Aussie Scones

Scones, those English and Australian afternoon-tea essentials, slathered with strawberry jam and whipped cream, are often the star of our afternoon snacks. From a young age, I would make scones for visitors. As soon as I could, I would slip away and leave them to chat with others in the house. I would head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of scones, bringing them out still hot from the oven to the delight of everyone who happened to be there at that time.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to produce a basket full of lovely hot scones that are feather light.

Sometimes you can eat them just with butter, or without sugar but with cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top before baking. Jam and cream is very traditional. Sultanas can be added to the dough. Pumpkin scones have a reputation in Australia but they are not something that I make more than once a decade. Or omit the sugar and add a little black pepper, and serve them with a large bowl of soup.

These favourites are not, take note, *not* the American scone, pronounced scoh-n, more like our biscuits than this light and fluffy delicacy. Ours is pronounced sco-n, a short “o”, as in pond.

Similar recipes include Oatcakes and Griddle Cakes.

Browse all of our Biscuits (there are not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Cold Pandan Rice Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits

There is nothing like a rice pudding when the weather cools after the long Summer days of intense heat and nights spent under the air conditioning to keep cool enough to sleep.

I judge my acceptance of Autumn (it takes a while) by the first rice pudding that is cooked. And today it is a cold rice pudding that is based loosely on a recipe by Ottolenghi. His desserts almost always include eggs, and we don’t cook with eggs. Therefore I made my favourite Greek Rice Pudding and added his lime syrup. It is a really delightful addition – the syrup contrasts beautifully with the sweet rice pudding . For fruit today, I used persimmon and passion fruit. If you have no such restrictions, you can always check out his original recipe in his book or Guardian column, but I love the simplicity of this version.

Similar recipes include Greek Rice Pudding, Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding, and Rice Kheer.

Browse all of our Desserts (not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Rice dishes, sweet and savoury. This recipe was inspired by one of Ottolenghi’s dishes from Plenty More but is quite different. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon

Elizabeth David’s books should be compulsory reading for every person who enjoys cooking. They are reminders that food can be simple, and yet stunningly delicious. It is so important in today’s world of Ottolenghi-like complex recipes. Of course I love Ottolenghi dishes, but how good it is to be able to put a dish together quickly and simply, rather than spending an hour or so on just one dish.

This is from Liz’s book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine and it is a simple apple dessert. Cooked in a syrup, it is a rare use of sugar on this blog. Our desserts are rare. But at least once per year, we have to cook some apples.

Similar recipes include An Autumn Fruit Salad, Butter Glazed Apples, and Baked Apples with Star Anise.

Browse all of our Apple recipes and all of our Elizabeth David dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Boozy Baked Figs

I keep going on and on about figs, and that is because this year they are really accessible. Locally they are about half the price, or less, than figs purchased closer to the city. And a local orchard, just half an hour away from my place, allows you to pick your own figs for about 1/3 price. And a quick search of Gum Tree has them from $5/kg. How lucky we are!

Tonight I threw some in the oven with some wine, honey, bayleaf and pepper for a gorgeous post dinner eat-on-the-couch hit of sweetness. Roasted almonds added for crunch.

Similar recipes include Baked Figs with Thyme, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, and Figs with Blue Cheese.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, and all of our Roasted Figs. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Roasted Plum Icecream

Years ago we used to have home made icecream all the time in Summer, but since our house became vegetarian, we haven’t been able to get our heads around making icecream without an egg based custard. So our making and eating of icecream diminished considerably. Shop bought icecream never tasted good – too fatty rather than creamy – and we assumed that home made without a custard base would be icy.

Well, it is different. There, I have said it. But it is also good. It is more like creamy-ice rather than ice-cream. But if you make the flavours intense, it is wonderful. Our strawberry icecream seemed to improve with time, rather than be depleted by it, as most icecream instructions will tell you. But I do have to say that it does always taste best on the day that it is made.

It is Plum season here and our friend has a huge tree. We have been roasting them a lot (we adore roasted summer fruits). Today we took a dozen roasted plums and made icecream. Delicious. I will say that this icecream can be a little hard (common with this eggless icecream), so take it out of the freezer in plenty of time, so it can soften enough to serve.

Similar recipes include Strawberry Icecream with Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Icecream recipes and our Desserts. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Baked Figs with Cheese and Honey

As Autumn arrives, even before, my Italian-owned green grocery is full of figs – green, black and in between. What a gorgeous time it is – the last of the summer stone fruits, grapes, plums – one of my 4 favourite seasons of the year!

I must admit to liking my fruit, any fruit, fresh. You will see that we don’t have a lot of fruit recipes in our collection because of that. But once in a while, we will bake, grill or roast, maybe poach, something sweet.

Figs are so wonderful in their natural state, and we have several salads that attest to that. They pair well with cheese, honey, and even almonds and pinenuts! Figs are simply gorgeous this way.

But roasting brings in another dimension. It is a different taste – just as fig jam tastes different to fresh figs. Roasted figs are soft, warm and sticky, and they shine with either savoury flavours, sweet flavours, or a mix of both. They can be mashed onto bruschetta and topped with pesto, without the honey they can be used with pasta, or top a green salad with them. Serve them for breakfast, lunch, dessert, a snack or supper.

Are you looking for Fig recipes? Try Boozy Baked Figs, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Figs with Pecorino.

Browse all of our Fig recipes here, all of our Italian recipes, and all of our Dessert recipes. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Plums, Apples, and/or Pears, Baked in Marsala or Port

One of the popular flavours of last century, around the ’70’s, was to bake fruit in Port or Marsala (a dark, sweet fortified dessert wine, produced in Sicily). The popularity of it has waned, though, to the extent that Marsala is now hard to find in stores and outlets.  However, I still like it, to the extent that once or twice a year, the bottle comes out and some fruit goes into the oven. See this delicious Pear dish.

Inevitably, cinnamon is paired with the Marsala, and it is a good combination, along with lemon and butter.

Today’s dish uses this combination in a bake of pears, apples and/or plums. At this time of year we are using plums on their own – it is Plum Season and my friend has gifted a bucket of home grown juicy fruit. They are baked and served with their juices along with cream, marscapone, or icecream, and can be added to pies and pastries, or included in icecreams, yoghurt deserts, and summery drinks (alcoholic or not).

Similar recipes include Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, Roasted Plum Icecream, Pears Baked with Marsala, Baked Apples with Star Anise, and Rosemary Roasted Pears.

Browse all of our Desserts, and all of our Plum dishes. Our Apple recipes are here and Pear dishes here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Rose Strawberries with Sweet Yoghurt Cream

Strawberries are very very cheap at the moment, and it is the perfect time to make a few strawberry dishes. Here we are marinating them in Kewra Water and Rosewater, and they will be served with a thick, drained and sweetened yoghurt. It is a delicious Summer dessert. Pop the colours further with a few blueberries and a couple of basil leaves or shreds of kaffir lime leaf.

The drained yoghurt is delicious and can be used in so many ways. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge. Read more about making it here. There are ideas on how to use them here.

Similar recipes include Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Green Tea, Mint and Strawberry Cooler, Strawberries with Lemon,  and Strawberries with Mint Raspberry Sauce.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Summery Apricot Sweet Salad with Orange and Thyme

I am not a great fan of cooking summer fruits – its quite rare for us to do so. I love the fresh summery taste of our stone fruits and most generally they are served as-is – to eat as the mood takes us, or perhaps as a post-meal grazing plate with some great cheeses.

How good it is to come home from the green grocers with my trusty cane basket full of cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, peacharines. There is nothing better! Toss in some bunches of fresh herbs tucked into the corners of the basket. Mostly I grow herbs at home, but there are always some that have flowered or are yet to be large enough to be picked.

Today, I am sticking to the no-cook rule-of-thumb, but making a sort-of fruit salad, using just apricots. Use ripe, juicy apricots for this one.

I do have an cooked Apricot recipe if you are interested – Baked Apricots with Orange and Honey. Or try this great, tangy, Indian, Apricot Chutney recipe.

You can browse all of our Apricot recipes are here. You might also like to browse our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Strawberries with Lemon

Strawberries! It is Wimbledon time, and great strawberries are still available in our greengrocers, so we mix them up with some lemon or lime juice and munch while we watch replays.

We have some similar recipes. Try Strawberries with Mint and Raspberry Sauce, Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic, and Baked Strawberries.

Or browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. And explore all of our Mid Summer dishes for more inspiration.

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Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon

Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.

Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Roasted Rosemary Pears, and an Autumn Fruit Salad.

You might like to browse our Dessert recipes, and our Pear recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.

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An Autumn Fruit Salad with Pomegranates, Pears and Apples

A quick dessert celebration of Autumn. Apples, Pears and Pomegranates are brought together with yoghurt and a touch of spice for a quick, easy and delicious dessert. It’s also wonderful at breakfast time (top your cereal or oats with it) and an any-time snack. Try it also with our Bondi Bircher Muesli.

Are you looking for Pomegranate Recipes? Try making your own Pomegranate Molasses and Pomegranate Honey.

Or try these Desserts – Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, Butter Glazed Apple, Baked Apple with Star Anise and Baked Pears with Marsala.

For more recipes, browse all of our Apple Recipes and our Pear Recipes. Find more Pomegranate recipes here, and other yoghurt recipes here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding like My Mother Made

Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’  and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.

This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.

Are you looking for Rice Puddings? Try our Pandan Rice Pudding with Lime Syrup, Greek Rice Pudding and Bengali Rice Kheer. Or try some of our other desserts – Sago Payasam, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, and Baked Strawberries.

Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our  other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Baked Figs with Thyme

This morning some eggplants were baking for a planned eggplant and yoghurt dish, and I decided to pop figs into the oven alongside the eggplants, for a great breakfast treat. These are easy – figs, thyme and olive oil. Delicious. Roasting or baking figs intensifies their sweetness. Ten minutes or so and they are ready.

If you are looking for other Fig recipes try these – Boozy Baked Figs, Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Figs with Pecorino.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, our Breakfast recipes, all of our Baked recipes, and all of our Dessert recipes. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version. Or explore some Kitchari dishes like Buttery Steamed Kitchari.

And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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