Posts Tagged With: dessert

The Quintessential Apple Pie

A rainy evening in Singapore, I sat curled up on the favorite spot of our studio – the couch by the wall sized window that¬†paints lush green Apple Piegardens, wide skies and high-rise buildings together in a single view! (Apart from the kitchen, this is where I spend most of my time ..well, that is when I am at home! ūüėČ )¬†Coming back,¬†it was a rainy evening, ¬†I felt as snug as a bug in a rug lying on my couch , sipping hot coffee and watching a chick flick –¬†“Waitress”. With a rating of¬†¬†7.1 on¬†IMDb, for all those who are interested, Waitress is a¬†comedy drama about¬†life and dreams of a¬†woman who works at a pie diner.

What appealed me the most about the movie? The frames that captures interesting pies that protagonist Keri Russell bakes in her head depending on her state of mind. She even names them¬†accordingly – “I hate my husband Pie” or “All in love Pie”! It does sound a li’l silly but¬†subtly¬†it did make me realize that more often than not, even the menu in my kitchen decided by my temperament¬†. ( Does that happen you as well?)

Somewhere, somehow, while watching the movie, the image of the¬†primmed¬†and trimmed criss-cross pie got stuck in my head. ¬†I started wondering that I had tasted it so many times at different places before but why didn’t I try it till now? Is it too difficult? Does it require special tools? Are the ingredients too hard to fetch? Can it be made without eggs? The questions were endless but needed to be answered!

Three days of research and googlearning later, ¬†I realized that the ingredients and tools needed¬†for the¬†Apple Pie were as simple as¬†they could be.¬†In-fact almost everything required was available in my kitchen shelves and yes, the flaky pastry crust as required for the¬†pie could be made without using any eggs…¬†Whoa, I was inspired and as ready as ever! What are we waiting for?

So, here’s to my first Pie with the criss cross or lattice top and ¬†I would like to call it ” Pie-Oh-My”!

Here is the list of  Simple Ingredients that I used:Apple Pie

Flour – 2 cups
Butter – 125 gms
Baking powder – 3/4th tsp
Apples – 3 medium (you may choose any kind or can
even mix different varieties of apples)
Spices ( Cinnamon Powder+ Nutmeg Powder) – 1 tsp
Sugar ( preferably brown and ground)-  3/4th of a cup  ( or adjust to taste)
Lemon juice Р1 tsp 
Corn Starch – 1 and 1/2 tsp
Ice Cold Water Р a little over 2 cups
 
 
 
The Process:

Frankly, from the very beginning, I could not wait to start arranging the lattice dough strips on the pie, but clearly,¬†that wouldn’t have been possible till I completed the two main steps – To begin with, knead the¬†pastry dough and then marinate the apples, both of which require¬†some time and patience.

 CRUST of the PIE:

1. Cut 100 gms of butter in small cubes and put it to chill in the freezer for at-least 15 mins soaked in 2 cups ice-cold water.

2. Sift 2 cups of flour and add 2 tbsp ground sugar and 1 tsp baking powder together

3. Now , add hardened butter cubes and start cutting them through the dry flour mixture using forks . The idea is to have grainy butter pieces coated well with the flour mixture, ¬†if it’s too hot in your kitchen and you feel that the butter getting too soft , refrigerate it for sometime and/or move to a aircon cooled room. Do whatever it takes to get a grainy dough. ( It is the coarse butter granules between in the dough that make the Pie Crust flaky!)

4. Once you reach that stage, bind the dough using ice-cold water. Put half tsp at a time. The idea is to use as little water as possible, so that the resultant dough is firm and non-smooth. ( Refer to the picture below) Try not to use too much of hands/pressure in the dough kneading process or the butter would melt due to the body heat through your palms.

“A pie dough comes together exactly like a biscuit only there is very, very little liquid and no leavening involved. Other than that, the same rules apply. My best advice: handle the dough as little as possible. “¬† ¬† ¬†-Alton Brown¬†

5. Cover the dough in cling kitchen wrap and put it to refrigerate in the freezer for about 20-25 mins ( ensuring any softened butter gets firm before the rolling process).

Pie Dough

MARINATE the APPLES:

1. Peel and de-seed the apples and cut them into thin and small bite sizes.

2. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg powder, remaining sugar and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Toss Gently and let them sit for over 15 mins.

3. Transfer the apples into a sieve resting over an empty bowl for about 30-45 mins. The bowl will collect the juice from the softened apples.

4. Mix the corn starch over the collected juice and thicken it in the microwave for about 15 secs, mix it back to the apples.

5. The  softened apple filling is ready to be poured into the pastry crust.

Apple _Marinate

 ROLL out:

The crust might get a little hard when you remove it from the refrigerator but as you start lightly kneading it, it would get easy to manage. The dough should ideally be firm and elastic ; you have to use it before the butter gets too soft and  consequently  makes the dough sticky. 

1. Divide the dough into two parts and by the time you are rolling one, keep the other back in the fridge

2. Take a clean flat surface and lightly flour it. Roll out the dough into circle of a size bigger than your pie baking mould,¬†¬†this measurement makes pie of size 8″ diameter.

3. Care should be taken that the pie crust doesn’t stick/break, if it is becoming unmanageable then you can roll out the dough by placing it in between sheets of cling wraps, by doing so it can be easily transferred to the baking dish.

4.  Lightly grease the baking dish with butter and dust some flour.

5. Roll  the flattened pie on the rolling-pin and roll it out on the baking dish; Firmly press it while sticking the pastry dough neatly to the sides of the bakeware

6. Roll out the other remaining  dough from the fridge and cut it into thin stripes Рapprox width of 3/4 th inches

Apple Pie Hungerlane

 ARRANGING the LATTICE TOP:

Finally comes the most interesting and creative part of the whole process, the pie top arrangement. You can make pie open-faced, with a full top, or half-open like a lattice top. We used the lattice top crust as it not only looks pretty but also  provides heat insulation to the fruit and does not let them become too caramelized. For big pies , the double crust ( top and bottom) works better as it gives every piece a perfect wedge shape and the filling remains neatly sealed in.

Steps to weave your Lattice Pie:

1.   Being excited and impetuous, I took the shortest way started by arranging the strips parallely at a small distance from each other in one direction. ( Needless to say, the longest strip should cut through the center and ends of all the strips should reach till the edge of the pie crust)

2.  Next, I started arranging another set of strips, perpendicular to the previous arrangement starting from one end. The only difference was this time I put one strip  at a time and I alternately put it over and under the existing arrangement, creating a criss cross weave.

 3.  Cut the excess strip ends hanging from the sides after leaving some margin. Now tuck the strip ends neatly into the edge of the bottom crust.

4. You can now create a crimping effect on the edges by using your thumb and index fingers. If you are using a crimped pie plate, you will have to just press the edges firmly on to the crimped circumference.

Just like that you are done!

Tip! If the process above  took sometime and you feel the butter of the crust might have got softened.  Refrigerate the pie  for 10 mins before baking.

Pie_arrangement

BAKING  the PIE

1. Brush the crust with a little butter and/or milk mixture to get a brown glaze. Put it into preheated oven at 250 degrees C for over 1 hour.

2. Since I have an oven with double rod options, I let the base cook on the bottom rod for over 30 mins before putting on the top ( and consequently both) rod on. This ensures that the pie doesn’t over brown. ( If you do not have that option, you may choose to put an aluminium foil around the edge of the pie to keep it from turning too brown and remove it towards the last 15 mins. )

3. ¬†The apple filling bubbles up and the liquid might ooze out of the pie during baking, to avoid spoiling your oven’s surface, keep a tray or a flat plate below the pie bakeware. Keep an eye on your pie, checking ¬†in between while letting it cook slowly.

Eggless_Pie_hungerlane

Serve: Let the Pie sit for around 1-2 hours on the cooling rack, before you serve it…Believe me, it would be definitely worth the wait!

Pie_Crust

I took few shots while waiting for it to  cool down. These are few of the many.  Hope these encourage you to try one for yourself!

Pie_side

Pie_Edge

Eggless Apple Pie

Well, I hope you loved the “Pie – oh -my!”¬† It might be a little ¬†long drawn and time-consuming process but it uses simple ingredients and is worth every effort you put in! Well if you don’t ¬†trust me on this, let me give another try as I close this post and convince you by quoting a small except from a poem written by a famous American writer :

“But I, when I undress me
Each night, upon my knees
Will ask the Lord to bless me
With apple-pie and cheese!”

                                                                РEugene Field

Let us know if have any questions relating to this recipe, &  if you do try it, please share the pics with us at 156hungerlane@gmail.com.

Cheers,

Rashi

Advertisements
Categories: Mains | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Eggless Pancakes

Though Pancakes is quintessential American Breakfast, we think there is no particular time or day to have them!  Why?
a. They are easy to make, if you don’t believe us.. just follow try this recipe and you would also agree with us.
b. They offer room for so many variations, you can choose to use choco-chips, fresh fruits, berries or just butter with your pancakes.
c. They are Pancakes! They are simply Delicious, the fresh hot pancakes are so soft that they just melt in your mouth! mmmm..
 
Variations
Pancakes also have many close variations, make them thin and increase their diameter, they will be called Crepes in Europe. Make them thick and  they would be called as Flapjacks in US and Canada. Replace  flour with  Cornmeal and they would become Mexican Hotcakes!  Even the savory Pooda/Cheela or Uttapams from Southern India are kind of  pancakes!
 
Anyway, without losing our focus let’s come back to the conventional Pancakes, cooked completely without eggs! The ingredients are as follows:
The Yogurt acts as a replacement for eggs and is a great leveling agent. The Baking powder is the raising agent. When mixed  with salt, they all work together to raise the cake when subjected to heat. The quantity of sugar can be increased as per taste. Since we would serve it with maple syrup or strawberry sauce, we have tried to make the pancake a little less sweeter. The oil would ensure that the cake binds together and does not become too hard.
At the mixing step you can add little surprises in your pancakes.. Use cinnamon or nutmeg powder, chocochips, ¬†blueberries or even small mango pieces to flavor your pancakes. ¬†It’s really the right time for you to experiment.
 
Just remember to keep beating the mixture when you add milk, it should not get too thin or it would make the cakes thin and sticky.. We don’t want any FUGLYCAKES, do we?? ¬†It should be thicker than the cake batter. It’s a good idea to use hand blender to ensure the batter has no lumps and it gets smooth. When my batter gets few bubbles I know I am on the right track!
  
Heat the non stick griddle or frying pan on medium heat and lightly grease it with butter. Put just a ladle full of batter and spread lightly till you get the desired size and thickness. Conventionally pancakes are round in shape but you can be creative and make them in any shape! 
 

Let the cake cook till you see its sides getting golden brown, ideally on a nonstick pan it leaves the sides itself. Cook on both the sides until they are golden brown.  The heat that reaches the pancake varies according to the pan being used, with your fair judgement and few trial & errors,  you would be able to have an idea about how long would it take to cook your pancake perfectly!

Servings:

Serve stacks of your pancakes,  dust them with icing sugar, put a small dollop of butter and loads of fresh fruits of your choice.

Maple Syrups are the most common accompaniment to the Pancakes. You can also make your own syrups like strawberry or chocolate sauce. We are sharing a quick recipe for strawberry sauce. It just requires: 3/4 cup Fresh diced Strawberries, 1/2 cup water and 3 tbsp sugar. Just put them on medium heat and boil it till strawberries get squished and sauce thickens! You can blend the cooled mixture to get smooth sauce but I use it just as it is with soft strawberry pieces.

Make a delicious serving loaded with sauces, fruits & whatever you can think of. While serving kids use ice cream or whipped cream!

Pancakes can be both sweet and savory !  They can be served with even vegetables and cheese!  Infact, there is a restaurant here in Singapore called Strictly Pancakes with a great spread and as the name suggests, each and every item on their menu has pancakes! 

Hope you try this recipe soon and share with us about what variation did you experiment with! ( Try Chocolate or Nutella with fresh bananas and nuts!)

I would like to end ¬†this post with a quote about Love and…. Pancakes! ūüôā

‚ÄúLove is a bicycle with two pancakes for wheels. You may see love as more of an exercise in hard work, but I see it as more of a breakfast on the go.‚ÄĚ –¬†Jarod Kintz,¬†This Book is Not for Sale

Ciao!

Rashi

Categories: Breakfast, Desserts, Restaurant Reviews, Sauces | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Eggless Cappuccino Walnut Brownies

First of all ,  a BIG Thanks to all the foodies who have been encouraging us to keep posting new recipes ! 

We are at our experimental best and are really loving it!

So here we are , back with a special treat for your sweet tooth…. with Brownies! Of course, we have already posted recipe to the easy breezy brownies earlier,¬†but this brownie recipe has a subtle variation, its without egg , its darker and its coffee flavored!¬†

But, since its dark chocolate and coffee¬†flavored, shouldn’t it be called¬†Mochaccino¬†Brownies? May be! But I would still stick on calling them¬†Cappuccino¬†Brownies¬†because it takes me back to the place where I first tasted it in 2009, at Angels in my Kitchen, a popular¬†patisserie¬†chain in New Delhi. ¬†They have great dessert menu including these sumptuous brownies! The coffee¬†flavored¬†brownies have a very little yet very appreciable variation to regular chocolate brownies! ¬†Believe me when I say, the coffee twist is a double treat! ( I am sure all Tiramisu fans would agree!)

One last thing about Brownies, before I go ahead and share this recipe:¬† Whenever you are baking one for yourself, ¬†just remember, ¬†be ¬†it chocolate , coffee, walnut or roasted almonds…Brownies have to be gooey!¬† In a way that you just don‚Äôt bite on it but you chew it!

Hope you can’t wait to bake your very own brownie now.. So without any further ado, let’s begin!

This Recipe makes 9 square (2″) brownies by using a square 6″X 6″ brownie mould.

The ingredients are very basic and are generally used in all cake preparations. Yoghurt or Yogurt helps the cake to rise and acts as a replacement of  eggs.  You may also chose to use roasted almonds instead of walnuts.

The flour lining on the brownie mould prevents the base from burning or getting too crisp. It also ensures that the brownie comes out clean.

Please ¬†wait for the brownie to completely cool down before you cut it or can crumple. ¬†Use a cooling rack instead of plate/tray to ensure the base of the brownie doesn’t stick to the base due to moisture.¬†

Serving:

Serve warm brownies with tea or as desserts along with ice cream and chocolate sauce.The detailed serving suggestions have already been shared at the end of Nupur’s brownie post published earlier. The quick link is here:¬†https://156hungerlane.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/easy-breezy-chocolate-brownies/

We hope you enjoy baking these brownies as much as you enjoy eating err.. ¬†chewing them! ūüôā

Please keep sharing your experiences and feedback…….. We are hungry but we are listening!

Ciao!

Rashi

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Easy Breezy Chocolate Brownies

There is not a better moment for me in the day than switching off the lights at night and sitting in the dark with a cup of my mom’s ginger tea in this cool breezy bangalore weather; enjoying it only with Nigella Lawson as I watch her cook up a lazy delicious meal on TLC at 10pm every night.

I have seen, studied and tried recipes of many food authors from around the world but no one, just about no one has even come closer to this home queen. If food is my religion, Nigella Lawson is my Goddess of Great Food. There is something about the way she cooks and talks about food that just bears no match in my research of years and therefore her book ‚Äď Nigella Kitchen (gifted to me by my mom-in-law ūüôā ) is one of my most prized possessions.

It was in this book that I came across this very simple recipe of her everyday brownies but when I saw her bake the same on one of her episodes, I just couldn‚Äôt resist making them. Since making desserts¬†is more a science that an art, I followed her recipe to the ‚ÄėT‚Äô and the result was just what I was hoping for and more. To be honest with you, my hungerlane starts and ends with Nigella.¬† She is my inspiration behind almost everything I cook, second only to my mom and mom-in-law and here is her recipe of Everyday Brownies.

Ingredients (Makes 16)

  • 1 bar of milk chocolate ‚Äď Cadbury‚Äôs dairy milk would do or 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 175 grams of unsalted butter
  • 300 grams¬†of sugar
  • 100 grams of cocoa powder (sounds a lot but is worth it)
  • 150 grams of white flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt

This is a simple 5 step recipe and here is a step by step pictorial representation of what you need to do.

Step 1:

Pre-heat the oven at 190 deg C or 375 deg F. Take a heavy bottom pan and melt 175 grams of unsalted butter on really low heat. Just melt, don’t burn. Simultaneously break your chocolate bar into small pieces and leave it to melt on a double boiler. In my case, I had lots of chocolate chips at home so used them instead. Keep stirring occasionally.

Step 2:

Add sugar to the melted butter and mix. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, soda bicarbonate and a pinch of salt separately and stir it in the mixture. At this point, don’t panic on how the mixture looks. It is a very dry mixture to begin with.

 Step 3:

Break 4 eggs in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of vanilla to it and whisk to combine.  Just whisk lightly to break the eggs and mix everything together. We don’t need to beat too much air in the eggs. Add the eggs to the mixture. Once combined well, you will get a wood brown mixture.

Step 4:

Once all the ingredients are well mixed, add your melted chocolate from Step 1 and mix well. The batter turns from light brown to a delicious dark brown with the addition of chocolate.

Line your baking dish with butter paper and butter the sides so that the brownies comes out easily. Now pour your batter in the dish and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 190 deg Celsius for 20 min. Check once at the 15 minute mark.

Step 5:

Take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool down for sometime before taking them out of the baking tin. Invert on a plate, remove the butter paper, sprinkle some icing sugar on them and enjoy!


Here is how my piece de resistance finally looked on the dinner table and an interesting cut presentation inspired by a very famous video game of my childhood days, Pac – Man.. Enjoy!

Don’t have time, make them Ahead !

The brownies can be made upto 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in case you are planning to serve them later. Will keep for a total of 5 days.

Freeze Note: 

The brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container, layered with baking parchment. Thaw overnight in cool place.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to serve and enjoy brownies ūüôā

  1. Brownie with¬†Ice –¬†Cream:¬† Hot brownies, fresh out of the oven or even reheated ones served with vanilla Ice cream, chocolate sauce¬†and nuts on the side‚Ķ yummmm!
  2. Brownie Milk Shake: For one person, take 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a piece of those delicious brownies and half glass of milk and blend away to glory :). Top with whipped cream/ chocolate sauce / nuts of your choice or all 3 of them!
  3. Base to Cheese cake: Once your brownies have been in the refrigerator for some time, they will get denser. Use these instead of digestive biscuits as the base to your cheese cake!
  4. Brownie Pizza: Cut your brownies in a triangular pizza shape. Whip some cream with castor sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence in it until soft peeks. Top your brownie pizza with this cream mixture and layer fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries or cut cherries on top. Cherries are so much in season these days. Cool and serve. Great way to make kids eat fresh seasonal fruit as well ūüôā
  5. Coconut Almond Brownies: Remember the coconut balls we are all taught in our home science class in school? Mix desiccated coconut, toasted almonds and condensed milk with a few drops of vanilla in it. Top it on your brownies, chill and serve. You can also grill it to toast and caramelize the top of the mixture lightly.

Hope you try and enjoy these Everyday Brownies!

Dear Ms. Nigella Lawson,

If you ever tumble across my blog‚Ķ.ever… high hopes :P, this one is a special dedication to you. Hope I get to meet you and cook like you one day!

Yours truly, honestly, faithfully and ever so lovingly,

Nupur

Categories: Desserts | Tags: | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: