What is the Taste of Australia? Lyndey Milan travels the country to find out.

Hannah Koelmeyer
25 July, 2014

Much-loved Australian media personality Lyndey Milan has been travelling across the country's stunning geographic regions to unearth the real Taste of Australia – from the diverse multicultural cuisines of the capital cities, the fresh produce of the lush wine regions and the spectacular high country, to the delectable seafood of the sun-kissed coast and the indigenous flavours of the Australian bush.

Lyndey’s ninth book is a collection of colourful recipes that explore the incredible produce and distinct flavours that make up the Taste of Australia. Along the way, Lyndey cooks with a host of characters – including well-known chefs Rick Stein, Peter Evans, Neil Perry and Maggie Beer – who also contribute their favourite recipes to showcase the quintessential flavours of Australia.

‘Lyndey Milan shines a spotlight on local producers and the abundance of fresh produce at our fingertips. We’re very lucky to have Lyndey!’ ­–Maggie Beer

Taste of Australia will be available on September 1. We take a sneak peek at one of Lyndey's favourite recipes from the book.

Deconstructed Peach Melba

Serves: 4

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 1 strip lemon zest (use juice in sauce)
  • 4 small peaches
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 100 g crème fraîche or light sour cream
  • extra thyme sprigs with flowers to serve
  • 125 g raspberries to serve
Coconut and almond crumble
  • 45 g flaked almonds
  • 40 g shredded coconut
  • 30 g butter
  • 55 g sugar
  • 25 g ground almonds
Raspberry sauce
  • 125 g raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • juice of 1 ⁄2  lemon

Place water to cover the peaches in a saucepan large enough to hold the fruit in one layer, and bring to the boil with the caster sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon zest, peaches and thyme sprigs, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes covered with a cartouche (see Lyndey’s note) or until the peaches are just tender. Remove the peaches from the liquid and set aside to cool before peeling, halving and removing the stones. Slice each half into quarters and then into four wedges, or cut into random shapes if you prefer.

For the coconut and almond crumble, toss the flaked almonds in a small frying pan over low heat for 3 minutes or until just starting to colour. Add the coconut and continue to toss for a further 2 minutes or until the flaked almonds and coconut are a light golden colour. Remove to a small bowl. In the same frying pan, add the butter, sugar and ground almonds and cook for 4 minutes until the butter melts and the mixture colours slightly. Remove from the heat and stir through the almonds and coconut then set aside to cool.

For the raspberry sauce, place the raspberries, icing sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, mashing the raspberries to a purée. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Push through a sieve to remove the seeds.

To serve, sprinkle each of four plates with the coconut and almond crumble. Top with the peach wedges and teaspoon-sized dollops of crème fraîche. Drizzle over some raspberry sauce, dot with whole raspberries, scatter over the thyme flowers and serve immediately.

Lyndey’s note

A cartouche is a circular round cut from baking paper, just large enough to cover the pan. The cartouche will help the top of the peaches stay submerged and cook evenly.

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