Sweet treats from outback Australia

Lebanese treat Namoura


Australia’s rugged alpine bushland is another world of silvery gum trees, towering pines, rivers, rocky outcrops, a sky free of light pollution and dimpled with stars. And then there’s the big country hospitality. Sonya Lunoe cooks country-sized meals at Turon Gates,  a 7000-acre property about three hours west of Sydney, beyond the Blue Mountains. Visitors camp by the river or stay in riverside cabins, or in comfortable lodges with soaring views of the surrounding bushland hills and valleys. Sonya and her husband Soren have owned the property for decades. It was firstly their escape from a busy Sydney life, and then became a home they share with thousands of visitors annually. Sonya’s parents were Lebanese immigrants, so desserts and sweets are a forte of her cooking repertoire. Here’s two recipes she shared with us when we stayed there last winter.

Sweet treats from outback Australia:

Namoura

125gm butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups natural yogurt
2 cups semolina
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup pine nuts

Orange syrup

1 1/4 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp Grand Marnier
Boil the juice and sugar for about 5 mins, then add the liqueur and remove from heat.

Heat oven to 180 deg C. Melt the butter, add yogurt, semolina, sugar, coconut and baking powder and mix well. Place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle pine nuts on top and cook in oven til golden brown. Spoon warm syrup over and allow to cool before cutting into diamond shaped pieces.

Lebanese treat Namoura: Sonya’s version of what she says is a light dessert!

 

Sonya’s orange almond Greek slice

115gm butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp grated orange rind
2 eggs
3 tbsp brandy
1 cup semolina
1 tsp baking powder
115gm ground almonds

Cream butter and sugar, add the orange rind and semolina, baking powder and ground almonds. Add the eggs one at a time. Place mixture in a medium square baking pan and bake in a 200 C oven for 10 minutes then reduce heat to moderate, 170 C and bake for another 30 minutes. The cooked top should be a dark, honey brown color. Remove from the oven.

Orange syrup

1 1/4 cups freshly-squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp Grand Marnier
Boil the juice and sugar for about 5 mins, then add the liqueur and remove from heat.

Spoon the warm syrup over the warm cake and leave to absorb for an hour or so. Cut into diamond shapes by slicing diagonally across the pan and then doing so again from the opposite way.

The river at Turon Gates is best explored by kayak or on horseback

Read Taste for Travel’s story on Turon Gates here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: