Monday, December 22, 2014

Perfect Vanilla Custard

This time of year there's nothing more lovely than pouring warm sweet custard over your favourite pudding or fruit!

I'm sharing my custard that I perfected about 2 years ago.  In fact, last week I made EIGHT litres of it for our little school's Christmas dinner - worked a treat warmed in the crockpot.

I've made this before using coconut sugar - and it's got a real butterscotch flavour to it.

Perfect Vanilla Custard:

1 1/2 cups pure cream
3 1/2 cups full fat milk (I use creamy raw milk)
1/3 cup sugar (or if you want the butterscotch flavour - try some coconut sugar)
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I never bother using essence - it just tastes fake to me! - got to be the real deal)

Combine the above ingredients in a medium saucepan and put on a slow to medium heat.  Stir periodically and make sure it's not sticking to the bottom.

In the meantime - you'll need:
10 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
I use my stick blender on these to make them perfectly smooth.

Now as you heat you milk, you will want to bring it ALMOST to a boil.  When just under the boil whip out the vanilla pod and make sure to scrape all the seeds into the milk.  Turn heat down a bit and pour a bit of the hot mixture into your egg mixture to warm it - stir immediately and then tip the lot back into the milk mixture.  Stir constantly but gently as it thickens.  You do not want it to boil, but you want it to thicken and heat up to cook through.  Be careful that you don't overcook it and cause it to curdle.  Once thickened remove completely from the heat and tip it thru a fine sieve into a cooling bowl.

I dare you to not take a spoonful to taste before you serve.  You won't be able to resist it!

Please note this is a perfect amount for my family of 6, or the perfect base for my ice cream making anglaise escapades - so feel free to halve it if you don't need this quantity.

The other option here is to bake this custard - you do that by making a Bain Marie of hot water and ramekins (be sure to pour in boiling hot water).  Goign back in the above recipe... to when you tip the hot milk into the eggs and then the eggs back into the hot milk, take it off the heat, stir it well and pour into prepared cups. Freshly grate nutmeg on the top of all of them and pop into the oven for about 25 minutes until JUST set.  Pull out from oven and carefully remove them from the water to cool.  Cool completely and then refrigerate.  These need to refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so leave yourself plenty of cooling time.

Merry Christmas to you all.  Thanks for supporting our family farm with your kind words and support this past year - it's been a HUGE year with our move, and we're just so grateful to you for sticking by us.

Now go and make some merry custard!
xx Amy

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Jjaras now selling our eggs!

Every Thursday or Saturday, a child or two and I head over to our favourite farm gate shop in Inverloch - Jjaras.

Have you ever been over to this wonderful place?

Savannah has been there many times helping out, and the good news is that our eggs are becoming popular there now that we are supplying them!

Susannah and Joe run a terrific, delicious and convenient shop to pick up our favourite home grown, local and Organic veg.  We usually slip out the door with a few cats tongue cookies for the kiddos and a latte for mama.

Head over there to check them out if you get a chance... they serve amazing food too, and when we get the chance, we sit at their generous table in the sunshine and get fed wholesome nutritious home cooked food.

What places have you been lately that make you happy?

Friday, February 28, 2014

sending the love

{image from splodgepodge on Etsy} 

"Dear Nic and Amy,

I've just purchased some of your Ruby Hills eggs, which delighted me 
after finding them difficult to source for some time. Inside the carton I found your note. I wanted to let you know that your eggs have never been surpassed by any egg I have tried since first sampling yours in what from memory was 2008. 
They are rich, deep, golden, fresh, 
flavoursome and quite frankly, far superior to any 'free range', 
'organic' or 'friend's hens in the backyard' eggs I've tried. I grew up on a farm and we had our own hens and fresh eggs and I know what makes for a good one.

I do hope you find a way to continue producing and supplying your 
beautiful eggs.

all the best, Felicity" 

Oh, we're feeling the love, friends.  And super excited to turn the page on the next chapter for us!

Just a little excited, as we get the keys for our new property (insert fanfare here) on Monday! 

Watch this space - we'll share some pictures soon. xx A

Thursday, February 20, 2014

adjusting our sails

We have exciting times ahead of us here at Ruby Hills Organics!

We are in the process of shifting to a superb slice of land at Walkerville - not too far from here.  There are big changes ahead of us - firstly we are not going to be milking cows anymore.  Whilst this will be a big change, we are looking forward to the freeing up of Nic's time to invest it more in the chooks.

The land we have found is not currently Certified Organic - so we'll be doing that as soon as we step onto the land.  It does however have favourable history - in that it hasn't had any chemical fertiliser and or weed sprays on the paddocks for at least 5 years.  The Certification process will take time, however, so there'll be a change in our egg cartons while we are in certification process.

We are busy with soil testing, selling cattle and sorting our family out for the big move.  We can only hope that our loyal customers continue their amazing support of our spectacular eggs.  

Rest assured that our eggs will remain the same through this process - they'll be eating the same soy free Certified Organic feed and have open access to paddock grasses, herbs and bugs 24 hours a day.  And as always - treated with respect and love.

Happy trails to you and yours from me and mine -- we'll keep you posted!
~Nic and Amy and the little ones

Sunday, November 24, 2013

future generations


A morning ride to Cranbourne to pick up our 400 new lovely mini ladies.
Our babies are packed so beautifully and safely in these perfect little boxes - they are warm and cozy and happy - we haven't lost any of these ones in transit ever (which can easily happen as they're only a day old).

My two youngest and I pick them up and have a very cheep cheep cheepy ride back home to their new home for the next few weeks...

Their cozy and warm container where they learn to grow and socialise.

Savannah was particularly excited with many very expressive pointing sessions and squeals of delight.  I have to admit, they're so darn cute that you need to have some cuddling sessions.  She wasn't THAT brave yet with the day old chicks.  I bet next time she will be though!  Monty however is always the right hand farm man.  Helping with all and fearless of everything.

These girls are the future of our cow herd.  Feeling a bit frisky and cheeky the other day - braving the electric fences for a bit of a tiki tour around the farm... Hooking a 9 in their tails and kicking it up. 

Fingers crossed that we'll be able to buy our farm this year.
We've got so many irons in the fire, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  

Life is good. Busy, stressful at times, muddy at times, warm and blissful at times, but good. We never take for granted that we have all we need at our fingertips to nourish ourselves, sustain our lives and create a healthy future generation.  We're happy that we can share a bit of that with you too!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

new life

My husband is the one that can walk up to a mama giving birth and gently give her a hand.  This one just needed a bit of foot guideance to come out.  She was sniffing at the calf by the fence hoping that it was hers and that she had already done it!  

Once that foot was aligned, it was full steam ahead...

to a brand new life.  Always a miracle and always special.

My friend Emma and her husband Matt looked after the farm 2 weeks ago for us while we visited family in NZ.
Here's her little tribute to the farm.
Happy days to you and yours from me and mine. xx

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Calving time

The babies are abundant these days.  Glorious days to be Born.