Almond cakes topped with summer fruit

Lois Daish is my original food hero. For a year and a half I wrote a blog called Lois & Me as I cooked my way through Lois’ extensive recipe archive, à la Julie & Julia. Through writing Lois & Me I became friends with dear Lois and discovered some truly wonderful recipes, including her almond cake which I made…

Fruity Christmas mince

The ridiculousness of eating heavy and rich Christmas food in the midst of a *fingers crossed* balmy New Zealand summer is just one of the those odd little incongruities that we have grown to love as Kiwis. Though we’ve adopted our own approach to Christmas, lightening and freshening things up by using our plentiful summer…

Feijoa & coconut loaf cakes

This recipe is dedicated to those people who say that they’ll never buy feijoas (or lemons) because they grew up with a fruit tree in their backyard and the idea of paying for fruit is incomprehensible, yet their current backyard is bare of such trees. Having never been blessed with my own feijoa tree I can quite…

Plum buttermilk cakes

Growing up, many favourite meals came from Lois Daish and her column in the New Zealand Listener. Mum’s recipe scrapbooks contain many cut-outs of these columns, which I later copied down when I moved out of home and started making my compilations of favourite recipes. When I phone my mum on a Saturday morning during summer,…

Baked Plums with a Crunchy Coconut Topping

I made this for the first time in Central Otago with apricots poached from an old tree we discovered along a path by the Clutha River. Growing amongst wild thyme these were the most amazing apricots. We ate as many as three greedy girls could manage and then filled up our backpack. For pudding that evening we sliced the apricots in…

Plum, tangelo & almond cake

I make this cake every summer, at least once. The last time I made it I took it round for dessert at a friends’ place. After finishing his (let’s be clear, generous) first slice of cake, one friend announced he was going to quickly have another before his stomach told him that he was too…

Strawberry & pistachio tart

A heavenly combination of a puff pastry base, spread with tangy lemon curd cream, and covered in strawberries and toasted pistachios. I made this as a birthday cake for a outdoors picnic and can confirm that it goes well with paper cups of bubbly. Strawberry & pistachio tart Adapted from a Dish magazine recipe puff pastry 400g, quality store-bought or homemade; I made…

Apricot clafoutis

When I was young, each summer my mum would preserve box after box of peaches and apricots. I remember shelves lined up goldenly glowing jars of fruit ready to be turned into wintertime cobblers and sponges for dessert. I guess becoming a preserver of fruits was pretty much inevitable for me. Apricots are among the easiest…