Baking | Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies … it’s Pi{e} Day after all #wholegrain #together #healthy #pie

“The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.”
Henry Drummond

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand PiesWholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies … pies for a day like today that honours the humble pie. Handiwork of a genius foodie  who equated Pi Day to Pie day ….and the rest as they say is history. In taste terms these turned out to be quite delicious. I think they are a fab fit for Pie day which incidentally falls today on the 14th of March. {Read 3.14}

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies There was a time a couple of years ago when I never missed doing a pie for Pie Day. The whole concept had me enchanted. With a deep dislike {read  hatred} for math in school, the very concept of 22/7=3.14 being applied to mathematical problems flew over the top of my head. My poor father would break his head trying to drill some math intelligence into me. Never happened.

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies Then came food blogging, the Daring Bakers, and a LOT of new foodie friends. We had loads in common. We would wake up and hop into twitter from right across the globe, and break into a twitter chat! It was an obsession, and a load of good was born out of it too. It was in March one year when, much to our amazement, someone started a chain asking to make pies for Pi Day? Most of us crawled out from under the rock … it was a huge YES!

Pi Day is an American annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π in decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.

I’ve had some great pie baking on my blog. I credit a lot of what I’ve learnt to the Daring Bakers. Without them I wouldn’t have been half the baker I currently am. Some pies were FUN all the way like this Pie Bird & A Strawberry Pie I made after watching the film Life of Pi. I loved it!Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird Some pie baking memories are poignant like the time there was a call for International Pie Day in honour of Jennifer Perillo. Jenifer’s Mikey loved Peanut Butter Cream Pie and she kept postponing making it for him. Then suddenly one day it was too late. I couldn’t make peanut butter cream pie as I had no peanut butter or cream cheese at home, but I made a no-bake Upside Down Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie. Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieSo was talking to the Ruchira yesterday and she said she was making a yummy Cheese & Bacon Pie … and the first thing that came to my mind was Pie Day. She was like huh? There’s something like Pie Day? So the mathematical equation was duly explained. Was she excited or what.  She loved the very idea, and that in turn got me going. I would do pie too, hand pies!

ThymeWhat a memorable day today was. Just the motivation I needed! No time to do grocery so I had to work with what I had on hand. Apples & thyme. Walnuts and cheddar are pantry staples, so I knew just what to make. Not one for an APF pastry, I decided to challenge myself. Would do a wholewheat version … and surprise, surprise, it worked beautifully. Crisp and light. You wouldn’t miss the normal pastry at all!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies Shortcrust pastry needs delicate handling; don’t overwork it. Make sure the cut in butter is pea sized. Add just enough liquid so that it comes together comfortably, little more than just staying together than pinched. Pull it together in a ball, don’t knead the dough. The pastry gets tough. Cling wrap it into a flat disk and chill for a couple of hours. Who doesn’t like a good rest?  The pastry does too. Mine got an overnight rest so I had little work for this morning. I did the filling last night too so basically I was just down to rolling and pinching today!

Eggs & ThymeI got the eggs out for a glaze. Then decided to keep it a 100% vegetarian. Someone on FB posted a honey glaze ages ago. Unfortunately I cant remember her name, but I remember honey! I love the the goldenish brown hue it gave my pastry.  It’s a great choice if you want to keep a bake a 100% egg free. I used to do a single cream wash in the past. Honey is my new wash to go!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies The flavours are beautiful too. Apples and walnuts are good old friends, cinnamon ties them together. Thyme and cheddar stirred in some magic. What a pleasing bite these had. Sweet little hand pies, just perfect for Pie Day. Despite being tired to bits with renovation on at home, a little nudge from a friends is all it took. It’s difficult to be optimistic all day, every day; and sometimes we need a little nudge to get on track! That is the power of being #together!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies So I manged to bake pie to mark the day. Something else good also happened today. I walked 10,000 steps with the GOQii fitness band. What’s that you might ask? More about that on my next post!

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Baking | Wholewheat Cocoa Almond Biscotti #comfortfood #biscotti #chocolate

“Comfort food, food that reassures, is different things to different people.”
David Tanis

wholewheat cocoa almond biscotti Wholewheat Cocoa Almond Biscotti … what can be better than a crisp chocolatey cookie on a rainy day. Twice baked, studded with roasted almonds and chocolaty to boot. There’s something strangely comforting about this twice baked Italian cookie, not least that it is low on fat. This version is wholegrain and delicious!

Wholewheat cocoa almond biscotti It was time for Mr PAB to travel, and as is customary to carry some cookies with him, it was time to bake! Biscotti’s been on my mind of late. It’s been raining quite a bit; delayed monsoons and what have you. The weather seems perfect for biscotti and some nice deep coffee. So a batch was baked. Some for him, some for us!

Wholewheat cocoa almond biscotti You might have noticed fewer desserts popping up here. Yes, that’s happened too. With the daughter away to uni, the demand has ‘fallen’. The son for some good reason is counting calories these days. Salads and stir fires are in, so are smoothies and fruits! The cakes and sweet treats are few and far between! Is good. I kinda like it.

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Baking | Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti … #bloggerstuesday #hbg #glutenfree #cookie

“Bake with love…”
Manuela Kjeilen

Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti. Today I have one of my favourite recipes for you. I developed this for my better half who is trying to stay gluten free and loves biscotti. I shot it in a hurry as he was leaving for HKG and loves to carry ‘the taste of home’ with him.

Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti I am super inspired with whole grain baking and still can’t figure out why plain flour formed my first few years of baking. It’s never too late to shift gear though. I did, and happily so. My baking now is mostly whole grain and I am LOVING it. You will find oats, amaranth, wholewheat, nut meals in my recipes.Whole foodMy other love, fruit, finds a lot of place in my blog too. I have also now shifted to using raw sugar, honey and brown mineral sugar in the kitchen, and sometimes natural fruit substitutes a part of the sugar. I hope I have inspired you to shift gears a little too. Do ‘think out of the box’, push your boundaries and always stay inspired!Chocolate Marquise

This post is headed for Bloggers Tuesday at Home Bakers Guild.

 

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