(Recipe from “A Year on the Farm” by Sally Wise, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers)
This delightful concoction is an Indian style chilli oil pickle. You will notice that the finished product has some oil floating on top. Please do not be tempted to remove it, as it is an essential ingredient for the preserving.
Once the jar is emptied of pickle, this residual oil can be used to flavour dressings, or to sauté meats, chicken, fish or vegetables.
My personal favourite is to dip little pieces of fresh baked crusty bread into the flavoursome oil, a simple feast but absolutely delicious.
1½ cups white or cider vinegar
20 cloves garlic
2.5cm piece of green ginger
250g long red or green chillies, stalk end removed and each cut into 3 pieces
2kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
1½ tablespoons of mustard seeds
1 ½ cups oil such as mild flavoured olive, peanut or sunflower
One and a half tablespoons of turmeric
4 tablespoons cumin powder
1¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Peel the garlic and ginger, then place in a food processor with the chillies.
Blend well on high speed until well pureed.
Place in a large saucepan or jam pan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for approximately two hours or until desired consistency is reached.
Pour into warm sterilized jars and seal immediately.
(Any) Herb Jelly
(Recipe from “A Year in a Botlte” and “Complete Preserves” by Sally Wise, ABC Books)
1kg cooking apples (such as Granny Smith)
5½ cups water
325ml white vinegar
1 cup finely chopped mint or other herb
Cut the apples (no need to core or peel) into 1cm pieces and place in a large saucepan with the water and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the apples are soft. Strain through a fine sieve.
For every 600ml of the resulting liquid, add 500g sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, and then boil briskly until setting point is reached (about 30 minutes).
Remove from heat and lift off any scum form the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir in the chopped mint and then pour into small warm sterilized jars and seal immediately with a screw top lid.
Every 15 to 30 minutes, turn the jar upside down so that the mint is evenly distributed as the jelly sets.
1kg chopped fresh pineapple flesh (or equal weight in tinned)
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
250g chopped red capsicum
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh green ginger root
Juice of one lime
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric¼ cup vinegar (extra)
3 teaspoons cornflour
Place all ingredients (except the extra vinegar and cornflour) in a large pot.
Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Mix together the extra vinegar and cornflour and stir some or all into the simmering relish if needed. Cook for a further three minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour into sterilised bottles and seal immediately.
3kg plums (any sort)
6 cups cider vinegar
500g onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon grated green ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mustard powder
Juice 1 lemon
1 tablespoon maize cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoon extra vinegar, optional
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan or jam pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling. Continue to boil 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the mixture is thick, stirring often.
Press through a colander. Bring the sauce thus produced back to the boil, especially if thickening is needed. Stir in until desired consistency is reached, then pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal immediately.
Preserved Olives – the one I have used often
500g cooking salt
5 litres water
Place the olives and salt in a food safe container Mix well and then cover with cool water. Mix well until the salt is dissolved.
Place lid on the container and leave for 1 to 6 months until ready.
Note: – make sure the olives are entirely covered with the salt solution. If they tend to float, crumple a piece of baking paper and press into the jar, making sure there are no air bubbles.
Preserved Olives recipe (Pat Carnevale)
70g marine salt
¼ stick cinnamon
2 pieces lemon peel
2 bay leaves
Place all in a food-safe container. Cover with water, cover container.
Turn every day. Leave 3 months. Strain off and then repeat the process as above.
Leave three months in the brine before using.
———————————————————————————————————————————CAKES and SLICES
Orange Butter Bars
1½ cups sugar
Grated rind 3 oranges
3 cups self raising flour
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 cup milk
½ cup orange juice
125g butter, melted
3 cups icing sugar
Grated rind 1 large orange
2 teaspoons melted butter
Juice 1 orange (approximately)
To Make the Cake
Heat oven to 160 degrees C (fan forced). Grease a baking tin 25cm x 35cm.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and orange rind together until light and fluffy.
Add the flour, custard powder, milk and orange juice (do NOT stir until all of these are in the bowl) and then whisk together until the batter is smooth.
Pour into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
To make the icing
Sift the icing sugar and add softened butter.
GRADUALLY add the orange juice until a spreadable consistency is reached. Spread over cake.
If wishing to have a feather and fan effect on the icing, hold back ½ cup of the orange icing. Mix into this 1 tablespoon cocoa and enough boiling water to make the same consistency as the batch of orange icing.
Spread orange icing over cake and then, using a piping bag with small nozzle, pipe parallel lines at 1cm intervals across the cake then drag a skewer through to give the desired effect).
Anne’s Gin Sponge
Anne rang in this recipe, which has been handed down through three generations in her family.
¼ lb (125g) butter
1 cup sugar
2 or 3 eggs, (depending on size), well beaten
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ginger powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup milk
Grease a lamington tin 9” x 11” and 1” deep. (18 x 28cm and 2.5cm deep).
Beat the butter and sugar together until light in colour.
Mix in the eggs and then fold in the combined and sifted dry ingredients alternatively with the milk.
(The mixture may well look curdled but it will cook fine).
Bake for approximately 25 minutes in a moderate oven.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When cold, split in half and fill with whipped cream. If liked, spread with ginger icing.
Pumpkin Fruit Cake
Serves 8 to 10
1 cup sugar
Half a teaspoon natural lemon essence or 2 to 3 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
375g to 500g mixed dried fruit
Heat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20 to 23cm deep round cake tin and line base with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and lemon essence (or rind) together, then whisk in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin, then the combined flours and mix with a metal spoon until the cake batter is smooth. Fold in the dried fruit. Spoon batter into tin, making sure that there are no air pockets.
Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin, and afterwards store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. If possible, leave the cake a few days before eating.
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
125g grated tasty cheese
125g bacon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cream (or creamed corn)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1½ tablespoons chopped parsley
1 small onion, grated (optional)
Turn the oven to 200 degrees C. Grease 24 scoop patty tins (or coat lightly with cooking spray)
Leave pastry sheets on bench to thaw. Cut circles from the pastry sheets and press into patty pans. With careful cutting you should get 12 from each sheet.
Mix all the other ingredients together. Place two teaspoonfuls of mixture into each pastry case and bake for 12 to 15 minutes till well puffed and golden.
Pumpkin Cheese Pie
This will make 24 smaller tarts or 12 larger – or the filling mixture can be poured into a 23cm round deep pie dish that has been lined with pastry.
You can fold in a handful of baby spinach leaves and half a cup of diced feta – do this last, just before pouring onto the pastry in the pie dish.
½ cup milk
250g grated tasty cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 rounded tablespoons self raising flour
1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (cooled)
1 dessertspoon sweet chilli sauce, optional
Place milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove from heat and mix in cheese. Cool for 5 minutes.
Whisk in eggs, then flour and pumpkin and stir in sweet chilli sauce. If using.
Grease 24 x ¼ cup capacity muffin tins or 12 x ½ cup capacity and line with circles of pastry cut from pastry sheets. Make sure the circles allow for lining right up the sides of each tin.
Three quarters fill each case with pumpkin/chilli mixture.
Bake at 200°C for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 150°C and bake until the filling is set.
Hot Potato Salad
As with the recipe above, this dish is absolutely delicious, but again if you wish to reduce fat levels, use Lite cream, low fat mayonnaise, reduced fat cheese and lean bacon.
It is not something you would eat every day, but is an extremely tasty accompaniment to a meal.
1 kg potatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
125g bacon pieces
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ cup cream
½ cup grated cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Grease a 20cm casserole dish.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Cook (steaming or microwaving for a few minutes in a covered dish is best for this recipe) until just tender.
Turn oven to 180°C. Grease a casserole or lasagna dish.
Place the onion and bacon in a small pot and sauté until the onion is tender.
Mix with the mayonnaise and cream.
Place the cooked potatoes in casserole dish and pour the cream mixture over. Mix carefully.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
At serving time, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
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