Nashi Pear Tea Cake

Nashi Pear Tea Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
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This is a recipe I adapted from Not Quite Nigella. Her recipes are so tasty, well worth a look….. This cake goes down a treat in our house, never lasts very long but keeps well if it does!


1 1/2 cups self raising flour

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg

125g melted butter

1tsp vanilla extract

400g diced nashi pear (you can use apples or pears instead, no need to peel, just core and chop!)

Brown sugar to sprinkle (about 2 tablespoons)


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm springform tin.

Mix the butter, flour, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Press 3/4 of the mix into the tin and save the remaining quarter.

Put the chopped nashi pears on top of the mixture, spreading evenly.

Add the rest of the buttery dough mixture in pieces over the top of the nashi pears so that not all of them are covered.

Sprinkle the top with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar.

Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy hot or cold, with custard or ice cream or just on its own…… Yum!

The first tangelo….

I ate the first tangelo of the season today, mm, delicious. Sharp and tangy, a lovely mixture of tangerine and grapefruit. Unfortunately there are only four on the tree this year so they all have to be savoured! Let’s hope for a bumper crop next year.  The tangelo is in a pot which keeps it to a good manageable size and it’s a great easy care tree. It doesn’t need much maintenance, just an occasional feed, lots of mulch and a quick hair cut after its finished fruiting. Highly recommended if you like tangelos….

July In The Garden

Well, time seems to be speeding on and June has completely passed me by! The winter months are such a great time in the garden, not too hot and plenty of rain to keep things growing.  I always have to try hard not to get carried away and plant too many things as they will all need watering in the hotter months and that can be very time consuming. I never quite manage though and several new plants seem to have found their way into my “Patch”! I’m going to make a determined effort to sort out reticulating all the new additions to try and cut down some of the summer burden of watering.

Last of the lemons and sunrise limes are hanging on. The kaffir lime is as productive as ever and the tangelos are tantalisingly nearly ripe. They seem to be taking forever to ripen this year.

Honey snap peas and telegraph peas are growing well and should start podding soon. These always do better for me than the snow peas which flower once and then give up completely!


In the front row here are some of my new additions, from left to right, a Rangpur Lime, Rose Apple and Carambola or Star Fruit. Hiding at the back are asparagus, pineapple guava, fig, mango and banana…..

The “Burst” variety of blueberry are flowering heavily while others are sleeping and the garlic is going great guns. Radishes will need thinning soon but I can’t bear to throw any away! Just to the left there is a small ice cream bean plant that seems to have crept in from somewhere too.

More from the Patch soon….


Scotch Eggs


How to use up thirty quails eggs? After hard boiling, frying and poaching, I used up the remainder of the quails eggs by making scotch eggs. Easy, delicious and they last a few days in the fridge. Great for lunch boxes and snacks. I bake mine in the oven rather than deep frying as it’s much healthier.


Hard boiled eggs, chickens or quails!

Sausage meat (I buy my favourite sausages and squeeze the sausage meat out of them.)

One egg, beaten



Preheat oven to 180C. Flatten out some sausage meat in the palm of your hand and mould it round to encase the hard boiled egg (if you use wet hands then the sausage meat doesn’t stick). Roll in egg and then breadcrumbs. Repeat until all your eggs are covered.  Place on a baking tray and spray with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Eat hot or leave to cool and enjoy later.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Winter is definitely here in Perth.  Just the right time for a warming winter soup.  I tried this roasted pumpkin soup recipe of Mary Berry’s this week as I’m addicted to “Bake Off” at the moment! Roasting the vegetables initially concentrates the flavours. It is delicious and highly recommended!



One butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed

One onion, chopped

One red pepper, chopped

Two carrots, peeled and chopped

Some chopped fresh ginger, about a tablespoon

Drizzle of honey

1-1.5L chicken stock

Salt and pepper


Heat oven to 175C. Place pumpkin, onion, pepper and carrot in roasting tray and drizzle over some olive oil.  Mix well. Roast in oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with ginger and drizzle with honey and cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and put all the veggies into a saucepan (or thermomix). Add 1-1.5L chicken stock and some salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes (100C speed 2). Check vegetables are soft and then puree until smooth.  Season further if desired to taste. Eat with some crusty fresh bread…….


Ten Uses For Mint

The mints are a versatile family of plants.  They are perennial and if not confined can become invasive.  They usually respond well to having their growth restricted by planting in a sunken container or using some other form of physical barrier. There are many that are commonly grown including spearmint, peppermint, common mint (winter mint) and apple mint.

They are semi shade to shade lovers and are easily propagated by root division. I love to use it fresh but it can be frozen in sealed plastic bags or in an ice-cube tray.  Fill the compartments with chopped mint and top up with water before freezing. It is also easily dried. Best to hang the leafy stems, cut just before flowering, in a dry airy place.  Keep the dry leaves in an airtight container as the full aroma does not last long when exposed to air. Here’s just ten ways you could use up some mint……


1   Add some dried leaves to Pot Pourri and fill a herbal “sleep pillow” for relaxing and refreshing sleep.


2   Tea made from dried or fresh peppermint leaves tastes delicious. It is said to be relaxing and a good start or end to the day.  Iced peppermint tea in the summer can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days for a refreshing drink.



3   Mouth and breath freshener.  Chew a sprig of your favourite mint for a quick breath freshener.


4   Mint is a natural deodorizer and bug deterrent.  Use diluted 10 parts water to one part peppermint oil in a spray bottle around doorways and windows or add a few drops of oil to your floor cleaner for a beautiful fresh smell as you mop!


5   Add some mint along with some coriander in a Fattoush salad, just brimming with fresh flavour.


6   Freeze strong mint tea in ice cubes for cooling summer drinks.



7   Mix one part strong mint tea to one part cider vinegar and use as a hair conditioner.  Can be left in or rinsed out.


  Make some mint jelly or mint sauce and have with a lamb roast… mmm.


9   Try a Mojito muddled with fresh mint. Muddle mint sprigs with sugar and lime juice.  Add Bacardi and top up with soda water.  Arriba!!



10    Sprinkle some chopped fresh mint on to some Greek yoghurt and mixed berries. Delicious….


Quails Eggs

I took a visit to one of our local markets yesterday and stumbled across some quails eggs.  I had to buy them as they looked amazing! The seller said to hard boil them and eat them in a salad.  They have a thick membrane under the outer shell but otherwise are similar to chickens eggs, albeit a much smaller version.  Had lots of fun trying them out in various ways, hard boiled, fried, poached……will try some mini scotch eggs later……recipe to follow…..


Milo Slice

This is a quick and easy slice, ready in under 30 minutes…..



1 cup SR flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup coconut

1/2 cup Milo

1 egg

120g butter, melted


Combine all dry ingredients. Mix in butter and egg and stir well. Press mixture into lined slice tray. Bake at 180C for 15-20 mins. Enjoy!….