Things have been little crazy at my end. I promised to have this post last week but few things kept me busy. Sorry Rose for the delay.
Rose was the first blogger friend I met in person. She is one of the warmest and sweetest girl ever. She talks way less than what I do but we clicked really well from the first meeting. Our kids are around the same age so meeting up as a family has always been fun. To me Rose is a epitome of patience. I have never seen her getting anxious or stressed so it had always felt like a breeze to talk to her. If you get the oppurtunity to meet with this beautiful lady, you will know what I am talking about it. Her blog Magpie’s Recipes is as beautiful as her. Her simple, easy and extremely delicious recipe are sure to work like a charm. She is one awesome baker and everytime we meet, she will bring us macarons or cookies or anything baked. Her blog Magpie’s Recipes carries authentic recipes from Kerala and if you are looking for allergy friendly recipes, this is the blog to visit. Please hop over and enjoy browsing through her awesome blog.
When she told few weeks ago about her plans to move to India, I was little upset but at the same time I am happy that they have made the big decision after so much consideration. All I could say is that I will miss our meet ups and the time spent together. I was so glad that I could get her send me a post with tight time schedule with her major packing. Thank you Rose for all the love and affection you have showered on us. We will miss you a lot but lets hope to meet soon and lets stay in touch. Lots of love and hugs to my very dear blogger friend, Rose.
Over to you Rose now. Thank you again for a quick, healthy and easy recipe.
It was a beautiful Spring day, with Cherry Blossoms in full bloom when I met Viji for the first time at the Bake Sale for Japan that was held at the nearby Japan Town. With both of us being foodies and also new mommies at the time, we instantly connected, as we ate our way through the home-baked cakes and cookies. We remained in touch even after I moved two hours away and still managed some cherished girlfriends meetups in the city, that always revolved around food, food and more food! I love this spunky girl for her warmth, positive attitude and confidence and her most adorable little man who is a born entertainer and total charmer. l am so happy Viji, to be guest-posting for you and your wonderful blog that always inspires me to cook and eat healthier.
When Viji requested a fruit tart for this guest post, I had something else in mind initially. Then one day when I was flipping channels on the TV my three year old surprised me by loudly exclaiming “that’s Pepin!” on seeing Jacques Pepin! A little later he also confirmed that he was familiar with Julia Child. We are a little addicted to PBS, him and me, and I am so not proud of the fact that he can name most of the characters of “Downtum Abbey”.
Anyways, Pepin on that day was making a tortilla-tart with pears. Left over tortillas baked with butter and sugar ( that turns into caramel ) comprised the base, so there is no fiddling with all the chilling and rolling out of tart dough. Easy, delicious and pretty all in one go? Ingenious! I just could not resist making it, with a left over home made roti instead of the tortilla, and I thought I’d use up the last of the pink lady apples that were a steal at our farmer’s market. Since it is quite healthy too without all the fat and sugar that goes into most tarts, I thought this is just the sort of recipe that Viji would like- not too sinful and bound to be a hit with little Siddu too!
I also decided to test some of the fennel pollen I received as a sample from the wonderful people from Pollen Ranch whom I met at the Fancy Food Show and got to learn a lot about this spice that I had not used before.
Most of us are familiar with fennel bulbs and of course fennel seeds, which are widely used in many cuisines, and very common in Indian cooking. Fennel is one of my favourite spices, both in savoury and increasingly, sweet uses as well. In India bowls of fennel seeds are offered after meals to refresh your palate, aid digestion and serve as a natural mouth freshener. So that is my association with it, fresh, sweet, slightly anise-like.
But what is fennel pollen? As you would guess, it is the pollen collected from flowers on the fennel plant. I was expecting it to be like dust, but it is more granular than powdery, and tastes sweeter and less anise-like than fennel seeds, atleast to me.
Fennel pollen from Pollen Ranch is hand picked from fields of fennel growing wild in the Sonoma area. I was intrigued to learn that fennel grows wild throughout much of California and the US West Coast. I hope to visit those fields one day and would love to watch how they harvest it. For now I am loving experimenting with it and finding new ways to enjoy it, and I hope you do too.
FENNEL POLLEN APPLE ROTI TART
- 1 roti or tortilla ( any size you like, my roti was about 6-7 inches)
- 1 small apple sliced into wedges
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 tbsp additional butter or margarine cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp fig or any other preserve or honey to glaze the apples
- 1/8 tsp or a pinch of fennel pollen or 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit or 200 Celsius. Line a jelly roll pan or a baking sheet with sides or even a large baking dish with parchment paper or a silicone mat. (If you don’t line the pan be prepared to have trouble, as the sugar will melt and leave scorch marks that you may have to soak and scrub a lot to remove.)
- Spread the first tbsp of butter evenly over the roti/tortilla, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the sugar and lay the buttered side down. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles from the outside in toward the center to form the rose shape, or in any other way you like. Dot the pieces of butter or margarine over the apples
- Pour the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar evenly over the apple wedges, and then sprinkle over the fennel pollen or cinnamon powder
- Bake for 20-30 mins until the roti/tortilla is browned and apples have softened. The sugar would have melted to form a fennel scented caramel. Some of that sugar may have burnt along the edges of the roti/tortilla, that’s ok.
- It will be very hot, and that caramel can do your fingers harm, so use a spatula to carefully transfer the tart to a wire rack to cool. With a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon or a rolled up piece of paper towel) brush the tops of the apples with the preserve or honey to make them shiny and glazed.
- If your preserve is too think to spread and not liquidy enough, just heat a little of it in a small dish in the microwave for about 20 seconds. This should make it easier to spread.Once cooled sufficiently, cut into wedges and serve.