Spring Lunch

Well spring is really kicking in this year and it must be time for a picnic lunch. I'm all for easy to transport fare, and this Pear, Onion & Feta tart with a green salad and Cherry Friands for afters hits the spot.

My friend Mary Holloway from Hanmer has been known to churn out hundreds of these little friand beauties in different flavours for a few Canterbury markets - so I'm guessing they must be a hit!

I love this recipe with cherries peaking out of the top of each Friand, and it's great for all those out there who are gluten intolerant and like to use gluten free flour and baking powder. This recipe can be made using a standard Friand pan or a muffin pan for a slightly bigger dessert option . If you're going for the dessert option add the glaze and a dollop of cream on the side of a warmed Friand. Yummmmmm!

Any type of berries can be used – fresh or frozen – for both the Friand and the glaze. Once cooked the Friands will keep for approx. 3 days, or can be frozen.

Recipe by Mary Holloway

¼ c plain flour
¾ c icing sugar
4 egg whites
grated rind 1 orange
1½ c ground almonds
½ tspn baking powder 
80 ml vegetable oil
8 cherries - stoned

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease thoroughly Friand or muffin pans with butter or vegetable oil spray (line each with a strip of baking paper to ease removing the cooked Friand).  
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the egg whites, vegetable oil, and orange rind and mix to a smooth batter. Spoon into the greased Friand pans. 
Gently press stoned cherries or any type of berry fruit into the top of each Friand. Cook for 20 – 25 mins – check regularly.

Makes 8

Cherry Glaze
½ c sugar
1 dspn balsamic vinegar
½ c water
24 cherries - de stoned 

Simmer sugar, water and balsamic until reduced to a thick syrup. Add whole or  halved cherries to the syrup. Serve the Friand with the cherry glaze and cream or yoghurt on the side

1 ½ sheets savory short pastry
2 medium firm ripe pears
4 tspn brown sugar
3 eggs
3 tbspn finely chopped parsley
25 g butter
2 medium red onions
4 tbspn cream
2 tspn thyme leaves
100 g goats feta crumbled

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place an oven tray in the lower part of the oven to heat. Lightly butter a 35 cm rectangular flan tin.  

Line the flan tine with pastry, trimming the edges. Line the pastry with foil or baking paper and dried beans/rice, and bake blind for 15 mins till just starting to colour. Remove foil/paper and continue baking for 5 mins, until lightly golden. Remove pastry shell and turn oven down to 190 degrees C.

Peel, core, and thickly slice pears. Peel and chop onions into 8 wedges. Melt butter in a frypan, and saute the pears, until lightly golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add onions and pan fry for approx 2 mins. Sprinkle with brown sugar, and continue cooking until lightly browned. Cool pears and onions slightly.

Whisk cream, eggs, thyme, and parsley together. Pour half into baked pastry case. Scatter onions and pears in the pastry case, top with crumbled feta, then finish with remainder of beaten cream & egg mixture. Fill just to the top of the pastry.

Bake at 190 degrees C for about 25 minutes, until set.

Serves 4

All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2012


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