pond and the musk sticks.  I also loved the caramel chocolate tarts and pastitsi.

My sister in law Erica baked the cutest ice cream cupcakes.  Sylvia told me in confusion that they didn't take like ice cream.  She also thought she had an S-shaped cookies in her party bag because everyone had their initial-shaped cookie.  I didn't have the heart to tell her it was S for Stella.  Oh the world revolves around a 5 year old!

There was a huge outdoor table which was great place for kids to colour in bandanas and eat the birthday cake.  Sadly the good weather didn't hold up for the party.  It was grey and overcast with occasional showers (as the weather forecasters like to say)!

I had a paranoid moment eating one of my sausage rolls and thinking maybe I had mistakenly eaten a meat one.  I wasn't the only one.  My brother and his wife were arguing over whether they were really meat or not.  These are amazing sausage rolls.  I was comforted to hear that mine were the only sausage rolls at the party.

By the time I drove home I was exhausted.   Fortunately I had planned my dinner before I left home.  It was just a matter of throwing together the remnants from the vegie tulips, some spinach and strawberries that needed using and frying the rest of the haloumi I opened for lunch the previous day.  I made a simple vinaigrette.  A fresh and healthy salad was just what I needed.

I am sending the salad to Eat Your Greens at Allotment to Kitchen, Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen, and No Waste Food Challenge at I'd Much Rather Bake Than... , the challenge coordinated by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.  I am sending the apple slice to Tea Time Treats for the picnic edition at Lavender and Lovage.  I am sending the gf pastry to Alphabakes at Caroline Bakes because P is for potato flour.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
 One year ago: WHB Creamy strawberry icy poles, a party and surprise
Two years ago: RRC Roasted potato salad with black olives and greens
Three years ago: Chickpea crackers and sweet potato stew
Four years ago: Taste of Melbourne: on a sugar high
Five years ago: Accidental Plastic Tart
Six years ago: Soup for the Leguminous Evangelists
Seven years ago: Blues Clues Birthday Cake

Apple Slice
From The Life of Clare

2 cups self raising flour*
1 cup sugar
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced (1cm)
125g butter or margarine*
1 egg

Toss apples with self raising flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a small bowl in the microwave.  Stir in egg.  Pour butter and egg into the apple mixture and mix until combined.  Spoon into a greased and lined slice tin*.  Bake at 180 C* for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Keeps for about 3 days.

*NOTES: For Americans: instead of self raising flour, used 2 cups all purpose flour (or cake flour if you prefer) and 4 tsp baking powder, 125g butter converts to slightly under a stick or 4 ounces of butter, bake at 350 F.  A slice tin is 18 x 28cm or approximately 8 x 11 inches.

Gluten free shortcrust pastry (and sausage rolls)

100g each quinoa flour, corn flour and potato flour
125g butter or margarine
pinch salt
1 egg
2-3 tbsp  water

Mix flours, butter and salt in food processor until combined to make breadcrumbs.  Add egg and then water one tablespoon at a time until you have a soft dough.  Mine did not clump into a ball like gluten pastry does but I was able to roll a small handful into a ball.  Tip dough onto floured surface (use corn flour or potato flour) and knead briefly until you have a smooth ball.  (Perhaps a small crack or two.) 

To make sausage rolls: Use a rolling pin to roll out pastry on a floured surface to make an approximation of a rectangular shape, about 0.5 cm thick.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Use the filling from this sausage rolls recipe but use GF oats and GF breadcrumbs (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup oats for the GF filling).  Proceed as in recipe but bake for 35 minutes at 180 C.  The pastry only made enough to wrap about

Strawberry, haloumi and greens salad
serves 1 as a meal

50g haloumi, chopped into squares
60g baby spinach and rocket mix
4-5 strawberries, quartered
1-2 tbsp chopped cucumber
1-2 tbsp chopped carrot

Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp strawberry vinegar
1/8 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp maple syrup

Fry haloumi until golden brown on both sides.  Shake dressing ingredients together in a jar. Toss dressing and haloumi with remaining ingredients.

On the stereo:
Boy child: Scott Walker

36 comments:

  1. Wow a fun packed post - looks like you have been really busy. The apple slice looks lovely I think I shall be making that this week with my Little Man, he loves baking. Thank you for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorna - enjoy the apple slice - it is a great one for kids to help with - so simple to make and I think it appeals to their simple tastes - sylvia loved it

      Delete
  2. That salad sounds delicious. I'm such a massive strawberry fan that normally I don't want anything spoiling them but I think I'd really enjoy this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura - sadly strawberries aren't as great right now as in the middle of summer so this is a great way to pep them up a bit without losing the strawberry flavour

      Delete
    2. For us bakers in America, how do you translate the amount of butter and the temperature for baking? thanks, Robin

      Delete
    3. Hi robin - I have made some notes underneath the recipe - hope that helps - there are lots of conversion sites that convert measurements and temperatures if you want more accurate information.

      Delete
  3. They all look delicious and it looks like you had a really fun day! Thanks for entering Alphabakes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The pastry for your GF sausage rolls looks really good - I'll have to try it. You certainly have been busy and your tulips are gorgeous xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlie - the pastry is still not perfect but I think it would work better in a pie where you didn't have to roll it up like sausage rolls

      Delete
  5. Lots of fun and great food here :) I especially like how you said the apple slice over "the next couple of days"-- not very likely in my house as I would eat it all on day one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - it was very tempting to just eat it all - I actually had to put it in a tub and move it out of sight to keep it from all going the first day

      Delete
  6. You have been busy!!!!! I love the look of your apple slice - always a comforting favourite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cakelaw - it was excellent - different from the one my mum made when I was a kid with a layer on apples in the middle but much easier

      Delete
  7. Wow those sausage rolls sound like a real winner! And gluten free too. I must save it for when I am cooking for someone who is gluten intolerant :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine - it is no exaggeration to say this is the best sausage roll recipe ever! my family always love it highly recommend you make it for vegetarians (or even vegans as it easily adapts) as well as gf people

      Delete
  8. Looks like a fun weekend! Thanks for sharing all the recipes--we are just starting to go into apple season up here, so I'll have to keep that slice recipe in mind to break out in a month or so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catherine - I bought some apples today and wondered if I should just make the slice again as we are just going out of apple season and apples are becoming a disappointment :-( Roll on summer fruit

      Delete
  9. Seriously Johanna, I don't know where you get your energy. My daughter and the kids were here for almost a month and I'm still recuperating, lol...(hence the reason I won't be blogging until Sunday:) I'm sure it's all the wonderful food you make that keeps you energized! Love the sound and simplicity of the Apple Slice. I may just try it with Peaches because I couldn't say no to way to many, lol...Thanks so much for sharing, Johanna...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Louise - I didn't have much energy left after the weekend - so I am sure after a whole month of it you must be exhausted - love the sound of the slice with peaches - might have to try that in summer - somehow with peaches I can imagine some sugar sprinkled over the top would go nicely too

      Delete
    2. The peaches were exceptional this year Johanna but yes, a sprinkling of sugar sounds just right:) Hoping your Peach Season is luscious!

      Delete
  10. I had to go and get myself a cup of chocolate tea before I sat down and read this post :) I saw some Apple slices at the farmers market recently and they really looked good that i wanted a slice, but never did get one, then I see your recipe and it is making my mouth water. I went over to see Clares original recipe and your right the story attached is really lovely. I am surely going to make these, would do so today, but have no apples :( I also want one of those sausage rolls, I am bookmarking your GF pasty as it does look simple to make at home, just need to pick those flours which I do not have at home yet, but will purchase soon. I've been to a restaurant once where they assured me that the Russian Strogonoff using minced meat was indeed veggie, it was but I was so concerned because it really tasted ',meaty' I think that I even offended the place by asking for reassurances (its wasn't a veggie eatery but did have this one veg dish on the menu), but not deliberately. I was just concerned, so your experience reminded me of this instance, but I am pleased to note that yours were the only 'sausage rolls' there. Top marks. Thank you for sharing the salad with #EatYourGreens too, I love the sound of it, but sadly D does not like halloumi :( I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shaheen - ooh chocolate tea sounds just what that apple slice needs to accompany it. Highly recommend the sausage rolls - they are amazing (I still am amazed how good they are every time I make them after making them so often). Like you I get a bit suspicious of fake meat - one reason I don't like it much - though had a fake meat burger yesterday that I quite liked. I was thinking about a vegan option to the haloumi and I think something like well seasoned tofu or chickpeas (like the tofu janet just posted at http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/blueberry-tamari-greens-bowl-salad-samurai-giveaway/ - I tried the salad dressing with a plain vegie salad and it lacked the bite it needed but went well with the salty haloumi

      Delete
  11. Glad to see you are putting pastry to good use! I love the sound and look of the apple slice too - such a simple ingredient list and something that starts cake-like and turns slice-like holds great appeal.

    I am impressed with your busy weekend, and imagine Sylvia had a wonderful time. I also love your tulip flowers - I've never seen anything similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kari - so much more pastry to use and I only need puff pastry every once in a while!!!!! I think you would enjoy the apple slice and I would be interesting to see if it could be veganised easily - I suspect it could as there is only one egg. I loved making carrot flowers for sylvia when younger so tulips was just a small step up from that

      Delete
  12. What a lucky little girl Sylvia is! Also, your apple slice looks divine.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hehe I live off Coburg actually and wish the Farmers Market is named after Coburg! Ahhh I love apple slices, and love caramelized, spiced or warm apple in any baked goods! These carrot & cucumber tulips look amaaaaazing and that sausage rolls….I want to make some right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rika - there seem a lot of Coburgs around the world - caramelised apple is so lovely and highly recommend the sausage rolls

      Delete
  14. I ADORE any bakes that have apples in them Johanna and your apple slice would be perfect for a picnic! Karen

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a great post--you were busy! ;-) That salad looks amazing--I love the combination of ingredients and halloumi is always a winner. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week--it's always nice to have you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a lovely and simple recipe! Your vegan tulips are adorable too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a fantastic post! Looks like you all have so much fun where you live and how lucky Sylvia is to have cousins nearby to play with. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous recipe with the No Waste Food Challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The time you spend with your little one sounds delightful =D
    "We spent some time in the afternoon making loom bands, ukelele practice, wrapping presents and grocery shopping."
    I would love to do this with you guys - it sounds so fun! The loom bands are so pretty.
    And this cake sounds delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. What are the dimensions of a slice tin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Don - have added measurements to the notes of the recipe - hope this helps.

      Delete

Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)