Monday, November 22, 2010
Have you decided what is going be on your Thanksgiving menu this year? I'm sure many of you must be working on it for weeks and everything must be planned to the last dish. I mean of course, Thanksgiving is one of those rare occasions in the whole year when the entire family can come together and food is the main part so it needs to be planned, right? But there must definitely be a few like me who still have no idea what they are going to make. My biggest problem is that I get bored very quickly and the same menu every year just doesn't roll with me! So I try to shake things up in whatever way I can by not compromising tradition and that's what eats up my time. Does that happen to you too? This year has been no different for me - with just one exception - this time at least I have decided what's going to be for dessert. Apple, cranberry and pecan torta served with a big dollop of some spiced whipped cream.
Oh yeah, That's what I'm talking about! If the title made you drool then let me tell you the recipe is simply to die for! I can say that this is one recipe that I truly "heart" and it has nearly displaced the traditional pie in our house.
This is one of Giada's recipes that I've been making over and over. I keep tweaking it here and there from time to time and it still comes out great. But what I'm sharing today is the closest I have gone to the original recipe without compromising my family's taste and preference. The best part is that its SO easy that my little one helped me make it this time! You just need fruit and all kinds of them! Fresh, dried and even nuts. I used fresh apples, dried cranberries and pecans but you can just use anything that you like - pears, any kind of berries, peaches, plums...anything! Then you add tons of butter in it because hey, if you want it to taste good then you gotta have butter in it! Spice it up with whatever spice you love cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice (I've tried it all!).
I have to admit that in this case more than the actual torta I spent more time thinking what I should serve it with when I'm sharing it with you. I've tried ice cream, whipped cream and even some berry sauces but what I loved it most with is whipped cream. Now since its thanksgiving it can't be some plain whipped cream right? So I added spices to the whipped cream too. In the past I had tried adding cinnamon and nutmeg and also all spice and it tasted pretty good but since I again wanted to try something new I just asked some of my foodie friends for ideas. I loved Stephani's idea of cloves and all spice and Jamie's idea of cardamom and I was confused again so I decided to try both and let the taste tester in our family decide. And so he did and we finally ended up serving it with cardamom spiced whipped cream.
I'm happy that I was able to share the recipe just in time to also send it to the event Monthly Mingle. Brainchild of Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey, this event is hosted by Deeba of Passionate about baking this month.The theme this month was Fruit in Baking and so I thought that the time for this recipe would be just perfect since it can be made with all kinds of fruits. Here's how I made this Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Torta with spiced whipped cream.
Ingredients: (Apple, cranberry and pecan torta)
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp salted butter (since I used salted butter, I didn't add any extra salt to it. You can add a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp fresh orange zest
1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 1/4 cups of peeled diced apples
1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Toast pecans in the over for around 4-5 minutes.
In a small microwavable bowl take the orange juice, add dried cranberries to it and microwave for 15 seconds. This would help the cranberries puff and absorb some orange juice.
Sift and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In the other bowl cream butter and sugar together.
When they get light and pale yellow in color, add eggs one at a time with mixer on medium high speed. Then add vanilla extract.
Now turn the mixer to low and add dry ingredients slowly.
Add fruits and the rest of the ingredients and mix everything well together.
Take a 10 inch wide baking dish (I used a quiche pan) and spray some oil on the inside so that the torta doesn't stick. Pour the batter into it.
Bake it for around 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.
This dish can be served warm with some ice cream or whipped cream.
Ingredients: (Cardamom spiced whipped cream)
1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
With your mixer on medium high, whip the cream. Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time and then add crushed cardamom. Whip until soft peak forms. Anywhere after that, the cream starts to separate so stop after that.
Add a dollop of this spiced whipped cream over a BIG piece of fruit torta and enjoy!
Posted by Prerna at 1:02 PM