Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rustic Apple Tart

This rustic apple tart is perfect for those crazy days when you have friends or family coming over for dinner but have no time left for a home-made dessert - just use a store bought pie crust. Or it's even perfect for those days when you are in the mood for making a pie crust from scratch and have a couple of apples waiting to be used in the fridge. 

Either way, whether you use store bought crust or make one home at home, no-one needs to know as a wam slice of this tart with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream is perfection in every bite irrespective!

And psst.. another thing no-one need know: when you call something rustic, by definition you make room for imperfections. Imperfections even add to the rustic-ness of the pie, you could say :). So don't let the fear of not being able to roll a perfect round pie crust stop you from a delectable home-made deessert!
Rustic Apple Tart
Recipe: Rustic Apple Tart
Serves 4 large slices
Ingredients:
1 9" pie crust - store bought or home-made
2 granny smith apples (I used Fuji this time)
2Tbsp brown sugar
2Tbsp melted butter
1/2tsp pumpkin spice (or 1/4tsp cardamom powder, 1/4tsp cinnamon powder, pinch of nutmeg and pinch of all-spice)
juice of half a lemon
dash of salt

Recipe:
If using frozen pie-crust, defrost on counter or fridge as per package direction. If making crust at home, experiment with different shapes! Apple tart looks great as a rectangle or a half-circle too!

Pre-heat oven to 400F

Slice apples thinly and evenly, add to a large bowl. To the apples, add all the spices, melted butter, sugar, lemon juice and salt and mix well.

Roll the pie crust on a pachment paper lined baking sheet. Add the apples, you can arrange them in a single layer facing one way (like the picture above) or just add them in a mound and then spread evenly - leave a little border on all the sides to be able to roll. Then using your hands lightly roll the border or tuck in the tart.

Add a little more crumbled butter and sugar specs on top (optional).

Bake for 35-40mins until the crust turns brown at places and apples look cooked. Remove from oven, let rest for a couple of mins. Cut into slices and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

5 Foodie Things For the Rainy Days..

It has been raining a lot this winter. Rain is good. Particularly for California this year.

One such rainy morning I was sitting next to a window overlooking the early spring flowers and leaves getting a nice good soaking while listening to the steady pounding of rain on our windows, and I found myself deliciously reminiscing of my favorite foodies things for rainy days over the years. And that's how this compilation was born :)

I hope the next time rainy gloomy weather strikes, you can add just a bit of sunshine and spice to your days with these rain friendly yet healthy foods! (notice no deep frying or sugar laden recipes below)

1) A steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage with spice!
First things first, one thing rain de-facto needs is a steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage just a little spiced. For us it is spiced mulled apple cider and spiced coffee or spiced chai.

Both are really simple. For spiced apple cider, I warm regular apple cider. Add to it a cinnamon stick, a couple whole peppers and cloves, a star anise, few cardmom pods, 2 slices of lemon and orange and some lemon juice. Warm on low heat for 20-30mins until the spices have thoroughly flavored the apple cider. Strain if serving to kids. And serve warm! 

Spiced chai/coffee is made by adding clove, cinnamon, cardamom (some or all of these) in boiling water and then make tea/coffee as usual. Strain before drinking.
Steaming hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee!
2) Hot bowl of soup with crusty garlic bread
Rains and soups are a match made in heaven - don't you think! My favorite rainy day lunch is a bowl of hot soup with some crusty garlic bread to dip in - like the hearty lentil soup or roasted red pepper and tomato soup or leek and potato soup or noodle bowl. And I have a great trick to turn any regular bread into garlic bread!
Roasted red pepper & tomato soup, hearty lentil soup, (bottom) curried butternut squash soup & leek and potato soup
3) How about some snacks to go with that tea/coffee?!
A good cup of chai/coffee on a rainy day can also use some of rain's favorite snacks! Our rule of thumb is to not deep fry at home, so we stay away from fritters/bhujias... but that doesn't mean we have any the less fun! Baked samosa puffs, baked sweet potato fries, kande pohe or pinwheels are all great options which are great for your belly too!
Sweet potato fries, baked samosa puffs, kande pohe & paav bhaji
4) Baking! 
There is something so therapeutic about baking.. the warm aromas drifting off of the oven or watching the joys of a bread rising - baking is a food for the tummy and the soul. And if you are stuck at home while it's pouring outside, who wouldn't like a slice of freshly baked quick banana bread or pumpkin cranberry muffins or the apple crisp to go along-with it!
Banana nut bread, banana muffins & apple crisp
5) Chocolate covered strawberries!
Now if you have a daughter to entertain on rainy afternoons, then a great idea is to make some chocolate covered strawberries together! 

You can either just drizzle chocolate to create pretty effects or go all out and spend an hour trying yourr hands at Mr. & Mrs. Berry! Get your creative juices flowing! They are really not as complex as you would think. Read about them here.
Mr. & Mrs. Berry!
Dark & white chocolate strawberries
I hope next time the rain strikes, other than the cozy blanket and the movies, you will try out one of your favorite rainy day foods too!
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This page and all of its contents is copyright of Prajakta Gudadhe. All rights reserved.

This is a web catalog of the recipes that I have tried and tasted in my kitchen. While these recipes and instructions have worked well for me, please use all the information and the recipes from Ginger and Garlic at your own risk.