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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Apple Pie

Apples are in season. Maybe apples are always in season. I am actually bad at keeping track of what comes in which season. For someone who loves to bake, that's actually a shame. My workaround? I ask my mom what will be available in the market before planning to experiment anything. I just might be known to ask for an unavailable fruit or vegetable and getting a hopeless sigh in return.

This is a pretty busy time of the year for me. If any of you know about my other blog Periodic Reflections (ok, I haven't told you about it, but go ahead take a look), you would know that I am studying at a business school. I also am on a full time job as a lecturer at a local private university. With my MBA hourlies next week, exams to invigilate at my workplace and then paper checking, life is kind of hectic. A girl needs something to cheer her up, doesn't she?

So I cheered myself with this easy apple pie (the recipe came from a facebook group). The crust isn't the traditional crust, which uses cold butter, iced water and delicate handling. This quick crust uses oil and cold milk, is used immediately and the pie is covered with a kind of crumbly top. The pie isn't too sweet, the crust turned out to be nice and flaky. I halved the recipe and baked it in a 6 inch pie plate. The apples can be cooked a little if you like a softer and sauce like pie filling.



Recipe:

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp cold milk
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt

For the topping:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Mix all ingredients of filling and keep aside.

Mix all ingredients of crust. They will come together to form a dough. Press the dough with fingers into a 9 inch pie dish. Pour the filling onto crust.

Mix all ingredients of topping. It will be a bit crumbly. Sprinkle it over the filling. Put in oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm or cold. Goes best with icecream. You can also serve it with whipped cream or caramel sauce.

Happy Baking!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Soft Cottage Cheese

I am back with another recipe, now going for a somewhat healthy option. Who says healthy and yummy don't go together? Cheese...it's good for health and tasty as well. Cottage cheese is a very basic form of cheese, which can easily be made at home. The recipe I am sharing here uses dry milk powder.

I have a very stron dislike for the gawale wala doodh, how much ever people stress upon its health benefit. For my non-desi readers gawale wala doodh is the raw milk that a milkman delivers at your doorstep or you can go and purchase it from a milk shop and it is supposedly fresh and healthy (I have objections to both descriptions). No offense meant, but it stinks. I can't bear the smell of this raw milk when it's heating up. I have always been a packaged milk loving person.

Somehow my family has gotten convinced that the packaged milk variety available in my country is not healthy enough, so the fall back product is dry milk powder.

You can use any dry milk powder for this recipe. I used the instant kind, and that is the only kind I know. If you know any non instant milk powder, you can also give it a try, but I can't guarantee results.


Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water
3/4 cup dry milk powder
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar (or fresh lemon juice)
Salt , to taste - optional

Put water and milk powder in a blender and blend until well mixed. Make sure there aren't any lumps in the mixture. Pour milk into a saucepan foam and all, and put on medium low heat. Pour vinegar slowly down the sides of the pan. Stir slowly and heat until curds separate from whey (it would take around 2- 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Let it sit for one minute. Pour into a colander or a muslin cloth. Wash first with hot water and then cold water. Remove all water by pressing the cheese with hands (in muslin cloth) or with the back of a spoon. Scoop out the cheese into a jar or a bowl. If it is too dry add a teaspoon or so of milk or buttermilk and mix.

Add salt if you like it. You can also add fresh herbs like parsley or corriander leaves . Enjoy on a toast for breakfast or on a salad for lunch. Store in refrigerator. Use with in 3 days.

Happy cooking!!!