Raising the jar - Jocie Chapman


Spring has sprung and the markets and shops are filling up with delicate greens but our fruit bowl is still somewhat lacking in variety (in this part of the world at least). As it has been for the past month or so; it's all about citrus,  rhubarb and apples here. So in an effort to to make the most of them before the stonefruit and berries are ready (still a few months away for us in Orange), here are a couple of beautiful recipes from the Old Convent's Jocie Chapman.

Jocie is one of the best cook's I've ever met. She is particularly gifted with baking and sweet things - just look at the tarts above (wowsers), these hazlenut shortbreads or these pistachio biscuits. With husband Geoffrey, she runs the Old Convent B&B and cafe in Borenore (just out of Orange) and they open for brunch and lunch every Sunday. I can't recommend doing either/both highly enough, a meal at the Old Convent is one of the nicest ways to spend a Sunday in Orange.

Passionfruit curd

As Jocie says, this curd sets so well due to the number of egg yolks. It comes from a Brigitte Haffner recipe published in Australian Gourmet Traveller and is the best curd I've ever tasted and made.  Once cool, you can spoon it into sweet tart shells, spread some on a sponge cake or dollop over meringues with cream (a great way to use up the egg whites). Just try to avoid eating the whole thing straight from the jar (like I did almost unsuccessfully). 

250 mls passionfruit pulp*
225 gms unsalted butter
10 egg yolks
200 gms caster sugar

Pulse passionfruit briefly in a food processor then pass through sieve to extract juice, discard the seeds. Combine juice and butter in heatproof bowl over simmering pot of water and stir until the butter melts.

Whisk yolks and sugar to combine and pour over passionfruit/butter mixture. Whisk continuously
until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine sieve and decant into sterilised jars.

*I've swapped this with lemon juice and the result was still beautiful but just extra tangy!

Apple jelly

When we arrived the other day, Jocie had just bottled this apple jelly and it was like spreading warm apple honey. The colour, taste and consistency all just beautiful. Jocie found this recipe in Christine Mansfield's Paramount Cooking.

5kg red apples
5kg sugar
2 litres apple juice
1 stick cinnamon

Roughly chop apples and place in pot (with cores and seeds). Add remaining ingredient and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently until the apples are soft. Pour contents into a muslin bag suspended over a pot. Allow to drain (undisturbed) overnight.

Pour strained juices into a large clean pot and bring to a boil. Cook over a moderate heat until it reaches setting stage (110 degrees C). Decant into sterilised jars and seal.


  1. Wow Sophie...all of this looks sensational! I loved your blogs from Griffith too...I have just found it difficult to comment on all of my favourite blogs lately x

  2. Look at the colour of that curd! Those yolks must be wonderful! A question about this delicious sounding apple jelly, which I've never made before - are the skins left on the apples? I assume so because of that lovely deep honey-like colour and assume that the core/pips are left in for pectin but just wanted to check!

    1. Hi Emiko, so sorry about the late reply - yes you do leave the core/pips in the muslin. I will make that change to the recipe now. And yes, the curd is an amazing colour isn't i! Jocie sent me home with a little container of those tarts and they barely made it the 20 minute drive. Have a lovely day, Sophie


local is lovely All rights reserved
Design + Development by Ana Degenaar