Delicious desserts from Executive Chef Merajuddin Ansari of the Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai.
For the pastry
- 1 cup maida or all-purpose flour + a little more for dusting
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp butter, cut into ½ inch pieces and chilled
- 3 tbsp ice water
- 1 large egg yolk, mixed with 2 tbsp of water, for the egg wash
- A few tsp salted caramel powder, available online, for serving
- A few tsp ground pistachios, for serving
- One scoop fresh mango ice cream, optional
For the filling
- 125 gm ricotta cheese, an Italian cottage cheese, easily available in grocery stores
- 3 tbsp spice mix (recipe below)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 large or 3 small crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch wedges
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp powdered pistachios
For the spice mix
- 5 to 6 badam or almonds, blanched and peeled
- 3 to 4 pistachio, blanched and peeled
- 2 to 3 cashews, soaked
- ½ tsp saunf or fennel seeds
- 1 tsp magaz or melon seeds, soaked
- ½ tsp poppy seeds, soaked, optional
- 1/8 tsp green elaichi or cardamom powder or two fresh cardamom pods, remove the skin and crush
- 3 kali mirch or black peppercorns
Note: Soak all the ingredients for the spice mix for at least an hour.
- First place the flour and cut butter, separately, in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, before beginning.
- Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor.
Add the butter and keep pulsing till you get pea-sized crumbs. It doesn't have to be consistent pea-sized right through.
- Sprinkle in the cold water and pulse until the dough is just moistened; don't over pulse.
- Turn the flour-butter crumbs onto a work surface, and bring it together into a ball of pastry dough.
Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- On a work surface, spread out parchment paper and flour it well.
Roll out the chilled pastry into a 11-inch circle, about ¼ inch thick.
Transfer the pastry along with the parchment paper to a round, shallow baking pan or pie pan of 8-inch diameter (place paper into the pan and then pastry on top of it).
Chill for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grind all the soaked ingredients for the spice mix.
- Stir the spice mix and the sugar with the ricotta and keep aside. Add some more sugar as per taste.
Spread out the sugared, spiced ricotta onto the pastry and arrange the apples slightly overlapping each other over it.
Fold up the pastry over the apples (see picture above), leaving most of the apple uncovered.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash.
Sprinkle the tart lightly with 1 tbsp of the brown sugar and the pistachio powder.
Freeze the tart until solid, for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
Bake the tart directly from the freezer for an hour or until the pastry is deeply browned.
- Let it cool on a cooling rack and then remove from the pan.
Serve with a sprinkle of pistachio and/or salted caramel.
Top with a scoop fresh mango ice cream.
Gulab Jamun Parfait
- 12 small gulab jamuns
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- ½ cup cream, whipped
- 1 tsp kesar or saffron
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- Thinly slice 6 of the gulab jamuns. Keep aside.
Slice the other 6 gulab jamuns into quarters. Keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the yogurt and the cream together.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan, add the water, saffron and bring to a boil.
Stir the milk mixture and turn off the heat.
Once the mixture is slightly cool, add the honey.
Mix well and keep aside.
- In 4 glasses (see picture above) or 4 small serving bowls, add 2 tbsp of the yogurt-cream mix.
Place 3-4 thinly sliced gulab jamuns in a circle, covering all sides and spread 1 tbsp more of the yogurt-cream mix over it.
Spread ½ tsp of the saffron mix and add 2 tbsp more of the yogurt mix.
- Decorate the top with 1-2 pieces of the quartered gulab jamuns, saffron mix and pistachios.
Repeat the process for the other 3 glasses similarly.
- Place all the glasses in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Serve chilled.