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The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. 

Crostata an Italian baked dessert Tart. The base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs.  Pasta frolla is versatile: it provides the base to make crostata with fruit preserves, pastry cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, and other ingredients, and, by itself, it makes very nice cookies. It is traditionally prepared by folding the edges of the dough over the top of the jam/marmalade filling, creating a more "rough" look, rather than a uniform, circular shape. The jams that are traditionally used as a filling are cherries, peaches, apricots, berries. The crostata can also be filled with pieces of fresh fruit and pastry cream,  but then it is called torta di frutta. A typical central Italian variety replaces jam with ricotta mixed with sugar, cocoa or pieces of chocolate and anisetta; this is called crostata di ricotta.

For filling its our own choice, So I made Frangipane Plum filling which is our favorite one. Since I had so much plum I combined with the frangipane(Almond cream), you can choose any of your favorite fruit like Peach, apple, pear etc. Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored like almond. This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries.  So here goes the challenge.

Pasta frolla

     Superfine sugar - 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon or Powdered sugar - scant 3/4 cup
     Unbleached all-purpose flour - 1 and 3/4 cup
     Salt - a pinch
     Cold unsalted butter -   1 stick (8 tablespoons) cut into small pieces
     Grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as well)
     1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Making pasta frolla by hand:

   1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
   2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
   3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
   4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
   5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
   6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
   7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
Making pasta frolla with a food processor:

   1. Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
   2. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
   3. Empty food processor's bowl onto your work surface
   4. See step 3 above and continue as explained in the following steps (minus the lemon zest, which you have already added).


Variation for Pasta frolla:

1. If you want, you can make the pasta frolla using a combination of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat pastry flour.
2.If you choose to try this variation, use 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour.
   Assembling and Baking :

   1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
   2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
   3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
   4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
   5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
   6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
   7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
   8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
   9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places. 
10. Bake it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool it until you prepare the filling.

Frangipane Plum Filling

Ingredients :

Butter - 3/4 stick butter( 6 tbsp)
Sugar - 1/3 + 2 tbsp
Egg - 1 and 1/2 egg
Almond powder - 1/2 cup
Flour - 1 and 1/2 table spoon
Almond essence - little or Vanilla essence - little
Plum - 6 quartered ( or any fruit of your choice Apple, pear, peach etc)

Method :

1. Beat the soften butter and sugar well.
2. Add the egg beat well.
3. Now add the Almond flour/powder and Apf.
4. Beat well and add the flavors.

Arranging  the Crostata :

1.  Pour the filling in the baked Pasta frolla.
2. Arrange the fruits and Bake them at at 180°C (356°F) preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
3. To check whether it is baked or not , they should not be jiggly.
4. Brush it with Peach preserve and dust it with powdered sugar.

Serve with Whipped cream or Icecream !!!



Hope everyone had wonderful and lighted weekend. Same here as well. Coming to today's  post its simple but aromatic and flavorful.  Yah its chutney for Idli's and Dosa's.  You can understand how flavorful and aromatic it will be when you look up the ingredients.  This is no onion and no garlic chutney which you can make even in fasting days too.  This tastes so so delicious with all aromatic herbs and flavorful ginger and tomatoes. Hot steaming Idli's  and this kind of flavorful chutney ooooooh its heavenly right !!!. Just try it out when you make Idli, dosas or oothappams.  I bet you will make it again and again.  When you make this don't omit any of the ingredients , as each one gives wonderful taste that you can feel in every bite.  




Tomato - 3 medium size (Roma in US or Bangalore tomato In India)
Red chillies - 3 or 4
Green chilli - 3
Curry leaves - 1 handful
Coriander leaves - 1 handful
Mustard - 1/4 tbsp + 1/4 tbsp ( for grinding as well as seasoning)
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Roasted bengal gram - 1 1/2 tbsp



Method :

1. Grind all the above ingredients to fine paste.
2. Heat oil in the pan, crackle the mustard.
3. Add the ground one add water little ( approximately 3/4 cup)
4. Once it starts boiling and thickens just switch of the flame.
5. Serve with hot steaming Idli or dosas.

Note :

1. Roasted bengal gram will thickens the chutney when its cooking.
2. It has to be in sambar consistency.



The most commonly used herbs in Indian cooking are Coriander, Mint and Curry leaves.  Any of these herbs when added to the dish gives wonderful aroma and taste. Then imagine how it tastes when they are added together in one dish. Yah it is herbal rice which my mom used to make very often. This rice tastes so so delicious.  Does not require any accompaniment but you can have this with roasted potatoes or chips. 



Ingredients :

Basmati Rice - 1 cup cooked ( You can also used Jeeraga Samba)
Mint - 1 handful ( washed and chopped finely)
Coriander - 1 handful ( washed and chopped finely)
Curry leaves - few chopped finely (washed and finely chopped)
Green Onion/ Spring onion - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Garlic - 2 or 3 pods finely sliced
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Curd chillies - 3 or 4
Pepper and salt to taste


Method :

1. Heat oil in the pan, add  urad dhal followed by curd chilli.
2. Now add garlic. Saute till slight brown.
3. First add chopped curry leaves, once they are well sauteed.
4. Add mint  and Coriander followed by rice, salt and pepper.
5. Mix everything well, check for salt.  Once rice is well blended. Switch off the flame and add Chopped green onion.
6. Give it a nice toss. Serve piping hot. 

Enjoy the aroma of healthy herbal Rice !!!

Note :

1.Make this rice when the herbs are really fresh.
2. You can omit any herbs if you don't like.



This month Sweet Punch challenge was either sweet or savory.  So I opted for Savory punch because there was so many sweets flowing around my kitchen. The few changes I made to the recipe was, I added shredded Zucchini, Salt & Red chilli flakes.   The souffle was so delicious and we relished with Tomato Corn Relish.  Hope you all enjoy my visual treat.

Tomato Souffle 

Recipe source : Australian Woman's Weekely via Maria's Menu

Ingredients :

Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup, firmly packed
Butter – 45 gm (refer healthier version)
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Plain flour (maida) – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Basil – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Eggs – 3, separated
Grated Cheese – a handful ( I used mozzarella)
Zucchini - 1/4 cup Shredded
Red chilli Flakes - 1/2 tsp
Salt - little



Method :

1.Grease 4 souffle dishes (1/2 cup capacity), sprinkle with breadcrumbs. 
2. Melt butter in small saucepan, add finely chopped onion. Stir over low heat for 2 mins ( or MW on HIGH for about 2 mins).
3. Cook until onion is soft, it doesn’t have to become brown. Stir in flour and stir over medium heat for a minute. (or MW on HIGH for a min). 
4.Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, bring back to heat and stir over high heat until mixture boils & thickens & reaches a thick sauce like consistency. (or MW on HIGH for about 3 mins).
5.Transfer to large bowl, stir in tomato paste, Shredded zucchini and Basil Leaves.  Cover the dish & let it stand for 5 mins. 6.Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks from. 
7.Add egg yolks to the onion & milk mixture & mix well. Fold the egg whites into the mixture in 2 batches. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared dishes. 
8.Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven (350 f) for 20- 25 mins or until lightly browned. Serves 4.

Healthier version: Use brown bread crumbs & low fat milk. Also use yolks of only 2 eggs & white of 3 eggs. Use only lesser qty of butter, I used only 15 gms of butter.


1.The above qty serves 2 adults (main course) served with garlic bread or soup. You can use any oven safe dish to prepare this. The consistency  of this dish is more like a pudding.

Tomato Corn Relish 

Ingredients :

Cherry Tomato - 1/2 cup
Corn kernels - 1/2 cup 
Lemon juice - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As required
Black pepper or Crushed red pepper
Basil leaves - few chopped

Method :

1.  Mix the olive oil, lemon juice,Black or Red pepper in a bowl.  Whisk together.
2. Add the chopped cherry tomato, corn & Basil and give a toss.  

Serve with Tomato Souffle !!!



Like match made in heaven there are few foods both Savory as well as Sweets tastes heavenly when they are paired up.  Carrot Halwa with Vanilla Ice cream, Jamun with Icecream, Jamun with Rabri, Malpua with Rabri, Poori with Badam milk, Jalebi with Rabri  the list goes this list if you haven't tried this combination of Apple Jalebi with Pistachio Rabri.  I suggest you to try this and I bet you all will love this. It tastes sooooooo delicious and it just melts in your mouth.  More than I say blah blah about this recipe.... just get start and you will understand how true it is.  Apple Jalebi with Pistachio Rabri tastes awesome.  You can also have Apple Jalebi without Rabri as well.  Serve crispy and warm Apple Jalebi with cold Rabri and enjoy !!!
"  Wish you all Happy and Safe Diwali "


Ingredients :

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Water -  1 cup
 Apple - 2 ( Peel, core in the middle and make thick slices)
You should get atleast 5 to 6 slices in each apple
Chopped pistachios or Almonds for garnishing
Oil for frying - flat pan should be fine instead of deep vessel

For making sugar syrup:

Sugar - 1 1/4 cup ( If you are going to have with Rabri then reduce 1/4 cup)
Water - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3 pods powdered

Method :

1. Sieve All purpose flour and Baking soda. 
2. Mix yogurt and water along with this flour and ferment it overnight.
3. Slice the Apples. Parallely prepare the syrup in one side.
4. Heat the oil in the pan.
5. Add sugar and water in a vessel, after the dissolves and the syrup starts to boil.
6. Check for the sticky consistency.( It has to be little more sticky than the syrup that we prepare for Jamuns)then add powdered cardamom. And keep it aside. Let it be warm.
7. Once the oil is ready, just check for the right temperature by dropping little batter.  When it pops up.  Then you can get started.
8. Now check the fermented batter, if it is very thick add little water for diluting.  Take care not to add more water then it will not coat the apples.
9.Now dip the apple slices in the batter like we do for Bhaji or Pakoras.  The put it in the oil.  
10.Let it fry and once it is slight golden brown in color, flip it over another side.
11. Drain the Jalebi with your ladle put them in the syrup, flip both the sides. Put them in the wire rack to drain excess syrup.
12. Proceed with remaining Apple slices.
13. Arrange them in the plate and garnish with nuts.

Note :

1. Tastes so good when it is warm and crispy. 
2. Golden delicious green apple or Granny smith works fine , if you don't have this variety no worries, make it with any kind of apple. 
3.The batter you are fermenting should not be very sour.  If the weather is very hot just ferment it for 5 hrs or so. For me the weather was so cold so I kept overnight.
4. I suggest you to serve Jalebi warm, to enjoy them fresh and Crispy.


You can make this a day before or ahead of time, and refrigerate it. 

Ingredients :

Milk - 5 cups
Pistachio - 1/3 cup ( chopped very very finely)
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Saffron threads - just a pinch 

Method :

1. Boil the milk in the heavy bottom vessel.
2. Let the boil until it reduces to 1 1/2 cup , now add sugar.
3. Let it come to one boil. Add the chopped Pistachios.
4.Add saffron and cool it aside.
5. Refrigerate it.  Serve with warm and crispy Jalebi's.

Once Again Wish you all Happy Diwali !!!  See you next week.



Before I go for sweet treats for Diwali let me finish of savory items.  This is another Variation of Moong crispies.  Its so easy and tastes so good too.  Here is VER I which I posted last year. Stay tuned to see delicious treat tomm.....


Ingredients :

Rice Flour - 2 cups
Cooked Moong dhal - 1/2 cup ( Pressure cook the dhal with little turmeric and water, then measure for 1/2 cup)
Besan - 1/2 cup
Urad Flour - 1/2 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp or Hot oil  - 2 tbsp
Salt - as required
Cummin seeds -  1 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Water as required
Oil for frying
Use star hole in the Murukku press 

Method :

1. Take the flours in the big bowl, add all other ingredients including cooked and mashed moong dhal.
2. If your adding butter add it or add 2 tbsp of hot oil.
3. Add water and make like a chappathi dough.
4. Heat the oil in the deep vessel or deep frying pan.  The oil should be really really hot.
5. Now fill the dough in the murukku press and press into the hot oil.( This can be checked by adding little piece of dough, when it comes up immediately without settling down it means its ready).
6. Don't reduce the flame, it should maintain the same temperature.  You can notice more bubbles in the oil as soon as the dough is pressed.
7. When the bubbles are reduced , flip it over and once the bubbles  disappears or reduces.  Take it out and drain in the paper towel. Repeat with remaining dough.
8. Once it is cooled store in the air tight container.  


Note :

You can have this murukku with onion pickle or any of your fav pickle.


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