You see, we Indians do not make pies…We do not take granny smith apples, coat and soften them in butter and sugar and cool them. We do not flour, roll it in to a dough, keep it in the fridge and then fill it up with the apples and let them bake for 45 minutes or so. Almost all Indians in India do not use oven. For those mouth watering Kebabs we have the Tandoor, yes that’s the name of the thing, the big hole full of coal and fire made of mud with iron rods arranged just as you do on a grill!
So all my growing up years I never had a pie! So when I think of mouth watering, I think of creamy milk, slowly thickened over a very very v-e-r-y low fire. Then you add diced mandarin oranges carefully along with a bunch of Sultanas. You need to be extra careful with those most will float if the milk is of the right consistency; few will sink.
Oranges and Sultanas both have a tendency to be sour. One little slice of sour sultana or orange and the milk will curdle. Now no need to add sugar now, unless the oranges are not sweet, but grate a little of those rough orange skins and sprinkle it on the milk. Now remember, the milk is cooking on very low fire and you are to stir it, continuously. You cannot let it bubble.
This is a good time to add a tablespoon of sugar, and stir slowly till the sugar has dissolved. Then ground a few pistachios, almonds, cashews and scatter over the thick warm milk. Let it cool and then shove it straight in the refrigerator. Cool it, have it! Don’t lick the plate, especially if others are around. Be nice, smile, and lick it in the kitchen when you are alone, because at the bottom of the pan, is the golden caramelized sugar along with those sultanas and oranges that had sunk!
Those are absolute gems!
Now for that pie!! Well aaliyah has been babbling about those extremely silly three little kittens who happened to have lost there mittens. Aali cannot talk, not yet! But she does say words… Pie, cat, meow etc. So I thought I will bake it! Make a pie, and may be Aali will like it!
I had a few granny smiths lying in the fruit basket. Six to be exact. The recipe called for eight apples, so in went two more pink ladies. The rest of the ingredients are almost always at my pantry. Unsalted butter (those cultured butters from Western Star, does the job well), iced water, one large egg yolk,, salt, plain four. . .the usual lot!
So it was made, Soft molten apple in cinnamon, butter and sugar. I ate away a lot of it while making the dough. Gave a dollop of it aaliyah as well. ‘Yum, yum’ she said asking more more! Whoa success. So I did bake it.
The apartment was full of this amazing buttery smell, and I wished I lived in a country cottage with wallpapers, paintings and fireplaces. I was happy as well, thinking how, when Aali grows up she might remember her childhood coated in smells like these! Honestly, nothing better than trying create memories for your baby.
It turned out rather well for a first timer. The cover was soft and crunchy, biscuity. The filling was great and went so good with a dollop of lemon cream. Just get a 200g tub of mascarpone, a cup of thickened cream,icing sugar almost 1/4 tsp or little more and very fine zest of a fresh large lemon. I add a fourth o a teaspoon of Vanilla as well! Just put all of them together and whisk them for a minute. Try not to use a electric mixer, for it just take seconds and the cream gets over whipped.
A little after dinner treat with an episode of Downton Abbey.
Oh and Aaliyah refused to touch it after it was baked!!