Thursday

This is the best apple pie you'll ever taste







There's nothing like a bit of good, old-fashioned home cooking, especially if you don't have to make it yourself! You'll find apple pie that rivals the best homemade effort and much more at David and Ros Sutton's coffee shop - The Shed Cafe.

Filled with antique tables complimented by touches of silver, the cafe is a perfect refreshment stop on entry to or exit from Stanthorpe.

"We offer fresh, seasonal fruit, sourced locally on the Granite Belt where ever possible, " says Ros Sutton. "And, where we can, we use organic. Of course, apples feature prominently on our menu - homemade apple pie, pancakes, chutney, butter, cider and juice, to name just a few."

What modest Ros won't tell you unless pressed, it that she is an award winning CWA cook. One taste of her apple pie will quickly indicate this is a cut above the norm - a well-textured pastry with just the right combination of crunch and soft buttery smoothness. Combined with an ample scoop of Spiced Cider ice cream (made by Lick to Caroline Jones' recipe) and you're in foodie heaven.

Expect to find a changing menu that includes buttermilk apple pancakes, apple sorbet using Jonathon apple  juice, a ploughman's lunch, terrine and salad and vegetarian options.

Sate your thirst with a glass of Sutton's own Apple Cider or wines from the local Back Pocket winery.

If you can walk out without a bottle of their varietal apple juice - think Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jonathon and more- you're a strong character. The same goes for the apple butter and apple syrup.





Sutton's Juice Factory, Cidery and Shed Cafe is open from 10am to 5pm seven days a week. Find it at Thumlimbah, just north of Stanthorpe.

The cafe is one of 20 stops on the Granite Belt Nude Food Trail that focuses on food as nature intended - in region and in season.

And - the best news for coffee lovers - the coffee is Merlo! If you are lucky, you might spot busy David Sutton behind the coffee machine!

Find more on the nude food trail at www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled as a guest of Tourism Queensland.


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Wednesday

How to make a good old fashioned rice pud with a twist




There's nothing like a bit of comfort food when the weather is cold. My grandmother used to make rice pudding and the sight of one coming out of the oven takes me straight back to my childhood.

I was delighted to discover this recipe and enjoy the pud at The Montague in London.  The recipe is from the Red Carnation Hotel group's founder and president Beatrice Tollman,who knows food and likes to pass on her recipes.  I have  her book, A Life in Food, which is a collection of her all-time favourite recipes.





The Montague Hotel is also a little like a rice pudding.  It's full of old world charm and a warm welcome that makes you feel at home.  The dining room is elegant but not pretentious and the staff do their very best to make guests comfortable.  Full of character is the best description of the rooms which answer every need to a high level.



Guest's lounge, The Montague

There's a modern twist to the recipe which brings an old fashioned fave right up to date.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Serve it warm in winter or cold in summer.




Bea's Rice Pudding


75g jasmine rice
100g sugar
1 vanilla pod
4 strips lemon peek
1/2 litre whole milk
250ml double cream
500ml double cream, whipped

Salty caramel sauce
250g sugar
50g butter
250ml double cream
1 tsp sea salt

Caramelised nuts
250g nuts (pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts)
125g sugar


Method:

Pudding
Put all the ingredients except the whipped cream into a saucepan and cook over a moderate heat, stirring often to prevent burning. It takes about 30 minutes for the rice to be tender with most of the liquid absorbed and thickened to a pouring consistency.  Pour into a flat dish and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming, then let it cool.  When it has cooled, fold in the whipped cream.

For the caramel sauce
Put the sugar into a saucepan, add enough water so it resembles wet sand, and boil until a light caramel colour is reached.  Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the butter and cream, then return to the heat.  Bring back to the boil and add sea salt.

Caramelised nuts
Toast the nuts in the oven.  Put the sugar in a wide saucepan, add enough water so it resembles wet sand and cook until the sugar is on the verge of caramelising.  Turn off the heat and add the nuts, stirring vigorously.  The nuts will crystallise, turning white and coated in sugar.  Turn the heat back on and stir continuously to re-caramelise.  The nuts should be individually coated in crusted caramel sugar.


Disclaimer:
Ed+bK stayed in London as the guest of Red Carnation Hotels and Creative Holidays, a company that specialises in creating holidays specially designed for individual travellers with high attention to details, exclusive offers and insider tips so you are treated at a VIT (Very Important Traveller).