- The Zin House - https://zinhouse.com.au -

I predict that the predictable will continue to predict

The New Year media is so predictable, those lists – so irritating, so irresistible.

Advice has been coming  thick and fast as an RSL club steak sauce about which restaurants got it right, which trends are on trend (when is a trend not trending then?) and which would you certainly not want to be caught dead in or simply need to die for?

The Daily Telegraph today included a deep fried mars bar in its top 100 dishes list.

John Lethlean (The Australian) wrote a fabulous and some will think scurrilous piece about restaurants who had tried  too hard, those who didn’t try hard enough and those, according to Lethlean, who had tried just right.

The lure of the bitchy review is so great, and the writing in this case so witty it really is hard not to be sucked into what someone else ate, drank and spat out the end of a pen:

“Faded glory never looked so faded”

“A hodgepodge of tragically hip elements thrown on a plate with little cohesive narrative”

“Not bad for a shopping centre”

“Another tragic example of hipsters legitamising their career choices by forming little clubs that exclude the people for whom the restaurant exist”

My New Year resolution? Don’t buy into any of it. Not the hype, not the wanna be, not the next best thing or the last cool thing. Just to keep growing and cooking and putting it out to share with people who hopefully haven’t read what someone else has told them they should think about us.

But God, John,  it was funny.

This month at The Zin House

resized apricots

Apricot or Peach Crostata (with acknowledgment to Lesley Russell)


1½ cups plain flour

2 tablespoons caster sugar

125g butter

1 tspn grated lemon zest

¼ cup water


3 tablespoons ground hazelnuts (or almonds)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 About 1kg of apricots or peaches (or virtually any fruit, any stones removed)


Caster sugar

 The Pastry:

Place the flour, sugar, butter and zest into the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.  Add the water and pulse a few times until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.

Turn the dough out and knead lightly until smooth.  Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

 The Filling:

Combine all the ingredients except the fruit.

Cut the fruit into halves or quarters, depending on their size.


  • Roll out the dough into a circle approximately 28cm in diameter. Place it onto a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper.
  • Scatter the filling over the pastry leaving a border of 5 cm or so around the outside.
  • Place the fruit on top of the filling, packing it close together.
  •  Draw the pastry border up and around the nectarines, pleating it where necessary to form an edge.
  •  Dot the fruit with butter and scatter it with a little caster sugar and bake @ 200C for 30 – 40 minutes.  The pastry should be well browned and the fruit softened with luscious juices running.
  •  Serve the crostata warm with thick cream, ice cream or both.  Serves 8.

 apricot crostata