Baking |Light Pumpkin Pie … pie that thinks it’s a cheesecake #fall #dessert #pumpkin

“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”
Yogi Berra

Light pumpkin pie 1Light Pumpkin Pie. It’s difficult to not think pumpkin and get deluged by orange thoughts once fall is in the air. Come autumn, and pumpkin pie spice is the on the top of my head. It breaks my heart to say goodbye to stone fruit when summer draws to a close, and somewhere in the hot summer months I always forget the charm of fall. These days there’s loads of pumpkin on the table.

orangeOh the orange hues. persimmons, pumpkin {which is there pretty much all the year around here though}, and the little bitter kumquats. Such bright colours and so much fun! It’s around this time that the boy will gently come and request for a pumpkin cake on Halloween. For him it’s customary to ask. For me, it’s another opportunity to experiment. With a steady source of good quality pumpkin pie spice from the sister in the US, I am happy to take the pumpkin route.

fresh pumpkin pureeThe pumpkin pie came along in a hurry as usual. The ingredients were very basic with fresh pumpkin puree and some left over condensed milk thrown in. There was an orange sitting on the counter so in went some zest as a last minute thought, then a dash of Grand Marnier to compliment it. You can always skip the liqueur, but try and add the orange zest. The flavour  orange zest added was amazing.

Light pumpkin pieWhenever I experiment with pies or cakes, there is a sense of panic on the other side. Will it set, won’t it set. Will it slice cleanly, or maybe not??? Then again, hope it tastes OK! Heaved a mighty sigh of relief when it left the pan easily and didn’t flow like lava. YES! It had set. A few pictures, then a slice later, a sense of jubilation. It set beautifully AND was firm enough to be sliced, staying light and moussey!

Light pumpkin pieThe boy wolfed down a couple of slices in the evening. Is it dessert Mama he asked, before eying another slice. It was his after all, made on personal request. I would have done him a pumpkin pie latte on the side but I got a little lazy.

Light pumpkin pieThe husband gave it a thumbs up too. Is it pie, is it cake I asked? Cheescakey he said. It’s a pie that thinks it’s a cheesecake I guess.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Baking | Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette … the last goodbye #stonefruitlove

“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”
Logan Pearsall Smith

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane GaletteWholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette … it is strange that when the season is bidding adieu, the palpitations grow. I tend to hang on to the last fruit like they are going to go out of fashion; trying to extend their shelf life beyond reasonable measure. Plums have sadly gone. I have been happy looking at the last lot in the fridge for past 2 weeks.

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane GaletteYes, indeed. That is how long I kept them, and interestingly, that is how long they stayed. Beautifully! Bidding goodbye to summer is never easy given my deep emotional bond with stone fruit. I still have one last batch of frozen plums. Thoughts of sorbet, granita, fro yo dance in my head!

PlumsI had this recent conversation with a friend where I mixed up my grey cells and gray cells. It was so funny, by the end of it nothing looked right. I knew I needed help! Good time to hand over to an online editor. I used Grammarly to grammar check this post. It took care of what they taught me at school. Grammarly carries out plagiarism checks too! So cool!!

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette Did I mention my uber healthy baking spree of late? I have always attempted to keep my baking healthy. I went one baby step further with this Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette. I’ve never made a galette or pie with mainly whole wheat in the pastry. I am usually haunted with scary thoughts. What if it all falls apart; what if the pastry does not hold; and what if it does not taste good?

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette Whole wheat is not what one might traditionally use in pie crusts, but trust me, it works well. You got to give it some extra TLC. Surprisingly, the crust was buttery, light, flaky and delicious! A bit fragile, but expected. Take baby steps from all purpose towards whole grain. There’s a whole new world out there!

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette This pie crust is not a 100% wholewheat. I added a teeny bit of plain flour. Next time, I’ll be bolder. See baby steps? I’m doing it. You can too.

Plum lemonadeI made lemonade that day as well….plum lemonade to be precise. Not to be served with the moorish galette, but here anyway. Simple and a fun way to include more fruit in your diet. The kids gulped it down greedily asking for some everydayToo late! It’s goodby plums for now! We’re already staring fall in the face.

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette I’ve made plenty of galettes. It is one of my favourite forms of pie. If you are lucky and still in plum season, then you could try making this rustic free form tart.  You could always substitute plums for peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, figs, pears, or frozen fruit. A combination of fruit works equally well!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Cherry Yogurt Tart …. sometimes life can’t get simpler than a two ingredient tart filling. Happy 4th!!

“A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. ”
James Bear

Cherry Yogurt TartCherry Yogurt Tart. This was a tart that swept me off my feet. It’s adapted from a recipe that keeps popping up on and off on blogs. With the flood of recipes to try, one tends to get lost and lose priority. Is it just me? Well this tart or pie {not sure which category it fell into} had been kept waiting too long. This turned out to be a tart, not a pie as most blogs call it. The Kitchn has a neat piece on Pie vs Tart 

A pie is a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped. It can have a just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust. Pies are served straight from the dish in which they were baked.

A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust. The goal is a firm, crumbly crust. Tarts are baked in a pan with a removable bottom, or in pastry ring on top of a baking sheet so that it can be unmolded before serving.

Cherry Yogurt TartThere are several references to the recipe across the net. The origins are quite blurred. Most folk talk about the recipe being handed down from a great aunt and having got  it from a friend. The ingredients are the same. Strangely enough all it takes to make it is a pie crust or tart bottom, yogurt and condensed milk. {It’s vegetarian too. No eggs, no gelatin}

Stone fruitI had some yogurt draining in the fridge to make fro yo. It’s the season for frozen goodies but I had a really full freezer that day. So I thought cheesecake with summer fruit. A friend had recently reached out to me for a baked eggless cheesecake recipe. That was still playing in my head. {Hiral, this cherry yogurt tart is very close to a baked eggless cheesecake. We loved it!! I thought of you throughout.}

Cherry Yogurt Tart With muddled thoughts I figured images might inspire me, so I began googling for images … and BINGO! There it was. Just the perfect tart or pie with ingredients that I had on hand, well almost. What ‘clinched’ the deal was that I had a loose bottomed rectangular tart pan that Sous Chef had used. She really turned out a stunner.

Cherry Yogurt Tart Strange tart this. It’s a little unbelievable that you can turn out a set tart with just two basic ingredients with 10 minutes of baking. Defies logic. Yet, my recent tryst with the Simplest & Best Dark Chocolate Mousse that used two ingredients convinced me otherwise. I thought, “If that was sensational, this might well surprise too. ” 

Cherry Yogurt Tart And surprise it certainly did! Within 10 minutes of baking, it was a little firm to touch. I gently pulled it out of the oven to cool it on the rack and was scared to spill the filling. It hung on in there. ’twas a long overnight wait and once the kids were on the bus, I RACED to demold it. Looked on in amazement as it was firm.

Cherry Yogurt Tart My only concern is the biscuit base which didn’t remain very crisp. Most recipes refer to ‘tennis biscuits‘ which were new for me. Some more googling pointed towards South Africa where these biscuits are firm favourites. I think graham crackers might work a little better than the ginger nut cookies I used. CherriesSo with a tart tin from Sydney {one of my favourite buys to date}, a recipe with two basic ingredients, some balsamic roasted cherries in the fridge, I put together this tart. With my sis visiting from the US, being the 4th today, I thought I’d give the yogurt tart some blue and red too. Frozen blueberries which I bought to try locally {very disappointing} and white sprinkles did the trick!!

Cherry Yogurt TartThe verdict was ‘high fives’ all around. The texture and taste of the Cherry Yogurt Tart is very close to a cheesecake, and leaves you wanting for more. {Very satisfying in Mr PABs words}.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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