February 10, 2008

Cardamom Flavored Grape Mini Pies

This recipe was the result of a few events.
I had a big bag of deep purple seedless grapes sitting in my kitchen, which I needed to use up. Entirely my fault, because I couldn’t resist buying them even though I had already shopped for the week’s quota of fruit. I do not know what variety they were, but they were the sweetest grapes I have ever eaten.
Now, one can eat only so much of grapes. And my daughter does not like them. My husband, who loves them, was away on work. So what could I do with the grapes?
Then I saw the announcement for this month’s event at the Mini Pie Revolution HQ.
And having made a somewhat decent Lemon Meringue Pie for the Daring Bakers challenge, I was feeling a bit confident about setting forth in this direction.
I also decided this would be an opportunity to break in my new tartelette moulds.

So I came made up a recipe, and converted the grapes into a pie filling using cardamom (my favourite spice). And found an interesting recipe for the crust. The best part is that this whole recipe requires no egg.
So here’s the recipe:

For the crust:

1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup corn meal
1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup (50gm) chilled butter
4 tbsp cold milk
a little extra flour for rolling dough

For the Filling:
1 ½ cups purple seedless grapes
½ tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup sugar ( use more if the grapes are not very sweet)
½ tbsp cornstarch
1 pinch salt
powdered seeds from about 3 cardamom pods (about ½ tsp)

The Crust:
I used the food processor to make the crust. You can do it by hand , if you prefer. Cut the butter into thin strips and put back into the fridge. Put the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt into the processor. Pulse a couple of times t mix everything well. Now add the butter and run the processor, stopping in between, till the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Do not overdo this. Now sprinkle the milk over the mixture and after a couple of minutes, run the processor only till the mixture just clumps.
Put the mixture on a lightly floured surface and with minimal handling, bring together and shape into a round. Cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour. Then roll out as thin as possible and cut out pieces to fit your mini-pie moulds. I used aluminium moulds and so greased them before pressing in the rolled out dough into the mould. Prick the base well, otherwise the base of the crust would push up on baking. Bake at 190C for about 20minutes.

The Filling:
Process (can use a blender) the grapes and lemon juice just so they are broken up. Do not puree. Pour this into a pan, add the sugar (adjust this as required), and salt. Allow to come to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little less than ¼ cup of water and add to the grape mixture. Stir well and take off the heat. Add the cardamom powder. Cool.

Assembling the pies:
Spoon the filling into the individual pie crusts, decorate and serve as you like. I used cashew halves sautéed in salted butter. To do this, sauté about 30 cashew halves (till just golden) in 1 ½ tsp melted butter to which a pinch of salt has been added.
This recipe gave me 15 two bite-sized mini pies.

This crust is tasty and crunchy (probably because of the cornmeal) and I will definitely use it again. If you are not serving the pies immediately, the crust can be stored in an airtight container and filled just before serving. Otherwise the pies become soft.
My daughter’s first reaction was, “Not another pie, Amma”! But she loved the crust (she always prefers the crust to the filling) and grudgingly admitted that the filling was “not too bad”. I am happy that I’ve found a way to make her eat grapes!! The pies also got the thumbs up from all the others who had them.

These are off to sweeten Mini Pie Revolution #2.


Happy cook said...

They looks so good and the color is beautiful

Mishmash ! said...

Hello Aparna, Browsed through your page and baking seems to have a special place in your repertoire as I could see lots of sweet celebrations :) Liked your entry for the click-liquid event too :)

Thanks a lot for stopping by my page!

Nags said...

They look lovely, like tarts. I love tarts but never dared to make any myself. Nice recipe.

Trupti said...

Hello Aparna,
This pie looks very delicious. I never try pie before..but will try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Mythreyee said...

This is such a wonderful sweet.

zlamushka said...

Hi A,

This is a lovely recipe. Will totally make this one soon. Looks mega healthy :-)

Rosie said...

Oh YUM!! These look So very tempting I could eat one right now .... Lovely recipe and thanks for sharing :D

Rosie x

Linda said...

I would never have thought to use cashews and grapes -- your tartlet crust looks so flaky and delicious, Aparna! Thanks for this idea :)

Sig said...

cardamom and grapes, what a lovely combination... And your daughter is so cute.. "not another pie".. that is hilarious :D

Miri said...

This is such an interesting combination! looks yummy and since my daughter doesnt like grapes either, might be a good way for her to eat these!

Rachel said...

nice filling....the crust sounds tasty as well..

Jagadeesh M said...

You have good taste, Good Luck


Laavanya said...

Lovely idea Aparna.. these pies look cute and I'm a big fan of grapes too... :)

bhags said...

The pies look so cute and the filling so delicious, just want to dig my tongue in it ....:P

Mansi Desai said...

Nice one Aparna! I'm long due on baking a crust from scratch..thanks for inspiring me!:)

Uma said...

Look so yummy! I gotta try these.

Sagari said...

those mini pies look soo cute aparna love the crust recipe

Aparna said...

Considering I'm new to pie making, my efforts so far have been fine. So please try your hand at it if you haven't so far. Its worth it.

Cakelaw said...

These look delicious!! The purple colour is just gorgeous.

Ann said...

Such lovely tarts! Thanks so much for participating in the event!

Baking History said...

Hi Aparna, these tartlets look gorgeous. I do like rapes jam a lot and I will definitely save this recipe to try soon!

sunshinemom said...

I too have been thinking of making these tartlets! Grape season is something I really love:)