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Hazelnut Grape Tart


I devised this recipe, based on a couple of similar ones, because I have just acquired a rectangular flan tin! I love the simplicity and regularity of the shape of the tart when baked.

It’s also very easy to cut into portions, small or large, to serve. My tin is about 36 cm long x 13 cm wide.



140g plain flour

50g ground hazelnuts

100g butter, diced

50g caster sugar

1 free range egg yolk


1 cup ground almonds + 1 tablespoon of flaked almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup plain flour

100g butter, softened

2 free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

Icing sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

For the pastry, put the flour and ground hazelnuts into the food processor and add the butter. Process until the mixture looks like bread crumbs, then add the sugar and pulse. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp cold water, then pulse briefly until the dough comes together.

Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of cling wrap with a rolling pin to fit the rectangular flan tin. Removing the cling wrap, carefully ease the dough into the tin. Make sure the dough comes all the way up the sides of the tin and press dough into the sides. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).

Line the shell with baking paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until sides are set and edges are pale golden,15-20 minutes.

Carefully remove baking paper and weights and bake shell until  golden all over, 10-15 minutes more. Cool completely.

For the filling, pulse ground almonds, flaked almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the food processor until just mixed. Set aside, then use the processor to beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in vanilla and almond extracts. Mix in almond mixture until just combined.

Spread filling evenly in the tart shell and scatter the cut grapes over it, lightly pressing them in.  Bake until filling is puffed and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. While still hot, dust tart with icing sugar, then cool completely.

Serve at room temperature with double cream and/or ice cream.



Baked Cheesecake with a Sour Cream Topping



This is a baked cheese cake and was first made by one of Quirky’s siblings, a very good if somewhat infrequent cook. The recipe hails from the Sydney County Council in the 1960s.

This version comes from a handwritten recipe from a family cookbook. I have left the measurements in Imperial, as this rather adds to the charm of the recipe. They can be easily converted.

I would suggest using vanilla extract or vanilla paste, and would also recommend the use of a food processor.


Crumb Crust
I/2 lb plain sweet biscuits
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
3 oz butter

Cream Cheese Filling
1 lb cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs

1 carton (1/2 pint) sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
1 level tablespoon sugar


Crush biscuits very finely and add nutmeg and cinnamon. Melt butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and quickly stir in biscuit crumbs.

Press firmly into greased 8″ springform tin bringing mixture within 1/2 ‘ from the top of the tin.

Put cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a bowl and beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Pour mixture into uncooked crumb crust and bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Beat together the topping ingredients and pour over hot cheesecake. Return to oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Cool, then store in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.


Decorate with sugar frosted fresh fruit and chocolate leaves. I used cherries, strawberries and black grapes for this particular birthday cheesecake. To make the sugar frosted fruit, coat fruit in lightly beaten egg white then dip in caster sugar.

To make the chocolate leaves, dip camellia leaves in melted dark chocolate, leave to set in the fridge, then gently peel away the leaves leaving the chocolate imprint intact.

Serves 10 -12.


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