As I mentioned a few post back, Glamorous Sister No. 2 and her boyfriend, The Strong Silent Type, were down in Melbourne for a visit last weekend. Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny Spring day, so we all jumped in the car and drove down to the Peninsula to soak in the hot springs. On the way we stopped by The Red Hill Kitchen to stock up on some baked treats.
Red Hill Kitchen is a quaint farmhouse kitchen, located on Prossor Lane, which runs off Arthurs Seat Road. The drive up this lane is ‘picture perfect’ idyllic countryside at its best.
The Red Hill Kitchen is surrounded by a productive market garden, stocked with fruits, vegetables and lots of fragrant lavender. This produce is then transformed by the owner and chef, Bernie, into delicious baked treats, jams, relishes and sauces (the traditional tomato sauce is particularly good).
The Red Hill Kitchen is not licensed to serve hot food and drinks; so food is really only available takeaway for you to then heat up at home – or to eat cold. The other option is to order the Goats Cheese and Caramelised Leek Tarts which have just come out of the oven and eat these while still warm in a sunny spot in the market garden. The pastry which encases the Goats Cheese Tart is handmade on site – it is buttery, flaky and crunchy. Delicious. The sharp, tangy goats cheese is a perfect match for the sweet caramelised leek too.
We also stocked up on a range of sweet treats for the ride home – a large slice of prune tart, a lemon tart and some quince tarts (which at only $1 a pop we could not afford not to buy!).
All of the tarts are encased in a sweet version of the buttery homemade pastry described above.
The lemon tart was filled with a lovely egg-based lemon custard. The custard is silky smooth, with a sharp citrus flavour. The custard is also a deep yellow colour – indicting that the eggs used were very fresh, with deep yellow-orange yolks.
The quince tarts are filled with a homemade quince jelly. The quince jelly has a rich and jammy flavour and is a beautiful deep red colour. Sadly, (or perhaps for the best as far as my waistline is concerned), these little bite sized treats disappear in one or two bites.
My absolute favourite treat of the day was the prune tart. I know prunes have a bit of a terrible reputation – insert old person toilet joke here – but I still love them. The prune tart was deliciously moist and sweet and was topped with a carmelised brown sugar topping, resulting in a beautiful crunchy, rich golden syrup flavoured crust.
Now if only The Red Hill Kitchen could get its hand on a coffee machine…