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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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


Baking | The Life of Pi …. err…Pie Bird & A Strawberry Pie

“If you don’t let technology help you, if you resist good ideas, you condemn yourself to dinosaurhood.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird A Strawberry Pie and a Pie Bird. Strange how good things happen at the same time. Around the week that the Life of Pi won an Oscar, the folk from Zansaar sent me something very interesting … a beautiful aubergine stoneware baking dish with an intriguing creature inside. They call it a Pie Bird!

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird Have you heard of one?  To be honest, I had no clue that such a charming creature actually existed. Google enlightened! From whimsical banter from when we used to chime “Four & twenty black birds baked in a pie” as toddlers, to Alton Brown who wholeheartedly endorses the pie bird, it seems to be quite a handy bakers tool. Many ardent pie bakers swear by it.

pie birdWhat might a pie bird be? It’s a little hollow contraption made of ceramic, that helps keep a pie base from getting soggy. It also prevents it from boiling over, sometimes even saving a pie from dramatically exploding!

A pie bird, pie vent, pie whistle, pie funnel, or pie chimney is a hollow ceramic device, originating in Europe, shaped like a funnel, chimney, or upstretched bird with open beak. Funnel-style steam vents have been placed in the center of fruit and meat pies during cooking since Victorian times; bird shapes came later.

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird Pie funnels were used to prevent pie filling from boiling up and leaking through the crust by allowing steam to escape from inside the pie. They also supported the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it did not sag in the middle, and are occasionally known as “crustholders”. Older ovens had more problems with uniform heating, and the pie bird prevented boil-over in pie cooking.

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird Fancy my delight when I received it as also the beautiful aubergine pie dish from the Mason Cash collection. It’s a handy dish to bake a classic apple pie, or maybe a chicken / vegetable pie. The high quality stoneware dish has a wide lip that  makes it ideal for pie crusts while the stoneware construction ensures that it heats evenly.

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird I enjoyed ‘playing with it’. It gave me much food for thought, Life of Pi and pie bird quotes flying through my head. You see, at the same time, the younger teen was doing a film review on the Life of P. There was plenty of Pi / Pie happening!

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird I wanted to make an apple pie but I had my last stash of red luscious strawberries from the recent Pune trip. I thought a strawberry pie just might work. It did and the pie baked up beautifully. Once completely cool, it stepped out of the dish gingerly with no trouble at all. It’s a good size baking dish for a meal for two, or maybe part of a meal for four.

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird I was in a hurry to slice the pie so the juices ‘leaked’ a bit. It sliced just fine a while later! The dough is a normal short crust that I substituted with a little cornmeal. Cornmeal works really well in all my galettes. This was my first double crust pie. It worked great. A classic American apple pie served with vanilla ice cream seems likely in the future!

Strawberry plum galetteI had some leftover dough, and about 1/2 a cup of left over filling. Could I just let it sit? Of course I couldn’t. The leftovers made a neat little galette which included one left over plum from an earlier baking project. The galette was crisp and full of fruity goodness. A drizzle of unsweetened single cream … delicieux!

Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird

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

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