I could not have expected such a grand opening for my brand new pie/tart mould. I bought it along with the bread/loaf pan 6 months ago and till now it had remained brand new. Some how the tart pan just failed to inspire and excite me as much as the loaf pan did that I never thought of putting it to use and try out anything with it. Had it not been for this month’s Gourmet Seven theme this pan would have continued to remain brand new…. but all that changed and just look what I made… Yummmm right…. and I’m totally in love with the crust…. The first pastry made by me…. pinching, as it is yet to sink in, the taste still lingering…. Utterly, Butterly, Chocolaty DIVINE….. The kids gang at home loved it to the core.
This month’s theme, We, The Gourmet Seven decided to try our hand at Pies/Quiches/Tarts from the popular Smitten Kitchen. These terms are new to me and I decided to browse around to get a better understanding of what I’m actually getting into and to acquire more knowledge in this form of cooking.
So what is the difference between a Pie, Tart, Quiche and Galette?…. Very simple… All are very close cousins…
A pie is a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped. It can have just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust. A pie crust is crisp and flaky. Pies are served straight from the dish in which they were baked.
A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust. Tart crusts are usually made from pastry dough that is firm and crumbly. Tarts are baked in a pan with a removable bottom, or in pastry ring on top of a baking sheet so that it can be unmolded before serving.
A galette is a round pastry wrapped and fruit filled dessert that is baked on a baking sheet. They are very easy to make because they are virtually formless. Sometimes it is also made with a savory filling.
A quiche is a savory, open-faced pastry crust dish. The savory filling is made with eggs, cheese, meat and vegetables.
Chocolate Pudding Pie
For the Pastry:
- All purpose flour – 1 1/4 cups
- Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
- Unsalted butter – 100 gms (Ice cold and hard)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Ice cubes – 1/2 cup
For the Chocolate Filling:
- Corn flour – 1/4 cup
- Milk – 2 cups
- Sugar – 1/3 cup
- Cocoa powder – 3 tbsp
- Bitter sweet chocolate – 100 gms
- Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
For the Topping:
- Cream – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 3 tbsp
- Cherries (optional) (See Notes)
To prepare the Pastry:
Place the ice cubes in a cup and leave it to melt.
In a bowl mix together flour, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into cubes and drop onto the flour. I used a fork to work the butter into the flour as the butter was very hard and I did not have any pastry cutter. Then I used my finger tips to further work the butter till the flour resembled bread crumbs.
The ice cubes would have melted by now. Discard any thin ice cubes floating on water and use a tbsp of water at a time and add it to the flour to make into a dough. I used 4 tbsp of water in all. when the dough comes together, wrap in a plastic sheet and chill for 1/2 hour.
After 1/2 hour take the dough out and roll out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a circle. Then line the pie plate like shown above and trim the edges. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill the shell 30 minutes.
Take the shell out and place a butter paper on top of it. Fill the sheet with any dry beans. I used cow peas here. This is to prevent the pastry from puffing out while baking.
Pre heat the oven at 180 Degrees C. Place the shell in the middle rack and bake for 25 – 30 mins till the pastry is set and pale golden in color.
Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift the butter paper. Then once again bake the shell until pale golden all over for 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove and let it cool.
To Prepare Pudding Filling:
Whisk together corn flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a, then slowly add milk and whisk till there are no lumps. Place the pan on stove and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. After 2-3 mins you can see the mixture becoming thick. Remove from heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and vanilla essence until smooth. Let it come to room temperature.
Pour this chocolate filling into cooled shell and chill until cold, at least 3-4 hours. To remove the shell place the pan over a small cup.
For the topping:
Just before serving, beat cream with sugar. Spoon onto pie and garnish with cherries.
- Make sure that the butter and water are ice cold.
- If using salted butter leave out the salt in the dough.
- The pastry dough can be made 2 days in advance and kept chilled in the fridge. Just defrost for 1/2 hour before rolling out.
- You can use shaved / grated chocolate for the topping instead of cherries.
- I did not have heavy cream so used low fat cream for the topping.
I did not have a sharp knife to get a clean cut but on the whole the experience was just incredible. I loved every minute I spent to make this and will definitely keep trying my hand at this to better myself. I know I have a long way to go to become perfect. The whole process may seem so long like it did to me but don’t let that intimidate you and try your hand at this one. I’m sure you will love it.
This is off to The Gourmet Seven and I’m quite sure you would also like to check out what the other Gourmets are rustling up for this month’s theme. Do hop off and check out Anusha, Anamika, Kaveri, Sangeetha, Vardhini and Veena. Stay tuned to find out what we cook for next month…