Festive time recipes - good for any occasion.
As Christmas in Australia is celebrated in the heat of Summer, we tend to go for something different for Christmas meals.
We could be having a picnic or BBQ  at the beach, down by the creek or river, in a park with extended family together, or just at home.
Following here, are some nice recipes suitable for any special time.

This tart is different from a quiche.  Instead of savoury custard, there is a souffle-like topping.  Tasty, unusual, and easily prepared.  Great for lunch or supper or a excellent entree before a light main course.

1 sheet ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 x 170 g cans crab meat
1 x 350 g can asparagus spears
2-3 sprays of fresh dill (
see note)
salt and pepper to taste,   2 egg whites,   1/2 cup mayonnaise.
NOTE - if fresh dill unavailable, use 2 tablespoons chopped parsley mixed with 1 teaspoon dried dill.  Recipe can be varied with combinations of fish and herbs - eg drained flaked salmon with snipped chives, OR drained prawns with tarragon.

Cut pastry into circle to line a greased 23 cm (9 inch) tart plate or flan dish.  Drain crab meat and separate into pieces.  Drain asparagus and cut into slices.  Sprinkle crab and asparagus evenly into pastry case.  Snip dill over filling with pair of scissors and season with salt and pepper.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into mayonnaise.
Spread over filling, and bake in a moderately hot oven for 30 minutes, or until crust is cooked and topping brown and puffy. 
Serve at once with a crisp, green salad.

this slender flan, made with apple, cream and passionfruit, is a delicious version of Apple Charlotte

PASTRY - 1 1/4 cups plain flour,  90g (3 oz) butter,  1 egg yolk,  2 teas. lemon juice.

FILLING -  425 g can dessert apple slices,    1 teas. grated lemon rind,   1 tab. sugar,
3/4 cup thickened cream.

PASSIONFRUIT ICING -  1 1/4 cups icing sugar,  1 passionfruit,   1 teas. butter,  2 teas. milk.

Pastry - sift flour into basin, rub in butter, mix to firm dough with egg yolk and lemon juice, refrigerate pastry for 30 minutes.  Roll dough to fit base and side of 23 cm (9 inch) flan tin, trim edges, prick base well with fork.
Place flan tin on oven slide, bake pastry case in moderately hot oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown;  cool to room temperature.

Filling - combine apples, lemon rind and sugar, mash with fork until any lumps of apple are broken up.  Whip cream until firm peaks form.
Spread apple mixture into pastry case, spread apple with whipped cream, spread cream evenly to the edge of pastry case.

Passionfruit Icing -  sift icing sugar into small heatproof basin, stir in passionfruit pulp, butter and just enough milk to give a thick paste.  Heat icing, stirring constantly, over hot water until icing is of spreading consistency.  Quickly spread icing over cream.
Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

BASE - 1 cup self-raising flour,   1 cup coconut,  
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed,
125 gr (4 oz ) butter or substitute.

FILLING - 400g can condensed milk,  30 g (1 oz) butter;
2 tab. golden syrup,  1 tab. instant coffee powder.
TOPPING - 155g (5 oz) dark chocolate ,  30 g (1 oz) white vegetable shortening (copha).

Base - sift flour into bowl, stir in coconut and brown sugar.  Mix well.  Melt butter in pan, add to dry ingredients, mix well.  Press mixture into paper-lined 28 cm x 18cm (11 inch x 7) lamington or biscuit tin.  Bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, and pour coffee filling over.
Return to oven for further10 minutes. 
When cold spread with topping.  Cut into squares when set.

Filling - Put condensed milk, butter, golden syrup and instant coffee into saucepan, stir over low heat until coffee has dissolved and mixture thickens. 

Topping - place chopped chocolate (or cooking chocolate) and copha into top of double saucepan. Stand over hot water; stir until melted.

This is a nice slice to keep in freezer for "occasions" - just bring out as needed.  Dont let sit around and melt.
JEWELLED CHRISTMAS CAKE    rich and so yummy !

3 cups Pecan nut pieces;   1 1/2 cups shredded coconut;  250 grams each of sultanas and glace chopped pineapple;  250 grams red glace cherries, quartered ;  125 gr green glace cherries, quartered;  125 grams mixed peel, chopped ;  1 1/4 cups castor sugar;  3 eggs;   1/2 cup whisky;
1 1/2 cups plain flour;   1/4 teas. bicarbonate of soda;  1/4 teas. nutmeg;   1/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt.

Combine the pecan nuts, coconut, fruits and peel in large bowl.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.  Sift together the flourand nutmeg and fold into creamed mixture, alternating with combined butter and whisky.
Add the nut and fruit mixture, combining ingredients well.
Place mixture in a greased and lined 23 cm cake pan.
bake in moderately slow oven for 1 hour.  Reduce temperature to slow and bake approximately another 2 1/2 hours or until cooked when tested.

note - if cake top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with sheet of foil or brown paper.

Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan, then decorate as desired.