DOMESTIC DILEMMAS solved
Don’t be daunted by that diva demeanour – Friday’s very own chef Silvena Rowe is happy to answer all your kitchen queries
Q While baking blind, many recipes suggest the use of raw rice, beans or lentils. Can these be cooked later – or should they be discarded? A Baking blind means baking a tart shell before the filling is added to it. This process is vital in the making of some tarts as it ensures the pastry remains crisp and flaky and does not fluff up and eventually become soggy.
The correct way to bake blind is to cover the raw pastry shell with a piece of aluminium foil or baking paper and then cover the base with pie weights or raw rice, beans or lentils. Then the shell is baked in a preheated oven at the temperature and duration specified in the recipe.
If you are using food as pie weights, it cannot be cooked again as it becomes too dry and tough during the baking process. But don’t discard the beans or lentils. Instead, let them cool down and then store them in an airtight container to use as pie weights again. In fact, they can be used as pie weights any number of times.
Q My family love peaches. Do you have an easy recipe for peach chutney? A Peach chutney is a great way to enjoy the fruit and it is very easy to make. Here’s my recipe:
Halve and stone 1.8 kilos of ripe but firm peaches. Place them in a large pan with two cooking apples that are cored and chopped; 115g chopped dried peaches; 4 cloves chopped garlic; 1 tsp
If you use food as pie weights, it cannot be cooked again as it becomes dry and tough
freshly grated nutmeg; 1 tbsp of ground ginger; ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and 570ml white grape vinegar. Bring these to the boil and then reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and mushy. Now add 350g of sugar, stir and let it simmer for another hour.
To test if the chutney is of the right consistency, draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a spoon, and if no liquid from the mixture flows into the created channel, it means the chutney is ready.
Pour it in a sterilised airtight jar and let it cool. Store in a dark, dry place for 6-8 weeks before you use it. This resting period will allow the flavours to develop fully. The chutney keeps for up to a year in the refrigerator.