Archives For summer fruits

Scores of summer fruit

April 4, 2014
summer fruits tassie farm 2014
Summer has vanished but the season’s tastes still linger. Plums, apricots, mulberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries – all grown on The Tassie Farm. Here is the score sheet for our small but memorable harvest:
Plums 8/10 thanks to our bird netting.
Apricots 4/10 (ordinary) but plentiful enough to make two batches of jam which scored 9/10.
Mulberries 9/10. We didn’t net and there were still mulberries to pick at throughout the season. Even the ducks enjoyed a few of the low hanging fruit.
Blueberries 6/10. Not a bad score especially seeing it was our first-ever crop. We probably enjoyed two or three desserts.
Strawberries 3/10 very disappointing harvest thanks to greedy rabbits. All up only a few bowls full.
Cherries 10/10 and we even were able to enjoy some for Christmas and wear them as earrings!

Spoilt not-so-rotten

March 10, 2013

Our pigs have plump tummies full of plums.
If you were a pig, you’d only want to live on The Tassie Farm. Since arriving, just a few weeks ago, our Duroc and Birkshire pigs have been spoilt rotten with not-so-rotten stone fruit. Plums, apricots and mangoes have been their diet. So, now our porkers are starting to look a little…plum…p.
We need your help naming our porkers.
The pigs remain nameless, so we were hoping you could vote for your favourite four names in the poll below. The most popular choice will be announced toward the end of the month. If you have any extra suggestions, just leave a comment or email as at
[poll id=”6″]

Precious tree bares fruit

January 15, 2013

First apricot harvest at The Menagerie.
To find apricots that are very sweet and not floury can be rare. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the word ‘apricot’ means ‘precious’. Tasmania is well known for apricots and as of this year so is The Menagerie’s one apricot tree! It’s produced a bumper harvest, so Nick and Kerry have been trying not to eat every apricot straight from the tree. Instead, they’ve been stewing and making jam with the not-so-perfect fruit. In a few days well be posting a jam recipe, thanks to our neighbour Mary who’s an internationally renowned jam-maker.
Frequently Apricot Questions: 
Family? A relative of the peach.
Why precious? Apricots ripen earlier than other summer fruits.
Origin? China about 4000 years ago.
Where? Most states of Australia grow apricots.
Varieties? Over 15 in Australia.
Storage? Stewed or dried. Don’t freeze.


‘ave a piece o’ pav Gav!

January 13, 2013

Nick’s raspberry-topped pavlova – a true Aussie summer tradition.

A few hints to get you started: recipe thanks to Gabriel Gate.
The secret of a pavlova is in the cooking. The oven must not be too hot or too low, so the dessert ends up crunchy on the outside, without being too browned. First-timers may need to practise a few times to master pavlova-making. They may also need to adjust their oven temperature as every oven is a little temperamental.

Ingredients: Serves 8-10
4 egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar*
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups (approx) whipped cream
Pulp of 6 passionfruit
1 punnet berries plus other seasonal fruit to garnish

You’ll need an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (440 degrees F).
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gradually beat in sugar until well incorporated.
Fold in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
Heap egg white mixture into centre of the prepared baking tray and form it into the shape of a cake about 22cm
(8 3/4 inches) in diameter, making the centre a little shallower than the sides.
Reduce oven temperature to 120 deg C (250 deg F) and bake pavlova for about 1 ½ hours.
Remove from oven and leave until cool.
The meringue often cracks a little as it cools.
When you are ready to serve, spoon whipped cream over pavlova and top with berries and fruit pieces.
Spoon passionfruit pulp over the top and serve.

* Cream of tartar is the powdered form of tartaric acid, a substance that forms at the bottom of barrels when making wine. It is added to recipes for three reasons:
– to stabilize egg whites (when whipping them for meringue);
– to act as a leavening agent in cookies and other baked goods (when used in conjunction with baking soda); and
– to make frosting and icing creamy (it prevents the sugar from crystallizing).

Raspberries burn on the bush

January 11, 2013

Extreme heat ruins Mr Wolfe’s raspberry crop.
If you’re a Menagerie follower, you’ll know Mr Wolfe is a well-known grower in the southern Tassie region (19 February 2012 post). Kerry usually buys 10kg from him, so she can freeze some to make jam in the winter months. But not this year. Tasmania’s heat wave wiped out most of Mr Wolfe’s rasperries before he could pick them. He only managed to scrape 3kg together for The Menagerie. A disappointing harvest for everyone. Stay tuned for Gabriel Gate’s pavlova recipe – it’s Nick’s favourite and will feature here in the next few days.