This week has been rather dreary for me. I’ve had difficulty putting things together as far as baking is concerned. And don’t get me started on writing. I stare into a blank document for minutes together. With no outcome, I switch over to Facebook feeds. And then I get irked looking at my wall filled with pictures of babies (no offense intended to friends with babies) and cats!
So, I take a quick visit to my kitchen. I look around. Essentially, I while away time starring at things to see if I can find inspiration in anything, but no. I eat a banana instead. I sit in front of my laptop and stare at my blank document again. And then I start typing gibberish. Things haven’t been coming to me easily this week; I seem to be going through a baker’s and a writer’s block.
So yesterday, I decided that I needed a break; anything that frees me from my laptop and a cooped up space. I couldn’t think of anything but a bit of retail therapy. Anyway, these days I’ve only been blowing up all my money on crockery and cake stands. If I saw a gorgeous dress and a Global G-2 chef’s knife, I’d go for the latter, unflinchingly. The erstwhile me would’ve bought both and lasted on a bank balance of Rs 100 for the rest of the month.
What can I say? I’m a changed woman; I’ve very painfully understood the fact that I can’t have everything and also, my kitchen cupboard is overflowing instead of my wardrobe. But yesterday I took a little detour. I shopped my heart’s content; picked up a few tops and dresses. Impromptu shopping feels so good, that too when interspersed with a refreshing Thai lunch. I’m afraid my wardrobe too is now on the verge of bursting, but in my defense apartments here come with really tiny wardrobes.
Enough with my disillusionment rant now. I’m feeling a little better with all that shopping. Let’s talk about the bake of the hour – Jam pies. I intended them to be little lattice top tarts. Since I piped the lattice tops a little too thick, they spread and covered the entire top, hence jam pies. Can I tell you that I haven’t had anything quite so delicious in a long, long time? Please have them with a cup of coffee; omg! I am salivating as I’m typing, too bad they are over.
- 100 g (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 55 g (2/3 cup) hazelnut flour
- 88 g unsalted butter
- 83 g (1/4 + ½ cup) confectioner’s sugar, extra for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 clove, pounded
- 1 egg
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Butter five 4” tart tins. Place them on a baking sheet. Fit a disposable piping bag with 1” plain tip.
- Pulse together flour, ½ cup of icing sugar, hazelnut flour, ground cinnamon and clove. Set aside.
- Beat together butter and ¼ cup of icing sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat further. Sift in the dry ingredients and beat till incorporated.
- Fill piping bag with prepared mixture. Hold the piping bag at 90 degrees, ½ inch above the center of the tart tin. Pipe in spiral motion without leaving any gap. Pipe a line to cover the fluted edge of the tart tin. Repeat for all tins. Add 2 tbsp of strawberry jam into the piped tarts. If you want lattices, use a ¼ inch plain tip and pipe crisscross lattices over the pie. Otherwise, use the same 1 inch plain tip and pipe crisscross pattern over each pie.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until they turn golden brown. Unmould and cool on the wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before consuming.