Tasty Tuesday - Apple & Blueberry Crumble Charlotte

Boy oh boy do we have an exciting Tasty Tuesday today. We have a special guest featuring in today's post and I am so very excited to have her here today. Who is she??? Hmmm I will give you a hint.....
 Our guest is featured in this month's Country Style (make sure you pick up a copy this week), a bestselling author of five cookbooks and a regular guest on ABC Local Radio in Tasmania. She has run masterclasses at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and The Agrarian Kitchen, and regularly holds cooking demonstrations and workshops at a variety of food festivals and community events. She is a mother of six and has perfected the art of transforming leftovers into new & delcious meals.

Some of you guessed who it was in my previous sneak peek post.... Yes it's Sally Wise. A big warm whimsical welcome to you. 

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Sally about her new cookbook "Leftover Makeovers". This book will be your new best friend in the kitchen. In this book Sally shares her best recipes for turning almost any kind of leftover into a new and delicious meal, snack or sweet treat.

Now that's my kind of cookbook. Using leftovers can mean a significant savings to your household food budgets and a time saver for those busy weeknight meals.  The recipes are split under headings for each leftover ingredient such as eggs, dairy, cereals, fruit etc and each category then has further subheadings making it extremely user friendly when trying to find a use for a particular ingredient.

It also has a smattering of helpful tips and tricks along the way and there are some delicious recipes inside this little treasure of a book. Think recipes such as Chicken Biryani, Fragrant Spiced Beef or Vegetarian lasagne. Or what about dessert, recipes such as Coffee and Date Cake, Apple and Blueberry Charlottes or Golden Syrup Dumplings all by simply using leftovers! How good is that!

So let's talk to Sally to see what she has to say about her new cookbook......

Congratulations Sally on the release of your new cookbook “Leftover Makeovers”, Tell us a bit about it?

 It is designed to help make the family food budget go further.  Every year Australians waste $5.2 billion of food.  With the strain on family finances, to use our leftovers more productively is a simple way to economise.
Often we are stuck for ideas though – and leftovers can lurk in the fridge until they go mouldy and then we throw them out, despite our original best intentions.  Leftover Makeovers provides ideas to use all sorts of leftovers in innovative ways.
Along with the positive effects financially, we are also reducing the amount of rotting food that goes into landfill.  Packaging often finds its way into the oceans, with devastating effects on sea creatures.  So less food wastage means benefits for the environment as well.

 What inspired you to write this new book?

 I remembered all the above, plus the fun I had over the years our 6 children were home, finding new and inventive ways to use leftovers.  If I just served them reheated they would be spotted in an instant and rejected outright on principle.
I found the trick was to turn leftovers into a meal or treat in its own right so that it was unrecognisable from its first presentation.  It was amazingly easy to do once I put my mind to it.  It made a really significant difference to the family budget as well.  I figured I should pass the tips onto others.

What are some of your favourite recipes from your new book?

Apple and Blueberry Charlotte (using leftover bread slices)
Coffee Date Cake (using leftover rolled oats)
Tandoori Lamb (using leftover roast lamb)
Hoppel Poppel (using leftover pizza toppings or roast pork)
Roasted root vegetable pie (using leftover roast vegetables)
Toad in a Hole (using those leftover sausages from the barbecue)
Cranachan (using those last biscuits in the jar)

 What would your top tips be for storing leftovers?

Get them into the fridge as soon as possible and use them within three days.  You can freeze them of course  for up to 2 months to extend their life.
If you simply reheat something like a soup or stew, bring it just to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

For the budget conscious family, what tips can you give on stretching the dollar in meal planning?
Look for specials at the supermarket and fruit and vegetable markets.  Work with seasonality – buy what is in season when the quality is good and the price is cheap. Make preserves when there is a glut of fruit or vegetables – i.e. easy jams and pickles.  You can make small amounts and these can provide the basis for making delicious meals – just add a little to a casserole type dish, meatballs, meatloaf or a gravy to give extra flavour.  It saves buying those expensive jars of ready-made sauces, which are often loaded with chemical additives and an excessive amount of salt.
Use cheaper cuts of meat and buy yourself a slow cooker (they are very inexpensive now – the maximum size you will need is 4.5 litre capacity - usually ample for most families).  They are one of the best electrical appliances known to man and help to manage your time as well as your budget.  You simply put a meal on in the morning – it only takes a few minutes, during the day it needs no tending and at night you have a meal on the table, come what may.

Tell us a little about yourself........ . How did you come to become an author of five cookbooks?

Some years ago I was asked to do a Jams and Preserves segment on ABC radio.  I was astounded I was asked, but they wanted to gauge interest in the subject.  Well, the interest was huge; preserving was not a dying art after all.  Listeners asked me to write a cookbook and so I put “A Year in a Bottle” together.  It has really easy recipes for making jams, pickles and cordials, sparkling drinks, marmalade and much, much more.
I was then asked to write a book on slow cooking, so wrote “Slow Cooker”.  After that I wrote “Out of the Bottle”, again on preserving, but with a focus on how to use the preserves you’ve made in your everyday cooking.
As I have a daughter with Coeliac disease, I was always interested in developing really good recipes for people with gluten intolerance, so wrote “From My Kitchen to Yours – easy delicious gluten free food the whole family will love”.  For about 80% of those recipes, I have provided optional dairy free alternative ingredients in notes at the bottom of the page.
Then came “Leftover Makeovers” and next April there will be a book about sweet things.

Have you had any formal training in cooking?

No – I am self taught.  I have adored cooking from the time I was a child, spending much time haunting my grandmothers’ kitchens, listening to all they could teach me.  My great grandparents owned a bakery, and the things my grandmother baked had to be seen to be believed – she had a minimum of 7 cake tins full of goodies every single day.  Lollies as well – it was a child’s wonderland.  The sense of fun and family that surrounded her love of cooking was beyond inspirational.

What was your worst cooking moment in the kitchen?

I remember helping my Mum in the kitchen when I was about ten.  The fruit cake we were making called for a teaspoonful of mixed spice. I rummaged through the cupboard and helpfully found a tin marked “Cayenne – mixed spice”, so put it in.  The cake had a little something extra that I’d not intended.

Who inspires you to cook?

My children – the best times of my life were the times spent cooking together as a family.  We would go fruit picking or gathering as part of a family picnic day, then come home laden with so much that we had the luxury of inventing recipes.  These invention tests became competitive at times, fiercely so, but (generally) in a spirit of fun.  Then their friends would come around and get to share in eating it and take some home for their families as well. I still love to experiment with food for this reason.

What do you love about living in Tasmania?

The relaxed lifestyle, the friendly people, the breath-taking natural beauty and the abundance of fresh produce.  I love the forests, the oceans and rugged coastline, woven in and around the rich cultural heritage.  The food and wine presented here is astounding, due in no small part to the intense flavours of the local produce, grown and harvested in the cooler climate in a clean, green environment.
Everything is close by – a simple Sunday drive can take you through all sorts of incredible scenery, with farm gate stalls along the way where you can buy the best that the season has to offer, grown with pride and passion by the farmers and orchardists, small scale and large.

 For more information about Sally Wise and her cookbooks visit her website:

or her blog:

You can purchase "Leftover Makeovers" at your local ABC Book Store for $24.99.

or keep reading for your chance to win a copy of this wonderful book. This giveaway has now ended.

Thank you sally for sharing with us today.

I was fortunate enough to be given of copy of Sally's latest recipe book "Leftover Makeovers". I knew I had to whip something up using one of the many delicious recipes in this book. I chose to make the Apple and Blueberry Charlotte, using leftover bread and added my own twist to it with the addition of the crumble.
Don't you hate it when you have those last pieces of bread in the freezer that no one seems to eat. This great little dessert is the perfect recipe to use up those pesty leftovers and best of all it's quick, simple and delicious!

Apple & Blueberry Crumble Charlotte

by The Whimsical Wife
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 30-40 min
    • 5 cooking apples, such as Granny Smiths
    • ½ Cup water
    • ¼ cup (approximately) sugar
    • ½ - ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
    • 6-7 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
    • 125g butter, melted
    Crumble Topping:
    • 1/2 cup plain flour
    • 1/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
    • 50g chilled butter, chopped
    • 1/2 cup rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
    Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Grease a 20cm casserole dish (or muffin tray).
    Peel and core the apples, then cut into large cubes. Place in a saucepan with the water and cook until the apples are soft and mushy. Stir in the sugar, and finally the blueberries. Test for sweetness and add extra sugar if necessary.
    Cut each slice of bread into 3 strips. Dip each strip quickly into the butter and line the dish, including the sides, in a single layer. Set aside any remaining strips.
    Pour in the apple and blueberry mixture. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the top and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the bread is crisp and golden.
    Serve with vanilla ice-cream, mascarpone or yoghurt.
    Powered by Recipage

     These charlottes were so quick to make, no rolling pastry, blind baking and general fussing about. Quick.Simple.Delicious! Perfect!

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