Farmers Markets, Shopping Lists & Maple Caramel Pecan Shortbread

by Amanda McInerney on 24/10/2013

 Caramel Pecan Shortbread

When it comes to efficient supermarket shopping and saving money, they say there are a few good rules to remember  – take a shopping list, know where everything is in the store so you don’t get distracted and never go shopping while hungry as you’ll buy more than you need. However, you need to throw those rules away when shopping in a farmers market, because the ideal way to make the most of the experience and get the best of the seasonal produce available is to do the exact opposite!

When visiting your local farmers market – and I would urge you to do so, for a whole heap of reasons – the best plan of action is to firstly do a quick reconnoitering lap of all the stalls to work out what looks best on that particular day, whose prices you like and also to give you time to think about what you might make with the produce available. Once you’ve done your “reccy” it’s time to get out the purse and shopping bag and get serious. It’s also important to be realistic about how much to buy – there’s no point in buying a whole heap of magnificent fresh produce if you are not going to have the time or resources to cook it all up and store it before it spoils.

Adelaide Farmers' Market

The great news for Adelaide Farmers’ Market members and fans is that a brand, new mid-week market is opening up in Prospect, giving shoppers more opportunity to stagger their fresh food purchases. Sharing the fresh, local, food love,  Adelaide Farmers’ Market, Prospect will be open to the public every Thursday from 3-7 pm on the corner of Vine Street and Prospect Road. While technically open from this afternoon, the first two weeks of trading are to have more of a local community focus, giving the Prospect citizens a chance to check it out and offer feedback.

The Prospect market is a branch of the Adelaide Farmers’ Market and as such has the same goals – to support South Australian farmers. The official opening will be on November the 7th, when the ribbon will be formally cut, with the new branch then ready “to help energise and inspire the already cosmopolitan Prospect food community”, says Adelaide Farmers’ Market CEO Amanda Daniel. “Being in a retail precinct, making it even easier to walk or bike to do the shopping, this market also sits well with our focus on sustainability”, adds Amanda.

Pecans

With a wealth of gorgeous, fresh food around me, I find it impossible not to get hungry while shopping at the farmers market and, while purchasing spontaneity might not be advisable in a supermarket, I usually succumb on my Sunday trips to the Adelaide Farmers’ Market. My most recent purchasing prize was two large bags of local pecans, the last of the current crop from a Riverland farmer.

I love nuts and pecans are a particular passion, although the hours it took me to get the buggers out of their shells were less than joyful and I’m thinking perhaps buying two bags was a little ambitious. However, along with some of my Canadian maple syrup stash, they did find their way into this incredibly delicious, but wickedly butter-rich slice which I can highly recommend. I’d really suggest making sure there are plenty of kids or guests around to help you consume this one. It makes quite a big slab and, somehow, I ended up eating most of it myself – not one of my wisest moves.

buttery Maple Caramel Pecan Shortbread

Maple Caramel Pecan Shortbread
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:

Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 200 gms butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Topping
  • 100 gms butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 2 cups roughly chopped pecans

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease a 22×33 cm (9×13 inches) pan and line with foil.
  2. Crust
  3. In a stand mixer or processor, cream butter, sugar and vanilla paste until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined and crumbly.
  4. Press firmly into the pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Topping
  6. Melt the butter, sugar, maple syrup and cream in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat, when simmering add the nuts and combine over heat for 1 minute.
  7. Remove crust from the oven, carefully pour over the caramel topping and spread evenly. Put back in oven and cook a further 15 minutes.
  8. Cool in pan for 20-30 minutes before removing and slicing.

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel @ The cook's notebook October 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

OMFG I WANT THIS NOW!

Looks divine. Pecans are my favourite nut too, and pecans, butter and maple syrup is such a winning combination of flavours.

THE most torturous farmers’ markets experience I’ve ever had was in San Francisco a few years ago, and I couldn’t really buy anything as I wasn’t going to be near a fridge for 12 hours. At least I had a very yummy lunch that day.

Lisa the Gourmet Wog October 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I’ve never seen pecans before in their raw form on a tree! Love your recipe, nothing like a good pecan slice! x

Hotly Spiced October 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

I love your pecan slice! And shopping in farmer’s markets really is the best way to go. I love how they support small businesses and how the big giants are cut out of the picture. The produce is always so beautiful and fresh, too xx

Kate October 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Oh that slice – how delicious – I bet it is addictive !

Shirley from Rhubarb Whine October 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I am the world’s worst when it comes to shopping with a list or sticking to a meal plan. I need a pantry the size of a house, so when I see a recipe I want to make i can just go and get what I need from my stash. At least with baking, that’s an option – not so much for the fresh goodies at the market. :)

Jennifer @ Delicieux October 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

Oh Amanda, this shortbread looks like something my Nan used to make, except hers was with macadamias. I’d absolutely love a slice of this right now for morning tea!

PS I love the little changes you’ve made to your blog. :)

InTolerant Chef October 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm

What a delicious looking slice indeed! I’m making maple biscuits this week too- great minds definitely think alike :)
Farmers markets are wonderful- so full of the best produce grown by passionate people!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) October 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

Gah I need this. NOW.

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