Ambrosia

This medley of fruits in a sugar syrup with dry fruits, honey and nuts is a dish that our family makes every year for a festival called Dussehra. It’s a celebration that lasts for about nine days and is celebrated by Hindus all over India.

I love the richness of this dish which is so satisfying and yet so light and refreshing. The aroma of the ghee and cardamom is delicious. It’s also vegan and could be served as dessert with a dollop of coconut cream.

It’s very simple to make. Once the sugar syrup is done you just have to add all the fruits and nuts, honey, ghee and cardamom. For those of you who want to cut down on sugar, you could add less of it.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes SERVES: 6

Ingredients

½ cup jaggery

½ cup water

1 apple

2 bananas

2 oranges, segmented

2 guavas, cut into cubes

1 cup grapes, cut into two

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp ghee

1 tsp cardamom powder

½ cup dates, chopped roughly

½ cup cashewnuts

½ cup raisins

Instructions

Combine the jaggery and water and cook over a moderate heat until the jaggery melts. Strain into another pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Add all the ingredients except the apple and bananas. Core and cut the apple into small cubes. Add to the sugar syrup immediately. Slice the bananas into the sugar syrup and mix well. Refrigerate and serve with a dollop of coconut cream.

Old-Fashioned Fried Apple Tarts

These fried apple tarts are really indulgent – crisp morsels of delight. The pastry is just right – flaky and melt-in-the-mouth and when you bite into it it’s just bursting with the goodness of apples.

I had some apple filling left over from my Apple Icebox Cake and I thought this is the perfect way to finish it up. Please refer to my previous recipe Apple Icebox Cake for the apple filling recipe. It freezes beautifully; when apples are in season you can make the filling which can be used in a variety of bakes and desserts and freeze them.

You can also use cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top for that extra touch of deliciousness. Make sure that your filling is not soggy and the oil is at the right temperature.

This recipe is definitely a family favourite. So easy to make and fun to serve.

They tend to disappear really fast! This recipe makes around 15 pies.

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PREP: 30 minutes (plus 20 minutes for resting the dough) COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
  • ½ cup butter (cold)
  • 1 ½ cups apple filling (chilled)
  • About 5 tbsp cold water
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

Cut the butter into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add about 5 tablespoons of cold water, mixing until the pastry holds together. Knead briefly and chill the pastry in a refrigerator wrapped in cling film for 20 minutes.

Roll the pastry into saucer-sized circles. Place a small amount of apple filling in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges with water and fold in half. Press the edges lightly to seal the pastry.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the pies until they are golden brown. Turn the pie only once during the frying process. Drain.

Sprinkle confectioners sugar while still warm and serve immediately.

Apple Icebox Cake

Summer in India can be really hot (and I mean sweltering hot) – especially Madras, which has a lot of humidity. Spending a long time cooking on the stove is a nightmare. Eating frozen desserts, ice creams and chilled drinks are about all one feels like doing. So, when I read this recipe from King Arthur Flour, it seemed the perfect one to try.

The cookies were so delicious, you can just eat them on their own. I wanted to try the filling with apples. I used apple pie filling that I made from scratch. I got the recipe from the following link – https://www.spendwithpennies.com/quick-stovetop-apple-pie-filling/ . You could also use ready made filling.

You can also use your imagination to use another fruit filling. Or even chocolate can be a wonderful filling for this versatile cookie. This is perfect for a Sunday lunch.

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I stacked four cookies and then covered the individual stacks with sweetened, whipped cream. You could also lay the stack on its side on a large serving plate. Repeat the process until you have used up all the cookies.

Once it’s refrigerated, the cream softens the cookies and they become softer, almost like cake. Absolutely scrumptious.

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PREP: 1 hour 40 minutes COOK TIME: 20-25 minutes SERVES: 10

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, or baking powder and salt. Stir to dissolve; the salt won’t fully dissolve.

Place the vanilla mixture, sugar, and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour and mix to combine. The dough will seem dry at first; continue mixing until the dough comes together.

Scoop the dough with a  teaspoon cookie scoop  and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2″ between portions. Press the tops down with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar to make flat cookies about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

For the filling, please visit https://www.spendwithpennies.com/quick-stovetop-apple-pie-filling/ .

To make the whipped cream, place the cream in a chilled mixing bowl with the sugar. Whip (slowly at first, until the cream begins to thicken, then more vigorously) until the whisk’s tracks are visible in the bowl. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the cream is stiff but not curdled.

To assemble, spread some apple filling on a cookie, then place another cookie on top. Continue this process until you have four cookies stacked up. Coat each stack with whipped cream on all sides. Chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Refrigerate with cut sides covered with cling film for up to a week.