Recipes from the Autumn Garden

3 April 2020
Recipes from the Autumn Garden

Regular contributor Kerrie Maloney shares more delicious recipes from the garden. 

In this autumn segment, Kerrie focuses on tomatoes, chillies, pears and apples.   

We’re all being told to stay home during the pandemic, so why not grab some garden produce, fire up the stove and get cooking?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Kerrie Maloney

The Generosity of Gardeners

Autumn, the most glorious of the seasons, with warm days and cooler nights there is no better time to make the most of everything that the garden has to offer.  Perhaps it is because of the Pandemic but I have been reflecting on the spirit and generosity of fellow gardeners and cooks and their capacity to share; seeds and seedlings, cuttings, produce and recipes.  


I am always grateful for this and return the kindness with foods made from their bounty.  Top of the list at the moment are tomatoes and whilst they are coming to an end there still seems to be plenty around for some small batch preserving.  My go to recipes are Tomato and Chilli Jam, some tomato sauce, green tomato relish courtesy of my friends who have given up trying to get their tomatoes to ripen and this Indian style chutney that can double as a simmer sauce.

jar balchow

Originally from a friend who got it from her mother who got it from her aunty and loosely based on a Goan recipe for Balchow (Balchao). This is the true nature of sharing and of course each recipient has tweaked it slightly to suit themselves. I usually double or triple the recipe and as I like hot food and use a generous amount of chilli.

Use as you would any chutney but I really like it on crusty bread or crackers with fresh ricotta. 

Balchow & ricotta

Tomato Balchow

1 kg tomatoes
2  red onions
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
chilli flakes or fresh chilli to taste
½ cup malt or balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sweet sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
oil to sauté onion
fresh curry leaves (optional)

Chop onions finely, crush garlic and sauté in oil until soft and starting to colour.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer until mixture is thick.

Pack into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge or pack into a freezer container and freeze. This makes 2-3 jars.

To use as a simmer sauce

Brown one thinly sliced onion and your preferred protein - I use chicken, prawns or tofu. Add approximately one third of the tomato balchow and enough water to create a sauce. Simmer until the chosen protein is cooked. Serve with rice, green vegetables or salad. 


In my garden I am harvesting peppers and chillies which I string to dry and then crush in the food processor guaranteeing a year’s supply of dried chilli flakes.  I am also hoping that the second flush of eggplants produce for me to make Brinjal Pickle. You will find this recipe and many others on my blog, click on the link

I also like to make basil butter, perfect for using up my basil crop.

poached pears

Pears, apples and quinces seem ripe for the picking. Take as many from others gardens as you can; in addition to the joy of eating home grown fruit they are fabulous to preserve.  Mostly I poach most of them and then pack into containers and freeze; they are great for crumbles and on breakfast cereals. Pears poached in red wine syrup are my favourite, freeze well and make a great standby for a last minute dessert.

pear paste

I usually make a batch or two of my quince or pear paste and because I like to bake, a few cakes, pies and this Easy Apple Tart.  Another one of those recipes that came from a friend who got it from his cousin who got it from a friend and so it goes… a bit like a chain letter but more useful. This recipe is so simple.  I also make it as a cake. If making it as a cake cut the apples into small dice approximately 5mm, substitute SR flour for the flour and baking powder or add an extra teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe and then simply mix the apple mixture into the batter and then spoon into a greased and lined ring tin. 

Easy Apple Tart

apple tart

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup  grapeseed or other bland oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk  

Dice apples into small 5 mm dice, place in a bowl with cinnamon and sugar, mix well and leave until cake batter is made.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix gently. Spoon a third of  the batter into a greased and lined springform tin, top with half the apples, then another third of the batter, the remaining apples and the final third of the batter.

Bake at 170 deg C until a skewer comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes. 

apple cake


Go back