She is one of Australia’s most respected culinary icons, Maggie beer has produced 6 cookbooks and has her television show ‘The cook and the chef’ which finished airing late last year. She describes the show as a big part of her life and felt bittersweet to wrap the show up. Her style of cooking is described as regional and it respects the region’s produce and the tradition of Barossa Valley. Maggie has her own brand of products which range from pastes, jams, pates, preserves, stocks, sauces through to Icecreams and soups.
I have three favourite products that i would like to introduce and a simple recipe that goes with it, one of which is Maggie’s recipe.
This is a favourite from Maggie’s childhood. Her mother always burnt fig jam, not by design but because she always seemed to be distracted at the crucial moment! It was quite an exercise to replicate that very particular flavor in commercial quantities, but we’ve done it and the result is the thickest, fruitiest jam you can buy. We simple reduce the figs with no water at all, then add sugar and cook the lot until ‘burnt’ to perfection before sharpening the jam with a little lemon juice.
Multigrain toast with Maggie’s burnt fig jam, fresh figs and honey.
The burnt fig jam is a beautiful product, a very fruity flavor to it and a slight bitterness as well. I love using the jam on fresh hot multigrain toast with fresh figs and honey, its absolutely gorgeous with honey as it gives the flavor clash of bitterness and sweetness which pairs beautifully.
Maggie’s love for the quince came from the beauty of the tree in the flower, so after reading prolifically about it, she trialled her first ‘membrillo’ or quince paste.
Chicken Marylands and Maggie’s Quince Paste
This recipe can be found on the Maggie Beer website. I can say this dish is absolutely gorgeous, the chicken runs off the bone easily and the chicken was tender and complemented by the fruity quince paste sauce, an acidic finish from the lemon too. The sauce was fragrant as well from the herbs, lemon rind and the caramelized onions.
With its own cult following, Our Burnt Fig Jam really shines in this ice cream, along with the crunch of honeycomb. We’re talking grown up ice cream for adult tastes.
Caramelized rum bananas with fresh fig, almonds, Maggie’s burnt fig jam and Burnt fig, honeycomb and caramel ice cream.
No matter what you add to complement the ice cream, it will still be the hero of the dish. The ice cream is rich and creamy from the cream and eggs, the hint of the bitterness from the fig jam comes through as well with a caramel finish to the palate.
Recipe for the caramelized rum bananas :
2 ripe bananas
170g castor sugar
60g glucose syrup
60ml golden dark rum
juice of 1/2 orange
orange zest of half orange
vanilla bean seeds
Cut the bananas as desired.
Combine sugar and glucose in a heavy based pan and melt over medium heat until dark caramel forms. (watch the caramel carefully as burnt caramel will be bitter and unpleasant to eat, add water if needed)
Remove from heat, add rum, orange zest, juice and vanilla seeds.
Gently toss banana into the mixture and coating it and cooking it on low heat for 2-3 minutes, having the banana a little bit cooked and not too much.
remove the bananas, put in on a tray and drizzle caramel on top. Ready to be served.
There are many other Maggie Beer products as well but these three shines for me the most. For more information on other Maggie Beer products and where it can be purchased from, it can be found on the website.
Maggie Beer Farmshop
Barossa Valley, South Australia
(08) 8562 4477 http://www.maggiebeer.com.au/
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