10 Family Heirloom Recipes From Our Community You’ll Have To TryMona
Family heirloom recipes are much more than just a list of ingredients with instructions – they are precious memories that will hold a special place in your heart (and tummy) forever. Whether it’s Nana’s tasty chicken soup or Mum’s chocolate walnut tortes, some recipes you’ll never forget, and you’ll want to pass down for generations to come.
Preserving and Celebrating Family Heirloom Recipes
To ensure you and your family can continue to recreate and enjoy family dishes, preserving these recipes is essential. There are lots of ways you can do this and make it fun at the same time. You could interview or record a video of your family member making the recipe, or create a digital or printed family recipe book using images and a typed or handwritten recipe. If you go with the handwritten recipe, you should laminate it to avoid discolouration or damage.
We recently called upon our community to share their favourite family heirloom recipes with us. From all-time classics such as beef stew to exotic recipes like butter chicken, through to celebratory cakes, these ten recipes are too good not to try.
Five Savoury Family Heirloom Recipes
Fried Rice by Minuri
“This fried rice recipe was passed down to me from my mother. My wonderful mum taught me how to prepare this very delicious fried rice.”
Oil, chicken, rice, onion, leeks, garlic, ginger, salt, soy sauce, chilli powder, eggs, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, capsicum
- First, cook the rice per rice instructions and grate carrots and cucumber, cut the onion, capsicum, mushrooms and leeks.
- Next, heat oil in a frying pan, add garlic and ginger. Add the chicken after a few minutes.
- Once the chicken is completely cooked, add in eggs.
- After a few minutes, add in mushrooms and leeks.
- Finally add carrots, capsicum and a small quantity of chilli powder and stir.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with soy sauce.
Chicken Soup by Kyarna
“This is my grandma’s secret recipe of chicken soup!”
10 organic chicken drumsticks
3 carrots (diced)
2 zucchinis (diced)
1 leek (diced)
1 small sweet potato (diced)
1/2 small Japanese pumpkin (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
1 head of broccoli (diced)
1/4 head of cauliflower (diced)
2L chicken bone broth
A handful of basmati rice
Salt and pepper to taste
- Put all ingredients into a slow cooker or very large pot and cook on low for five hours.
- Pull out the chicken drumsticks and carefully remove the meat from the bones.
- Pop the meat back into the pot and cook for another four hours. Enjoy!
Winter Beef Stew by Nikki
“The recipe I’d like to submit from my mother is her hearty winter beef stew. This can be made in the crock pot or on the stove.”
1 chopped onion
1 cup of beef stock
1/2 cup of red wine
4 chopped carrots
500g quartered mushrooms
Add potatoes/parsnips if desired.
Salt and pepper
A spring of rosemary
- Brown off the beef and add to the crockpot.
- Sautee the onion until translucent – add to the crockpot.
- Add the stock and the wine.
- Add the rest of the veggies.
- Let it cook on low for 6-7 hours.
- An hour before serving, add in a cup of frozen peas.
Butter Chicken by Parul
“As soon as my kids hear that I’m making butter chicken (passed on from my mother), they start feeling hungry. Everyone in my family loves this recipe.”
Prepare the chicken:
- Wash the chicken and cut it into pieces.
- Once the chicken has dried, add some ginger garlic paste, salt to taste, curd/yogurt (unsweetened and thick yogurt), coriander powder, cumin powder, lemon juice and any cooking oil. If you want it hot, you can add red chilly or black pepper.
- Marinate it for at least an hour in the fridge, and then pan-fry, grill, or cook in the oven until it is cooked – be careful not to overcook it.
For the gravy:
- Heat butter in a pan, put 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, half-inch cinnamon stick, 5/6 green cardamom, 3/4 cloves and saute them for few seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste according to chicken quantity. Cook it until the rawness of ginger and garlic goes away.
- Add roughly chopped/sliced half onion and saute it and then put a good amount of tomatoes. For nearly 700gm of chicken, one whole can of diced tomatoes will work.
- Then add salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and “Butter chicken Masala” to it. You can buy it from any Indian store. Cook them properly until you see butter oozes out from the sides, and that shows that gravy is cooked. Now let it cool down and then puree it to a fine paste.
Make the cashew paste:
- For 700g chicken, take half a cup of cashews to make the paste.
- Cook the cashews in hot water for half an hour.
- Add some milk, bring it to boil and puree it.
Add it together:
- Heat a pan and put a little bit of butter, and then put in the pureed gravy.
- Add cashew nut paste. As soon as you add cashew paste, don’t leave it unattended; keep stirring.
- After 1-2 minutes, add the chicken. Let it cook on low heat for three to four minutes. Check if the chicken is absorbed in gravy.
- Add some milk or water and let it boil. After you see good consistency, add honey/sugar (according to taste).
- Add cream and let it cook for two minutes.
- Optional: Add some dried fenugreek leaves for garnish. We call it “kasuri methi”. You can buy it from an Indian store.
Serve with bread/rice or nan bread of your choice.
Mushroom, Shrimp and Veggies in Oyster Sauce by Jessica
150g white button mushrooms (sliced)
150g shrimps (deveined, head and shell removed)
4 cups mixed vegetables (beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, snow peas, young corn)
1 medium yellow capsicum (sliced)
1 red onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tbs sesame oil
For the sauce:
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Cornflour
1/4 cup Water
Salt (to taste) and pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a pan. Pan-fry shrimp for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil, sauté the mushroom for about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and onion. Cook for a minute more.
- Add the mixed vegetables and capsicum. Stir fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While vegetables are cooking, prepare the oyster sauce. For the sauce, add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir until combined.
- Once the sauce has been made, pour the mixture into the pan and toss. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens.
- Add the shrimps back to the pan and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm with rice. Enjoy!
Five Sweet Family Heirloom Recipes
Nana’s Biscuits by Gemma
“My nana’s biscuit recipe has been passed down the generations and is one of my major childhood memories.”
8 oz Sugar
8 oz Butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
- Cream butter, sugar and essence together.
- Add sifted flour and baking powder, chocolate chips and mix well.
- Roll into balls, flatten with a fork and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Healthy Banana Bread by Jules
“A recipe by Cookie and Kate that reminds me of my late mum who passed on to me her love of a cup of tea paired with a nice dose of carbs :).”
1/3 cup (75 grams) melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil/high-quality vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey (168 grams) or maple syrup (155 grams)
1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 1/2 medium or 2 large bananas)
1/4 cup (56 grams) any milk or water
1 teaspoon baking/bicarb soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
Optional: 1/2 cup mix-ins of chopped walnuts/pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit or fresh banana slices.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk.
- Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
- Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend.
- Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour until combined (some lumps are ok). If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
- Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes, with mix-ins usually 60 minutes).
- Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes. You may need to run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread from the pan.
- Carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool before slicing, and enjoy!
Chocolate Walnut Tortes by Renata
“Chocolate Walnut Tortes were my favourite as a child. A decadently sweet treat that Mum passed down to me, now I enjoy making them with my daughter.”
Biscuit Dough Ingredients:
300 grams flour
200 grams butter
100 grams walnuts
1 teaspoon lemon rind
140 grams walnuts shredded
1 tablespoon sugar
100ml warm milk
275 grams chocolate melts
1 tablespoon of oil
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Place all ingredients for the biscuit dough into a bowl and mix well.
- Roll out the dough and cut circles using a dough cutter dipped in flour.
- Place onto prepared tray and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
- Place 140grams of processed walnuts, a tablespoon of sugar into warm milk and mix well. Let the filling cool down.
- Once the biscuits have cooled down, spread apricot jam over one side of the biscuit.
- Spread a small amount of filling onto the same side as the jam and join one circle with the filling to another.
- Place in the fridge for an hour.
Chocolate cover topping
- Place chocolate melts into a bowl. Bring a small quantity of water to boil in a saucepan, reduce to simmer and place the bowl firmly on top. Stir until chocolate is melted and set aside.
- Take each biscuit and dip it into the chocolate, and place on baking paper.
- Place a walnut on each biscuit that has been covered with chocolate.
- Place in the fridge and let the chocolate set.
Carrot Cake by Suzannah
“With seven kids, our family had LOTS of birthdays to celebrate. My mum is the queen of cakes, and her carrot cake is one of my all-time favourites! It’s sweet and dark to the point of being slightly caramelised and coated with a tangy, smooth lemon cream cheese icing – my absolute favourite carrot cake!”
200gm plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
170g white sugar
170g dark brown sugar (regular brown sugar works too)
275ml vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
150g grated carrot
90g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
70g canned crushed pineapple (drain the pineapple in a sieve first to remove most of the liquid, then weigh it)
250g cream cheese
1/2cup icing sugar, sifted 1-2 teaspoons very finely grated lemon zest, depending on your taste
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or paste
Dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, almond flakes, sunflower and poppy seeds; another favourite combination is chopped pistachios and dried rose petals.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease, and line a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, mixed spice cinnamon into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix for one minute at slow speed, then scrape down the sides and mix for another two minutes on medium speed.
- Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for half an hour before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing:
- Combine the cream cheese, sifted icing sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Mix vigorously until smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust the lemon and sugar to what you prefer.
- If the cake is not yet cool, you can put the icing in the fridge until ready to use.
- Spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake and decorate with the dried apricots, pumpkin seeds and poppyseeds (or any other nuts and seeds of your choice).
- Serve with natural yogurt or on its own.
Caramel Banoffee Pie by Suzannah
“Please enjoy my mum Heather’s Caramel Banoffee Pie.”
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
125g chilled butter
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
1 TBSP cold water
- Process together flour, sugar, salt and butter in your mixer till breadcrumb texture.
- Add yolks and water and process till smooth ball forms. Shape into a flat disc and wrap in cling film. Rest in the fridge for at least 30mins and up to overnight.
- Roll out and fit to the pie dish, using your rolling pin to roll off the edges. Prick all over with a fork. Return to the fridge for another 30 mins – 1hour.
- Cook at 200c. Bake blind for 10 minutes, then return to oven with beads removed until the base is golden. Leave too cool.
100ml cream, 200g mascarpone, 1 tsp gelatine (dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp boiling water and cooled). One can condense caramel (380g) – whip cream until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Add gelatine and caramel and beat slowly until thoroughly combined and silky.
200ml whipped cream sweetened with 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and then add 1/2 tsp of gelatine (dissolved in 1 tbsp of boiling water and cooled) – alternatively use canned whipped cream. Bananas. Caramilk chocolate.
Slice the bananas and cover the bottom of the cooked pie crust. Spoon the filling over the bananas evenly. Melt all but two rows of the Caramilk chocolate and then spoon the melted chocolate in a drizzle over the filling. Use your spoon to mix into the filling gently – this will harden and be a nice texture. Refrigerate. Before serving, pipe your topping whipped cream in rosettes over the top of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut curls of the remaining Caramilk and scatter evenly over the cream rosettes. Place finished pie in the fridge for at least three hours to set before serving.
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