Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Simplest Scrumptious Apple Crumble

I have been wanting to eat a fruity dessert for a while but due to the heat and rains there seem to be no great fruits around except for apples, pears and bananas.

Not so fond of apples and pears in dessert... I decided to experiment nevertheless and was pleasantly surprised! This recipe took me only 15 minutes to put together and was simply scrumptious and melted in the mouth. I read a lot of crumble recipes but decided to make my own concoction eventually.... coz some recipes called for old fashioned oats, others wanted to use nuts and some didn't use oats or nuts and used regular sugar - but I think the combination of oats and demerara sugar gave a nice crunchy and caramelised taste to the whole dessert.

Use a dish that you can bake and serve in - glass works best so you can see everything...


6 apples - cut into 1 to 3/4 inch cubes - i don't like apples cut very small but this is entirely upto you.
1 cup - all purpose flour
1 cup - demerara sugar
1 cup - quick cooking oats
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup - water
150gm cold butter cut into cubes (I used margarine)
a pinch of salt

Add the cut apples and put in the bottom of baking dish, add a bit of water to cover just the base of the apples - sprinkle with cinnamon powder and mix the water and apples. Then put into the microwave for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile for the cumble mixture - add all the dry ingredients together (salt, demerara sugar, oats and flour) and mix by hand. Then add the cubed butter and mix again with hand till you get a coarse mixture with about pea sized bites.

Sprinkle the sugar on the apples and then spread the crumble mixture over the apples and bake at 250 degrees for 40-45 mins or till top is slightly browned and the filling is bubbling and the apples are nicely stewed but not mashed.

I baked mine covered with foil so that the top didn't burn since my oven is really small and the top burns easily. Also, you can bake this at 350 for 20-30 minutes also...

Your beautiful dessert is ready - perfect for a party - coz you can serve it hot from the oven just as dinner gets done. Serve in beautiful margarita or balloon wine glasses with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.

Apples can be substitued or used with pears, berries (any single kind or a mixed variety). It's especially nice to eat on cold gloomy rainy days or in the winter since the apple cinnamon combination with the caramelised sugar totally warms your inside.

As usual pictures to follow since I can already hear my 10 month old calling out to me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This one is dedicated to my 10 month old son - Baby Food Recipes...

I have been meaning to post a few recipes off and one for the last few months but have been really consumed in coming up with some innovative food for my son since he refuses to eat the same thing two days in a row...

Anyone who has an infant at home - knows all the basic rules of introducing solids - single foods first, veggies then fruits, all food should be mashed, give the child a couple of spoons the first time and then slowly increase serving size, rice cereal is the easisest to digest etc etc. Also, there is a marked difference in the kind of foods introduced in India v/s the West - since I keep speaking to a lot of people in the US and lentils are a big no-no before 10-12 months and my baby has been on them since 6 months... so please use this information judiciously and ask your doctor your doctor for approval before introduing some of these recipes... since each child is different and different things work for different people.

I am going to give here recipes that I used to introduce food to Arav - some successfully and some not so successfully. This is just meant as a quick guide than can give you ideas when your mind has a thousand other things to worry about...

I was being advised from friends, family and acquaintences to introduce semi-solids to my baby from the 4th month but I resisted till 5.5 months and then everything I introduced to my baby gave him gas... so I held back till 6 months and I must say there is no harm. Do whatever suits your baby but starting off in the 6th month has worked well for us.

6th month onwards:

Lentil Water -Take a tablespoon of yellow moong dal and add at least a cup of water. Soak for 10 minutes and then cook in pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric and hing - at least 4-5 whistles or in an closed pan till dal is cooked. Mash the dal a bit and then strain through a sieve and introduce the lentil water only to the child. My child had a bit of gas when I introduced this - therefore I had to add hing to this.

Oats with Formula: I used Gerber Oats with Formula in warm water and it made a perfect breakfast cereal for him. I slowly added cooked and pureed apples, mashed banana's and cooked and pureed pear to this.

Stewed Apples / Pear: A peeled apple or pear - put in a pressure cooker or closed pan with a little bit of water (gets too runny and bland if too much water is added since the fruit leaves it own juice on cooking). I used to add a bit of cinnamon / sugar/ jaggery depending on the sweetness required in the food.

Rawa (Sooji) / Nachni Porridge: Roast a bit of sooji, nachni, dalia in ghee till light brown. Add water, jaggery / sugar and cook till it boils and you get a runny consistency - can be made thicker for older children. Switch of gas and add formula and stir. Can be served without formula too.

Mashed Potato with butter: A hit with my son - boil a potato very well (I usually pressure cooked it) and puree in blender with butter. Can mash it and feed it after 7th month or after he develops teeth. Variations: Mashed potato & carrot, sweet potato, beans-carrot & potato etc.

I have been trying to post this page for the last one week and haven't had an opportunity... am going to keep adding my recipes to this. Coming up are recipes for - Vegetable Pulao, Vegetable Upma, Khichdi