When we were small children we had the occasional holiday at my Nana's (my Mother's Mother) home in Moorland.
There was a big swamp at the back and we would climb trees to try to get over it without walking through it and getting our feet wet. These were fantastic holidays as we had cousins who would come from near and far and my Great Aunt Betty lived across the road from Nana. Playing hide and seek in the small town was an endless source of fun too, it was only a small group of houses in those days.
In season we would pick blackberries or macadamias and stay out until it was definitely dark.
Great Aunt Betty even had an outdoor toilet, it was so 'country'. Even though a modern bathroom was installed inside during the 70's inside the house the good old 'thunder box' was quite a novelty.
The garden was filled with fruit trees which backed onto the forest and then the large swamp. My mother told me she had seen small fairies in the swamp when she was young so I was always keeping an eye out just in case I was lucky enough to see a fairy go flying by...
This is a modern twist on this classic family tradition.
On the left is the pastry case lined with baking paper and baking 'beans' (weights) to keep the pastry from rising during the initial bake. To the right is the uncovered pastry case after 5 mins more of cooking.
Baked Vanilla Custard
200g plain flour
100g butter, cubed
1/2 tspn salt
50 - 60g iced water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/3 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Place flour, butter and salt into a food processor. Whizz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Then add the water with the motor running, until it comes together in a ball.
Knead lightly and place in a bowl, covered in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Turn your oven to 180C fan forced and line a pie dish with non stick baking paper.
Roll out pastry until 3mm thick and place in your lined pie dish with the pastry up the sides.
Place baking paper inside and fill with baking beans, then bake for 15 - 20 mins. Remove paper and weights and cook for another 5 minutes.
While the pastry is baking prepare your custard filling.
Whisk 4 eggs with a 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste and 1/3 cup sugar.
Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups milk and keep whisking until combined.
Remove pastry tart from oven and carefully pour in the custard mixture.
Sprinkle with a little grated nutmeg and bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until just set.
Remove from oven and try to wait until it cools before cutting - well at least 10 minutes.
Tell me, do you have fond memories of holidays with your grandparents?
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx