Summer is here in full swing. We are all enjoying the seasonal produce, trying to experiment with new recipes and also enjoying some old favorites. Food Network thought it would be great to kick off the summer fest again. So they teamed up with some food bloggers and brought back Summer Fest 2011. I had so much fun doing it last year that I had to say yes! If you are not sure what Summer Fest is, its a season- long garden party. Every week or every other week a favorite seasonal produce is featured and we cook and bring something new to the table. This week’s theme was peaches.
On the 4th of July weekend we took a stroll to the wine country to taste some wine. While driving through the gorgeous scenic roads of Napa Valley I bumped into a fruit stand. The fruit stand had fresh produce straight off the trees from the farm right behind it. They had some of the juiciest and sweetest berries and cherries, ripe red apples and then there were peaches – prefect for my summer fest recipe! So I bought a bag, brought them home and made Peach Gujiya.
You can call Gujiya a sweet Indian twin brother of Empanadas. A flaky and slightly salty flattened dough wrapped around a sweet filling and then deep fried. Traditionally the filling is either made of mava/khoya (a milk derivative made by reducing the milk to a thick paste or even a dry form). In some parts of India it is also filled with sweetened coconut mixture. Inspired by sweet empanadas and pies, I gave the traditional gujiya my own twist and made a sweet, fruity and peachy one!
For the outer crust of a gujiya you work pretty much like you do for the dough of your empanadas or pie crust, just a little less butter. For the filling I used nice and ripe peaches, the slightly harder ones will be chunky in your mouth and will not melt as well but if you like it chunky, use the ones that are a little harder. Then another challenge I faced was the extra juice or liquid the fruit sheds once you add sugar and working with that can become a problem. For that I first drained all the extra liquid from the fruit before adding sugar and then when you add grated coconut the consistency is perfect. You can even cook the fruit in a little butter to get rid of the extra liquid.
While playing around with the recipe I used two interesting spices – black pepper and cardamom. Boy, that tasted good! Sweetness from the peach, a light aroma of cardamom and punch with pepper worked well together! Ok, you can imagine what I am trying to say- Try it, because its good!
Do you also have some peachy recipes up your sleeve? Share some of your flavor experiments in the comments section below or join the conversation on twitter using the hash tag #cookingwith. I will come back with some more peach recipes by other participants tomorrow.
For the filling:
2 1/2 cups ripe peaches (diced and drained)
1/2 cup grated dry coconut
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1 tbsp cornstarch
For the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
8 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp baking soda
Oil for frying
For the dough mix flour, baking soda and ghee together. For the ghee to mix well with the flour I pick a little flour in hand and rub it between the palms. If you hold flour in your fist and on opening the fist it holds itself in a ball and doesn’t run out then you know the proportion of ghee and flour is right and its mixed well.
Now while sprinkling little water, try to knead the flour forming a stuff dough. You should not be able to penetrate the dough very easily when poking with a finger.
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside.
For the filling mix all the ingredients together. Set aside.
Divide the dough into equal parts and make balls off of them.
Dust your working station and roll each ball into circle (if the circles are not “circular” enough then just use a small plate or cup as a cutter).
Put a tablespoon of filling on one half of the circle. Run a finger dipped in water around the edges. Fold the other half over it so the edges meet, forming a half moon.
My life was a little easier because my mom got me these gujiya fillers and cutters from India. But you can use a fork to press the edges and stick them together forming tiny lines all around the edges, just like you do for empanada.
Repeat the same for the rest of the dough and filling. Cover it with damp cloth.
Heat oil/ghee for deep frying and fry gujiya until its golden brown on the outside.
I poked a hole on one side of the gujiya as soon as it came out of the deep fryer. I think it helped release the hot vapors from inside of the gujiya without letting the juicy liquid seep out of it. I can be wrong too.
You can either serve it hot or when its cold enough to not burn your tongue!
Be sure to check out these peachy links from other participants.
CIA Dropout: Peachy Keen Panna Cotta
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy Peach Preserves
Daily Dishin: Fresh Peaches and Cream No-Bake Pie
Cooking with Books: Peaches and Cream Cheesecake
Cooking With My Kid: Peach & Friends Cobbler Pie
White on Rice Couple: Peach Heirloom Tomato Salad
Cooking With Elise: Bruschetta with Grilled Peach Chutney
FN Dish: Summer Fest: Peach Recipes
Taste With The Eyes: Warm White Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
Recipe Girl: Fresh Peach Pie
A Way to Garden: Farm Fresh Peaches Frozen to Perfection
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fresh Peach Cookies
Sassy Radish: Peach, Apricot and Blueberry Cobbler with a Cornmeal Crust
Sweet Life Bake: Sweet Peach Ancho Chile Salsa
Pinch My Salt: Creamy Peach Smoothie
Dixie Chik Cooks: Peach Cobbler
Food2: 5 Killer Peach Flavored Cocktails
Healthy Eats: 8 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Eat Peaches
Cooking Channel: Peaches on the Grill
Add a Pinch: My Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler
And Love It Too: Pan Seared Salmon with Fresh Peach Salsa
The Sensitive Epicure: A Summer Peach Tart, Gluten-Free
From My Corner of Saratoga: Double Caramel Peaches
She Wears Many Hats: Peach Wontons
I Am Mommy: Peach Bread