No bake | Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse #dessert #inseason

“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”
Michael Pollan

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} MousseJamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse … possibly the best way to bid adieu to this humble fruit. I had a bag tucked away in the fridge for long. Forgot about them, and life went on. Then we were at threesixtyone°, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, and along came the silkiest Jamun sorbet ever. It was so pretty too.

Jamun sorbetRuchira captured the very essence in her post here …  “We were served the amuse bouche next – a Jamun or Java plum sorbet which was so creamy that it felt like silk in the mouth. The tang from the plum along with the roasted cumin and rock salt was extremely light and refreshing.”

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum}Jamuns danced in my head all day. There’s something about the fruit. It’s astringent, and somewhat edgy. You develop a flavour for it.  I knew there was to be something jamun made soon. I still remember a sublime jamun mousse we had enjoyed at Sangeeta’s place a year ago. That had white chocolate in it. I had none on hand so was a little unsure if my mousse would hold.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse It sure did. Beautifully. This mousse was quite delicious. I wasn’t sure how it would be received by the kids. They took to it quite happily. The daughter was in from uni for the Independence Day weekend. She was happy to be served dessert. It’s funny how she’s suddenly begun appreciating the little things in life!  Life teaches you. A lot.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse There was a time when we used to forage for jamuns, climb trees, graze knees to shake the branches. Greedily picking jamuns off the ground and stuffing them into our mouths feels nostalgic now. They tasted sweeter, left our fingers and clothes purple. The stains never came off. Those memories will never either. There are few jamun trees left to forage now. Thankfully sales in the bazaar have increased since the wild Indian java plum has become commercially viable.

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Food Event | Wine Tasting … a wine for every season at Four Seasons!

“If your heart is warm with happiness, you’ll need a glass – if sorrow chills your heart, have two!”
Hannu Lehmusvuori

Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing, New DelhiPut together a bunch of food and lifestyle bloggers {read  eight ladies and a lad} with a few bottles of good wine, a connoisseur who is surprisingly refreshing and great company … and suddenly a searingly HOT afternoon quite unbearable at 45C becomes animated FUN! We were hosted by Four Seasons for a Wine & Food Pairing session at the quaint and charming Fres Co in the heart of New Delhi.Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing, Fres Co, New DelhiFour Seasons Wine & Food Pairing, New Delhi

Whether it is the sprightliness of a fresh spring morning, the joyous warmth of a glorious summer afternoon, the tingling nip of a crisp autumn twilight or the biting chill of an icy winter night, to everything there is a season. And to every season, there is an experience. An experience captured by Four Seasons selection of the finest Indian wines.

Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing

Photo courtesy Sangeeta

We walked in hot and bothered, complaining about the unbearable Indian summer. Purba, the lady with the funny bone, had us in splits, her one liners completely justifying her humor and satire blog A-musing. With her came the only ‘cat’ among the pigeons, Prateik aka Snow Leopard …  it was the pigeons day out as the sweet fellow lent us his ear and we chattered voraciously!Four Seasons Wine & Food PairingThe lovely Shamita Sinha, Miss Earth Universe and a wine connoisseur, a truly passionate wine lover, held our rapt attention for the next two hours. What followed was animated discussions, unraveling the magic of Four Seasons, understanding their philosophy, exploring Baramati virtually where they host their vineyards, and how FS is inspired by French wines  … all this through swirls and sips of different wines from the Four Seasons range paired perfectly with delicious grub.Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing, Fres Co, New DelhiWe began with a still Rosé wine, Mr PABs favourite summer wine, Blush as the attractive salmon pink wine is aptly called. It was crisp, light and refreshing, a beautiful accompaniment for light summer fare … perfect! We’ve been looking for a good Rosé after the fabulous one that Mr PAB got back from France. After a couple of really disappointing local ones, Blush really stood out.Four Seasons Wine & Food PairingShamita Sinha, Miss Earth Universe and Wine ConnoisseurNext up was a still white wine Chenin Blanc, then a still red wine Merlot. We missed tasting the Barrique Reserve, but that was OK. Forks were beginning to fall every now and then, the happy gathering cheered on! Shamita talked us through the old school of thought, wine at room temperature and how the concept came to be in temperatures of 13-14C Europe of the past … and how that just didn’t work especially here at 40C! Times have changed so the rules have to go, basic guidelines lead the way, fusion cuisine is in … ultimately your palette is your guide and best friend.Four Seasons Wine & Food PairingDry vs Sweet, Red vs White, food pairings and fusion food pairings, the richness of the cuisine and the intensity of the wine, light summer fare with light summer wine, Indian cuisine and wine pairings, the tanins, the blush, colours from red to straw to white, the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation, antioxidants and also the ‘yeast’ monster at play here too … yes we talked!Sushmita & Sangeeta

Four Seasons, Wine & Food Pairing, New Delhi

Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing

Photo courtesy Sangeeta

Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing

Photo courtesy Anupama

It was wonderful to meet Sushmita, Sangeeta and Anupama for the first time, bloggers who loved the wine as much as the company. Rekha and Rituparna were there too in fine form, enthusiastic and bubbly as ever. It was a wonderful afternoon get together of high spirited women and a lad; we had a giggly good time. We got a heads up on the nuances of everything wine we could ask for from the very unassuming, down to Earth, warm and affable Shamita.Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing, Fres Co, New DelhiThank you Four Seasons for having us over, for introducing us that hot afternoon to your beautiful range of wines and the inspired story behind it. Our incessant chatter and involved conversation might have told you that we enjoyed the afternoon immensely, wines and all, right down to the last drop!

Four Seasons Wine & Food Pairing

Thank you Ashu for organising the meet, and Jyoti for co-ordinating it this end.

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Baking | APPLE & PEAR OPEN PIE … ‘Fruit in Baking’ – come mingle

“It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption.”
Edward Bunyard

They’re rolling off shelves this year; apples are ruling the bazaar. Rosy, red and delicious like in Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, my heart leaps with joy when I see local varieties tempting us with almost a forbidden promise! No more guilt ridden shopping for imported fruit this year. The past few years saw a drastic fall in local apple production. Tempting, shiny rosy apples bore the Washington stamp, with Chinese Red Fuji and Australian Granny Smith jostling for space alongside – priced high and positively jet-lagged. This year has been wonderful with record breaking local production in the  Kullu valley, which is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. A snowfall in the higher climbs  of the mountains 2 days ago brought more relief to the native population of the region as prospects for an record high output shine! Good for them, and good for us too!

With local produce  flooding the market, and the family reeling from an overdose of apple crumble, the next best option was apple pie, a first for me. I have loads of ‘apple to bake somethings‘ bookmarked, but had an open apple pie in my head! My father came by and dropped kilos of apples and small pears a few days ago. Some HAD to be baked, and the idea of a pie had me enchanted. The lad had seen me dig into cookbooks, turning pages, screeching to a halt at a delicious looking  American Apple Pie. He had been on my case since, but I was in no mood to do a double pastry one. Calories had to be cut, and I decided that my next best bet was an open pie, and the tiny pears would go in too.

This was my first ever Apple Pie … and was it good! I added the pears to keep the apples company. The pie is baked for about an hour, loosely covered with foil. This way the apples get cooked but retain a bit of bite, the pears silently accompanying them {somewhat like the quote above says}! The walnuts and currants add to deep warm flavours, tying in nicely with the cinnamon and nutmeg. I let the pie cool for a bit to let the juices thicken. The hub liked it served warm with some low fat unsweetened cream, and the rest of us enjoyed it cold, with the cream of course!

Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and a good source of Vitamin C. An apple, on average, contains more antioxidants than a large vitamin C dose of 1,500 mg. Apples are also full of phytochemicals that help with antioxidant activity, as well as in preventing cancer. Antioxidants combat particles in the body called free radicals, which can significantly damage the cells and may contribute to the development of certain cancer types. Apples can help turn all this around … read more here

Which brings me to the mingle. I am happy to host Monthly Mingle this month, the brain child of lovely Meeta of What’s For Lunch Honey. Being a HUGE fan of  ‘fruit in baking‘,  it was my my natural choice for the theme. Trying to include fruit in bakes, keeping it seasonal as far as possible, continues to be a passion with me. I enjoy following fruits in season, and discovering what more I can do with them. I loved doing the Chocolate Plum Clafoutis that Meeta beautifully wove into the MM badge below, and also recently, a Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries.If you bake with fruit this month, do send it to the Monthly Mingle. I will set the table up at the end of November, where we can meet over tea & coffee, fun, food, stories and laughter … and of course fruity bakes! Would love to see what you did with fruit this Oct/Nov, and yes, pumpkin is very much a fruit {Er, as is a tomato, well technically!!}. Also, If you don’t have a blog, but still have a picture, do drop me a mail at vindee{at}airtelmail{dot}in, and I will be happy to include you in the round-up.

  1. Create a dish that fits the Fruit in Baking theme as described above, and post it on your blog from now till 22 Nov 2010 {Entries must be in English, please}.
  2. Your creation should be prepared for the current Monthly Mingle theme and only shared with a maximum of 2 other blog events. Let’s try and keep the creations as fresh as the ingredients you use.
  3. You must provide a link to this post and/or the official Monthly Mingle page.
  4. Once you’ve posted your dish, please send your entries to vindee{at}airtelmail{dot}in with your name, location, post link and a 300px wide picture {not bigger than 1 MB}

I am kicking the event off with this ‘Open Apple & Pear Pie’, and hope you’ll join me with ‘FRUIT in BAKING’.

Apple & Pear Open Pie
Pastry recipe and inspiration from Baking Course, Isabel Moore
Shortcrust Pastry
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp/80gm butter, chilled, cut into pieces
2-4tbsp iced water
Run the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor for a few seconds. Add butter and run until you get fine breadcrumb like mix.
Drizzle in 2 tbsp of water. The dough should begin to come together. Take out flour mix into a large bowl. Add another tbsp of chilled water, and knead the dough till it is smooth and silky. Add more chilled water if required, but make sure the dough is silky and pliable {This is important, else it won’t roll out}
Once it leaves the sides of the bowl cleanly, make into a ball, flatten, wrap in cling-wrap and chill for 30minutes.
4-5 medium apples, cored, peeled, diced
8-10 small baby pears, cored,peeled, diced
Juice of one large lime
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup black currants
2 tbsp cornflour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Toss the ingredients together in a large bowl as soon as the fruit is cut, mixing well.
Assemble pie…
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Roll out the pastry to line a 9″ pie dish {greased if you like}, and line the dish. {I used a 10″ loose bottomed dish, so the dough fell slightly short}. Add the filling to the pie base, dot over with 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, and bake at 180C for 20 minutes. Then cover cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 40 minutes. Cool on rack. Allow to sit for a while so that the juices thicken.
Note: Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with unsweetened whipped cream, or a dollop of slightly sweetened cinnamon cream. Vanilla ice cream would certainly offer luxury on a warm slice!
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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