Category: Dessert

Rhubarb Crumble


rhubarb crumble











My husband Paul loves stewed Rhubarb, so I decided to adapt the traditional Apple crumble recipe to Rhubarb crumble.  He loves it and so does my son in law Adam.  Adam wonders why I hid the recipe from him for so long!!

Note from Aileen

My mother used to make a version of this and so do I. She used to trick us when we were kids & didn’t like the taste of rhubarb. Gram would stew some strawberries with the rhubarb, the rhubarb would take on the taste of the strawberries and we would happily eat the crumble!

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce

sticky date pudding









A friend made this for us when our family visited their family in Brisbane.  It was so delicious I just had to beg her for the recipe.  This recipe can be made a day ahead which is great.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Source & History

I am told in no uncertain terms that this is not one of Rhoda’s recipes. However, she has been  making it recently and everyone likes it. The recipe is from one of the ladies from bowls.


  • Rhoda uses Chocolate Ripple biscuits because she says that she can never find the golliwog biscuits
  • there is a lot of melted butter in the base – you might want to reduce the amount
  • Aunty Pam says that the base was very thick and hard, it might be better to use 1 packet of biscuits instead of 2 and only 1/4 cup of melted butter (you can always add a bit more if that’s not enough).
  • If you don’t have a blender or food processor – you can always crush biscuits by putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with something like a rolling pin (great for getting rid of pent-up aggression).

Rhoda’s Easy Pavlova

Source & History

I don’t know where Rhoda found this, but it’s the easiest pavlova recipe ever, and produces a pavlova that is as nice as any of those far more complicated recipes which require you to add the sugar one grain at a time and beat forever.


  • I often don’t use castor sugar for this – just regular white sugar.
  • You really need an electric mixer to make this.
  • Pam once told me that the correct way to bake a pavlova was in a spring-form tin. You put the mixture in the tin, and leave a hollow in the middle. Bake & fill as above.
  • You can use strawberries, passionfruit. and/or sliced kiwi fruit as your fresh fruit or use anything else that you can get (raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots). I would avoid watermelon as the flavour of that often takes over.


Stirred Custard

Source & History

This is from the recipe book that came with my first-ever microwave. Those were the days when Panasonic was called National Panasonic and when the recipe book that came with an appliance was a hard-cover book, not a pamphlet. This is, therefore, a MICROWAVE recipe.


  • This is fairly thick, if you want more of a pouring consistency, increase the amount of milk or decrease the amount of custard powder
  • I make this with skim milk
  • I like to use Bird’s or Foster-Clarke custard powder rather than the homebrand ones.
  • This is a good thing to make after you make Rhoda’s easy pavlova because it uses up the 2 leftover egg yolks.

Kitchen Wisdom

Use a whisk to beat sauces as this will make them light and smooth.

Gram’s Baked Fudge Pudding

Source & History

This is a home-made self-saucing pudding that my mother used to make. I used to tell my kids it was magic because when it went into the oven the liquid was on top and when it came out of the oven the liquid (now thick, yummy chocolate sauce) was on the bottom.


  • I usually use oil rather than melted butter in the pudding. This is a low-fat dessert (especially if you use skim milk for the custard) because there are no eggs and these 2 tbsp of oil are all of the fat in the recipe.
  • Serve with custard or ice cream or cream or any combination of these three.

Grannie’s Apple Crumble

Source & History

This is my grandmother’s (mother’s mother) recipe. It has been a favourite dessert in my house for years (up there with Gram’s Baked Fudge Pudding).


  • In my family, where fruit is less popular than crumble, we usually double the quantities for the crumble
  • I often use canned pie apple filling (the huge can in the tinned fruit section of the supermarket) instead of the fresh fruit
  • I sprinkle the fruit with a little brown sugar & cinnamon
  • You can use any fruit: apricots, peaches, rhubarb & strawberries

Great-Grandmother Priestner’s Christmas Pudding

Source & History

This is my Great-Grandmother’s Christmas pudding recipe. My mother had it and I’m not sure whether she ever made it. Until this year (2012), this was a historical artefact. However, I decided to see whether I could make it this year. Everyone who tried it seemed to think that it was really good – so did I!


  • I ended up halving this recipe because the quantities were so huge. So I used 125 grams of sultanas…3 eggs. 
  • BUT DON”T HALVE THE COOKING TIME. I steamed the pudding in a 2.8l pudding basin for 6hr instead of the recommended 7hr.
  • Find a butcher who sells suet because you really need to use the real thing to get the best result.
  • I didn’t grind the suet exactly, I whizzed it in the food processor then weighed the whizzed suet to get the quantity I needed.
  • you’ll need to get the apple cider from the bottle shop
  • The Howe family tradition is that everyone in the household should stir the pudding before it is put into the pudding basin to cook – this is meant to ensure good luck for the family for the next year (that’s what my mother told me).
  • I know, the instructions for steaming are missing – I looked up methods on the internet (and so can you). I imagine in Great-Grandmother’s day it was something that everyone knew how to do, so detailed instructions weren’t needed.