Farmers Markets, Shopping Lists & Maple 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.
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.
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.
Maple Caramel Pecan Shortbread
- 200 gms butter softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 gms butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp cream
- 2 cups roughly chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease a 22x33 cm (9x13 inches) pan and line with foil.
- 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.
- Press firmly into the pan and bake for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- Remove crust from the oven, carefully pour over the caramel topping and spread evenly. Put back in oven and cook a further 15 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 20-30 minutes before removing and slicing.