Thursday, November 27, 2014

No Bake Apple Butter Pie

Hope all of you had a happy and thankful Thanksgiving.
For this Thanksgiving along with with pumpkin pie and the pecan pie, I thought of making a lighter no-bake pie.
Here is the result of my experiment. We loved this and  I am planning to make this next year too or the next time I have craving for a pie. This is an entirely home made version because I think home-made is always better as you can make it to your liking. But if you are pressed for time, you can easily put this together using store bought crust and apple butter of your choice. Apple being a fruit available year-round, this is something you can make any time of the year.
 So enjoy!

For the Pie crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 9 whole graham crackers)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
Pinch of salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

If you’re using whole graham crackers, finely crush them in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin.
Stir graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a fork.
Press mixture  into each ramekin or serving dish  to form a even layer along the bottom. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling. I prefer chilling the  pie crust for at least one hour before filling. Cover if chilling longer.

For the Apple Butter:
2 lbs of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or substitute with water)
1/2 cups water
Sugar (about 2 cups, see cooking instructions)
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup Butter
Pressure cook cored and peeled apples along with apple cider vinegar and water for 5 minutes. Puree the apples and add rest of the ingredients into a wide thick-bottomed pot(the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation) and cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth.

Final assembly:
Spoon in the apple butter to the chilled crust and smooth out the top. Serve along with a dollop of whipped cream with a sprinkle of left over cookie crumb. Or if you are not a fan of whipped cream you can leave that out and serve with just the  left over cookie crumbs.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

These are absolutely delicious. It is one of my favorite breads to make in fall.  I have made these for the fall season for past 5  years . This spice bread is  packed with  great flavor and is very moist.
Recipe source:Tammy's Recipes
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Glaze ingredients:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon water
In a medium mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, orange juice, and orange zest. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Pour mixed wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients, and stir until no lumps remain.
Lightly grease and flour loaf pans or muffin pans. (This recipe will fill about 8 mini loaf pans, OR 2 regular loaf pans, OR 24 muffins.) Fill pans or muffin cups 3/4 full.Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes (muffins), 20 minutes (mini loaves), or 35 to 40 minutes (regular loaves). Check with a toothpick or fork (should come out clean).
Remove bread from pans and place on a wire rack to cool, covered with a clean towel. Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add just enough water to make a glaze. Poke tops of bread with a fork or toothpick, and drizzle the glaze over the warm bread.
Slice bread with a thin serrated knife and serve warm, or allow bread to finish cooling, and store in a sealed bag or container.
8 mini loaves, 2 regular loaves, or 24 muffins

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Potato Stew/ Ishtu

Today we had some friends home for  brunch. So I thought of treating them to a traditional appam and stew as this is something though typical Indian/ Kerala dish can be made not too spicy also to suit the non-Indian palate.  This stew goes well with chapathi, puri, puttu, idiyappam and even with bread. What I have shared here is the standard recipe with the normal spice levels; but if you want a milder version just reduce the number of green chillies in the recipe.
Ginger sliced/diced -1 tbs
Onion -2 sliced
Green chilly-5
Curry Leaves-2 Sprigs
Thick Coconut milk-1 cup
Thin Coconut Milk-1 cup( If using canned coconut milk add 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup coconut milk to make thin coconut milk)
Water-1/2 cup
Salt -to taste
Coconut oil-1 tbsp
Garlic- one finely chopped (optional)
Pressure cook diced potatoes with enough salt , thin coconut milk and water for  2 whistle or 2 minutes after putting the weight, set this aside.
Heat one tbsp of oil  and  add onion,ginger,green chilli,garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves and sauté till the onion turns translucent. To this add  cooked potato and mix well let it simmer for about 5 minutes
Add  thick milk , when the curry comes to a boil  switch off the stove and add  the remaining  curry leaves and close the pan for few minutes . Check the salt and if the curry is too thick  dilute it with some hot water.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kinnathappam Malabar Style (with eggs)

Kinnathappam is a favorite of mine - especially the Thrissur version of it. The typical Thrissur kinnahtappam is made with rice flour and it is something that can be made with no planning ahead. I was initially a little hesitant to try this as this had egg also in it as an ingredient. Why go for one more ingredient when you can have yummy kinnathappams without it?
But when I served the Thrissur kinnathappam's to my friend who was visiting, she told me that though she liked it, the Malabar kinnathappam that she is used to was also nice and it was almost like a jelly and kids would surely love it, especially  if served cold after refrigerating it for a while.
I tried this during the summer and it was different as she said and tasted nice also with a different feel to it - almost like tender coconuts, or jelly like.  If you haven't tried this, and if you like jelly like, melt in the mouth desserts, it surely is worth a try.
Sona Masoori Rice / Basmati rice - 1 cup (or any raw rice)
Water-1/ 2 cup
Coconut Milk - 2  cups (thick)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar- 1 cup
Cardamom- 4  (powdered)
Ghee - 1 tsp
Ghee roasted almonds/cashews and raisins-1/4 cup

 Soak the rice for at least 3 hours.Make the rice into a fine paste with 1 cup coconut milk ,sugar,salt  and egg using a blender or grinder.( if your blender takes a long time and usually heats up the batter use cold coconut milk) Whisk in remaining coconut milk and water Strain with a cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer strain this one more time. Add the powdered cardamom. The consistency of the batter would be that of milk if it is too watery add some all purpose flour(maida) and if too thick add more water .
 Heat water in a steamer. In a greased  steel plate or cake pan  stir the batter well and pour the batter into the greased plate,place  in the steamer , the thickness of the batter should be 1 and 1/2 inch( I had enough batter for two). After steaming for 5 minutes add the nuts and raisins and steam for another 25-30 minutes.
 Take the pan out of the steamer and let it cool. Cut into desired shapes and serve. Repeat the same with the remaining batter to make another plate of Kinnathappam.
Makes two 9" Plates
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