Rhubarb & Apple Crumble

Saturday, 20 July 2013



If there's one thing that I've come to realise from writing this blog, it's that seasonal is ALWAYS best. No exceptions. Strolling the farmer's markets with a coffee cup in hand (how Sydney + pretentious is that) I can't help but pick the produce that is a) in abundance and b) more affordable as a result! For me, this season is all about the heirloom vegetables; carrots, jerusalem artichokes and plump beurre boscs... 

Can you hear angels sounding their trumpets?! Baha. Baked rhubarb and apple crowned in oaty crumbley goodness, gosh

In case you haven't noticed, I've got a bit of a thing for rhubarb (see here). It's tartness which, when stewed down is so heavenly and fits wintery desserts like a glove. Here is dear Maggie Beer's rhubarb & apple crumble (find the original link here); a celebration of Winter's finest. 

Ingredientsss

[crumble]
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 tspn ground ginger
60g unsalted butter, chopped


[fruit mixture]
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1/4 cup verjuice (or orange juice for a slightly sweeter version)
50g unsalted butter (melted), 20g extra (chopped) -> let's be honest, it just wouldn't be Maggie without the addition of verjuice!!!
6 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
20 sticks of rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
cream or ice cream, to serve (duh)

Method to Madness
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. For crumble, combine flour, sugar, oats and spices in a large bowl. Rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside
3. Combine sugar, verjuice/orange juice and melted butter in a bowl. At this point I like to add the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean :) 
4. Cut the apple into thin slices and add to the verjuice mixture, toss to combine. Transfer to a baking dish, spreading evenly. Scatter the rhubarb on top
5. Bake apple/rhubarb for 20 mins
6. Spread crumble mix over the top and dot with extra chopped butter. Bake for an extra 30-35 mins or until the fruit mixture bubbles around the edges and the crumble is golden brown
7. Dish that baby up with a nice quinelle of double cream or even better, vanilla bean ice cream. Boo. Yah.

This portion size shows a LOT of restraint, let me tell you. Bon apettit!

As always, thanks for reading!
xGourmand

4Fourteen (Finally)

Saturday, 13 July 2013



Can I just say that it took me 1 year to get to this place (WHAT is going on)! 4Fourteen has been on my to-eat list for aages so I'm happy to be able to report back. I must admit the hoards of the dining public are a little bit daunting, so thank goodness you can book a table like a civilized person. Chef Colin Fassnidge is melting hearts with every scowl and grumbled critique #MKR and satisfying our winter appetites. With Four in Hand he has forged a solid reputation for simple, hearty dishes cooked with great respect for the product. Along with the likes of Fergus Henderson, he's a nose-to-tail kind of guy.

The restaurant interior: casual with a splash of industrial. I think I've inadvertently achieved a vignette effect here (go me haha)

The restaurant fits very snugly into Sydney's dining scene and the menu is very much tailored towards the cooler months. 4Fourteen is the kind of place you can go to any time of day, this is only one part of the endless appeal to Sydneysiders. Be warned your vegetarian friends will be none too pleased to be chomping down on a bowl of mashed potato and some cabbage leaves (eep)...unleash the carnivore!


Platter-tastic: Suckling Pig Sunday Lunch.  Suckling pig leg, colcannon (creamy potatoey goodness), roasted carrots, pickled cabbage, gravy and a dollop of apple crème. That pork was divine + super tender - the end result of a perfect slow roast. It was slightly luke warm however, would have liked it heated up just a tad. If this doesn't spell out winter I'm not sure what does!

When we were seated we were greeted with the sight of the whole suckling pig (gorgeous!) resting on the counter. Talk about good marketing. Completely unmissable. As the afternoon wore on, we would gradually see the suckling pig being carved up and carted to the open kitchen as the orders flowed in. That would have made a good time lapse shot.


Blurry pork goodness, missing it's hindquarters i.e. on my plate

Teetering on the edge: the roasted lamb shoulder with a fine herb crust. This dish just begs you to grab a fork and dig in. The lamb was cooked just right. I couldn't help but make comparisons to the Chiswick lamb (which has the edge over this one) 

A salad of lentils, puffed wheat and fresh herbs. Dee-licious!

& finally some notes on...DOLCE


Harking back to the days when you'd buy Golden Gaytime from the corner shop for $1.50 (a huge sum of money back in the day!)...Peanut butter popsicle with honeycomb. A banana laced ice cream and tiny shards of yummy honeycomb


White chocolate sandwich with dulce de leche. I must say that Sydney has developed a bit of an excessively sweet tooth. This dessert was the very definition of sweetness (yikes). The dulce de leche thing is a bit of a rip off from Reuben Hills, an unecessary component to the dish I think. But it is so pretty!

I was a little bit saddened to see a notable omission from the dessert menu: apple doughnuts!! I had heard so much about these and was pretty keen to try (waah), but I'll get over it. All in all, 4Fourteen = a great dining experience. No wonder there is always such a battle to get a table here. No fuss, good great Brit food in the heart of hipster Sydney - a winning formula if there ever was one.

Thanks for reading!
XGourmand
4Fourteen on Urbanspoon
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