I’m yet to find anyone that doesn’t love autumn in Canberra.
Our city truly comes alive from late February until May. Starting with Canberra’s birthday celebrations in March, autumn also comes with the magic of cool nights, warm days, and an ever changing, colourful landscape. Canberra in autumn really is hard to beat. It’s the season of some of the best fruits like apples and figs and it’s when we start to make the switch from white wine to red wine.
It’s also no secret that I’m obsessed with the cooler months. Give me warm and cozy over hot and bothered any day! Also obsessed by the colour palette of autumn, I just had to incorporate this beautiful season in this months #popathome instalment.
What better way to celebrate this glorious season than with a picnic. And by that we don’t mean just any old ordinary picnic with your classic, plastic picnic wares. We mean a POP PICNIC! All the beautiful, local pieces you have invested in – ceramics, cutlery, linen, serving plates and bowls etc. PACK THEM! Going outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t picnic in style.
Open your drawers and cupboards where you keep all your good things that you have been saving for that ‘special occasion’ and pack them into your picnic basket. Don’t worry about Tupperware, plate up straight into your bowls, wrap in a tea towel or bees wax wraps and place strategically in your basket.
Picnics aren’t meant to be hard work so keep the menu simple. Think cheese platters with wine and dessert with tea. If you’re super organised, bake a cake ahead of time and don’t forget to fill the thermos with hot water ready for your tea.
Finish off by swinging past POP to grab all your accompaniments like honeycomb, olives, chutney, fudge and chocolate. While you’re at it, grab your beverages too. There’s nothing better than picnicking with local wine and tea. Don’t forget to pack your favourite magazines and a pillow to layback on once your belly is full!
Oh and if you are packing your fury friend too, there’s some picnic treats for them at POP too!
Here’s a simple apple teacake recipe that takes just over an hour to prepare and bake and travels well to any picnic destination. Be sure to pack the double thick cream too!
APPLE TEA CAKE
INGRIDIENTS (SERVES 8)
- 180g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1⁄2 cup plain flour
- 1/3 cup full cream milk
- 2 medium apples (or more if you want to cover the whole cake)
Pre-heat oven to 180 ̊C. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, lemon rind, vanilla and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined. Sift in both flour and milk and beat gently until smooth. Put mixture in a greased and lined, 20cm spring form cake tin and level the top.
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Make cuts lengthways in to the round sides of the apple quarters, cutting about three-quarters of the way through. Place the quarters evenly around the edge of the cake, rounded side up.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Cool the cake before cutting and then dust with icing sugar and serve with a big dollop of thick cream.
Written by Belinda Neame
Photography by Tim Bean
Belinda Neame is a local stylist, content creator, supporter of local and a lover of all things handmade, high quality and bespoke.
Belinda is the owner operator of the stunning 'Hold Cottage' in Gunning and founder of 'The Forage' - Canberra's premier street food event.
Belinda's husband, Tim is a firefighter by day and lives behind the lens of his camera when not working for his community.