Bevan Smith: My Mother's Kitchen

Bevan Smith and his mother, Dot. Photos: Kelly Lindsay
Bevan Smith and his mother, Dot. Photos: Kelly Lindsay
The memory of the food that our mothers served us as children never leaves us, a comforting reminder of the maternal bond that resonates through our adult lives.

More than 70 New Zealand chefs, cooks, bakers and foodies have shared the stories and recipes of their childhood in the new publication My Mother’s Kitchen.

I grew up on a rural Northland dairy farm where Mum was a great baker, sewed all the clothes, and had a massive garden and orchard.

She's still mad keen on gardening and drives the development and day-to-day running of the gardens for the restaurant. As kids, we were always raiding both the fruit from the orchards and Mum and Grandma's cake tins.

Mum often makes this tart with whatever fruit is in season. She likes this recipe in particular because the pastry is quick to make and it bakes up lovely and crisp. With or without ice cream


Dot's roast peach and blackberry tart.
Dot's roast peach and blackberry tart.
Dot's Roast Peach and Blackberry Tart

Serves 10


Time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour 15 minutes inactive


For the pastry:
250g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
180g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
75ml ice-cold water

For the filling:
1½kg ripe peaches, quartered, stones removed
1 cup caster sugar, divided
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 cups blackberries
1 tbsp butter, cut into tiny cubes
Zabaglione Ice Cream to serve

Prepare the pastry: Process flour, sugar, and butter together in a food processor until mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some pieces of butter the size of small peas.

Continue processing while adding just enough cold water until pastry starts to come together. Turn out on to a lightly floured bench top and gently work into a ball.

If the pastry is still quite cold you can use it straight away, otherwise flatten the ball into a 4cm disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two days before using.

Prepare the filling and bake: Preheat oven to 180degC. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 40cm circle then transfer on to a large oven tray lined with baking paper.

Gently toss peaches, three-quarters of a cup of the sugar, cornflour, and vanilla in a large bowl. Arrange peach filling in an even layer in the centre of the pastry, leaving a 6cm border all around.

Fold pastry edges inwards towards the centre of the tart, folding and pleating as needed, then scatter blackberries over the peaches.

Dot the top of the filling with butter, brush pastry with water, and sprinkle the remaining quarter cup of sugar all over the tart.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Rest tart for 30 minutes before serving warm with ice cream.

You can also make the tart with an equal weight of feijoas, gooseberries, cherries, or any other stone fruit.

Zabaglione Ice Cream

Makes 1-1/2 litres


Gluten free

Time: 10 minutes, plus time to chill, churn, and freeze

1 litre cream
250g caster sugar, divided
1/2½ tsp vanilla bean paste
12 free-range egg yolks

Reproduced from My Mother's Kitchen, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide.
Reproduced from My Mother's Kitchen, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide.

Place cream, half the sugar, and the vanilla bean paste into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk yolks and remaining sugar until light and pale. As the cream comes to the boil, pour in the egg and sugar mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until well combined.

Remove from the heat and chill pan and contents over a bowl of ice or in the refrigerator overnight. Once completely cool churn in an ice cream machine, per manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer into a suitable container and freeze for several hours or overnight before serving.

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