Take Three: chef Cameron Matthews with pumpkin, spanner crab and lychees.
Executive chef, The Long Apron Restaurant and Cooking School, Spicers Clovelly Estate Retreat, Montville, Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland
One of the humble pumpkin’s best features is that it can be eaten in its entirety — stems, flowers, skin, seeds, flesh. My favourite varieties for versatility and flavour are butternut (technically squash) and jap or kent, both of which grow brilliantly in Queensland. My children love their school’s kitchen garden, where pumpkins are always a highlight.
Chilled roast pumpkin consomme, smoked trout
Warm whole smoked trout 5 minutes in a 100C oven. Remove skin, reserve with bones; seal flesh and refrigerate.
In preheated 180C oven, bake (on tray, covered with foil) 1kg butternut pumpkin (peeled, chopped, deseeded), 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 2 cloves crushed garlic, until pumpkin is very soft. Cool slightly, blend pumpkin (alone) to a rough mash, fold in trout skin and bones, transfer to muslinlined sieve over a container, refrigerate 8 hours or overnight to drain consomme. Check seasoning. For each serving bowl: place 1 tablespoon flaked trout, 3 sprigs watercress, ½ pickled onion (bought or homemade), dollop of sour cream. Carefully pour in consomme, avoiding cream and trout to prevent clouding.
Super sweet, clean and tasting of the ocean, these treasured orange globes are sustainably harvested in the pristine tropical waters off Queensland’s coastline, including the Sunshine Coast, and processed 30 minutes from our restaurant. Spanner crab, piel di sapo melon, horseradish Mandoline or carefully slice into long, thin strips a peeled, deseeded piel di sapo (Spanish) melon. Chill. Toss 200g cooked Fraser Island spanner crabmeat with 15ml macadamia oil, sea salt and lime juice to taste. Chill. Place on four serving plates, finely grate 10g peeled horseradish over crab, scatter with finely shredded horseradish leaf or mustard cress. Drape with melon, chill.
These delicacies, perfectly pre-packaged by nature, grow on our Clovelly Estate property and can be sourced at farm gates around the rolling hills of Montville and Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They can be used for both sweet and savoury applications, especially in Asian-influenced dishes. I love sourcing lychees when green — I slightly dehydrate the fruit, then serve as a component of a warm appetiser.
Blackberry and lychee crostata
Sieve together 800g plain and 400g self-raising flour; mix in 600g sugar. Make a well in the centre, add 600g softened butter, ½ cup milk and 12 egg yolks. Combine by hand to the consistency of soft pasta dough. Wrap in plastic; rest 30 minutes in a cool place. Remove wrap, roll to 7mm thickness between sheets of baking paper. Drape over a 22cm fluted tart ring with removable base.
In a bowl, combine 150g blackberries with 100g skinned, pitted lychees. Toss with 2 tbsp icing sugar; spread over pastry. Make a lattice top with re-rolled pastry trimmings (3mm thick, cut in 3mm strips). Chill 30 minutes; bake 45 minutes in preheated 180C oven until golden brown. Heat 1 tbsp water, stir in 125g blackberry jam. Brush onto cooked crostata.
Cool before removing from tin. Serve with creme fraiche whipped with vanilla and icing sugar.