Red Theme/ Valentine's Day preparationFor the month of January The 'Shhh cooking secretly ' group decided to make something using red coloured food so as to give an idea to our followers what they can prepare for Valentine's Day.My partner for this month was Amrita Iyer a food blogger whose blog is full of colour and mouth watering recipes. Check out The Food Samaritan to find out exactly what I mean.
The colour red signifies many things. Love, warmth, danger, power,passion, determination, anger and desire.Red also draws our attention to danger. So as you can see its got its positive side and the negative too. Today we're going to think of the positive things, it means life, love and passion. As I always say Valentine's Day is not the only day your should be loving your friend, spouse, fiance with all your passion. We should be loving them everyday.
Amrita had initially given me cherries and red currants as my ingredients. Unfortunately I couldn't find either in Mombasa and I don't have dried red cherries in my fridge so I had to ask her to change the ingredients. So she gave me plums and sugar. I gave her strawberries and pomegranate. She's made a lip smacking swiss roll with the ingredients. Check it out on her blog.
I always wanted to make hand pies so using plums and sugar was just the right thing to do to make these cute beauties. Hubby was really happy with the outcome, I thought a bit more sugar would have made them irresistible. Oh well just check out the recipe and see if that's what you would love to bake for your loved one for Valentine's Day.
PLUM HAND PIES
For the shortcrust pastry:
1¼ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt (if you are using unsalted butter)
100g cold butter cut into tiny cubes
3-4 tbsp ice cold water
For the filling:
8-10 medium size plums
¼ -⅓ cup sugar (depending on how tart the plums are)
1 tbsp cornflour(corn starch)
½ tsp vanilla extract
a generous pinch of salt
¼ tsp clove powder
1-2 tbsp milk
some sugar to sprinkle on top
little water in a small bowl
extra butter for greasing the tray
Preparation of the shortcrust pastry:
- Add flour, sugar and salt into a big mixing bowl.
- Mix it well.
- Add the cubed cold butter and using your finger tips rub the butter gently into the flour till it resembles like breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor if you like.
- Add little water at a time to bring the dough together.
- Dust the worktop with little flour. Tip out the dough from the bowl.
- Just bring the dough together gently in a round shape, do not knead it.
- Wrap the dough up with cling film and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preparation of the filling:
- If you find that the skin of the plums are too tart or bitter, then make a tiny cross at the bottom and blanch them in hot water.Peeling them becomes easier.
- I peeled most of them and left just 2-3 with the peel.
- Cut the plums into chunks, removing the stones or seeds.
- Sprinkle sugar, cornflour, salt, vanilla extract and clove powder over the plums.
- Mix well.
- Either line the baking tray with parchment paper or grease it lightly with butter.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and let it remain at room temperature for 5 minutes.
- Dust the work top lightly with flour.
- Roll the dough into a rough circle about ⅛" thick. Using a 5-6 inch round cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can.
- Gather up the dough and bring it together again, remember do not knead it. Roll again into a ⅛" thick circle and cut out circles. To make 6 hand pies you will need 12 circles.
- Put about a tablespoonful of the filling in the middle of one circle leaving at least about ½" border around it.
- Dab the outer ½" border with water.
- Place the other circle over it.
- Using a fork, gently press the edges to seal.
- Make small cuts on top in the middle with a knife. I used a small heart cutter and cut out the dough before placing it over the filling. Place the pie on the prepared tray.
- Repeat steps 7- 11 with the remaining circles.
- Put the tray in the fridge with the unbaked pies for 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the oven 180°C.
- Brush milk over the tops of the pie. Sprinkle some sugar over them.
- Put the tray in the oven for the pies to bake for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Let the pies cool on a wire rack and serve on its own or with a dollop of ice cream or whipped fresh cream.
You may want to check out the following Valentine's Day recipes:
|eggless chocolate crepes with strawberries|
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