When Rik Fisher and Alex Smith moved to the Adelaide Hills, they bought more than just a house. The passionate cafe owners also took over a 30 acre property near Ashton and in just a few years they’ve transformed it into a bountiful farm that provides them with cherries, apples, figs, apricots, hazelnuts, berries and a range of vegetables.
Experienced hospitality hands who already operate two venues (Oar and 303 By The Sea), they’ll be using as much of that produce as possible in their latest venture on The Parade. Part cafe, part restaurant, the appropriately named 30 Acres will open at the end of April in the old Norwood Squash Centre. As well as a stylish industrial aesthetic, expect a highly seasonal menu that makes full use of the in-house bakery and huge open kitchen with double charcoal grill and pizza oven.
If you can’t wait until April, get an early taste of that menu with these fritters Alex describes as a love letter to autumn in her new home.
“For me, March is the ultimate season for eating in the Adelaide Hills. The cooler weather means new season apple and pears from Lenswood and we’re starting to see figs ready to pick on our trees, but we’re still able to enjoy an abundance of summer crops from the farms around us. The herbs in the garden are looking lush again, and everywhere you look you can find wild blackberries and fennel pollen.
This recipe is the kind of thing I’d make after a morning drive through the hills on the Easter long weekend, or when unexpected guests pop by for an afternoon cuppa.”
Ricotta, Green Apple and Fig Fritters with Crushed Wild Blackberries, Lemon Curd and Thyme Butter Cream
Prep Time: 45 minutes
- 2 new season granny smith apples
- 2 figs
- 150g full fat ricotta
- 1 egg
- 60g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon, zest
- ¼ tsp cardamon
- 1L canola oil
Peel and cut the apples into 8 wedges each, remove the cores and cut figs into quarters.
Mix the ricotta, egg and sour cream together then add flour, sugar, spices and zest from any citrus you might have in your fruit bowl. Add the fruit and mix gently so as not to crush the figs, making sure each piece is well coated in batter.
Heat the oil to 180°C in a saucepan or deep skillet and gently drop small spoonfuls of the mixture in. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Continue until you have used all of the fruit and batter.
I always make jars of lemon curd over winter and store them in the pantry, however you can also use a good quality store bought curd like Beerenberg.
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2/3 lemon juice
- 150g unsalted butter
- 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks
Cut the cold butter into 1cm cubes then whisk the whole eggs and yolks together.
Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once the lemon mix comes to the boil add the eggs and whisk continuously (a barmix is fine) then add butter cubes gradually until the curd becomes thick. Remove from the stove and cool in the fridge for one hour.
Berries and Cream
If you drive past the end of The Parade and continue towards Ashton, you’ll find wild blackberries and fennel pollen everywhere right now.
- 300g freshly picked blackberries
- 1 tbsp of sugar (optional)
- 1 splash of gin (optional)
- Half a bottle of pouring cream (Tweedvale Dairy is perfect)
- Three sprigs of thyme
Smash the blackberries together with the gin and sugar.
Add three sprigs of thyme to the half full bottle of cream, put the cap back on and shake vigorously to thicken.
Pour the cream into a bowl, remove the thyme and fold in 4 tablespoons of lemon curd.
Load up several bowls with the fritters and top them with a huge spoonful of berries and a dollop of the lemon cream.
Then decorate with wild fennel pollen, flowers and any herbs in your garden.