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Celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November as a public holiday, Thanksgiving is traditionally a grand feast in honor of a good harvest year in America. Thanksgiving dinners are held as large family gatherings around classic homemade dishes like roast turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The Indian Cornmeal Pudding, though less common on Thanksgiving tables, is a popular New England dessert with a thick and creamy consistency, almost porridge-like. It is typically sweetened with molasses while being lightly spiked with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg.

The recipe from Epicurious is warm, sweet and comforting and therefore an excellent cure in my books to make on a post-call day when you are down with period cramps and headache. Served with a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream, it instantly drives away every pain and discomfort that might linger after a tiring double call in pediatrics. To cut down on the long baking hours, I made them in small ramekins for neat, individual servings. Best eaten warm with melting ice cream, I found that I also liked this pudding chilled with a drizzle of golden syrup for breakfast.

INDIAN PUDDING

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup light muscovado sugar

1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon mild-flavored molasses

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2″ baking dish or 6 small oven-safe porcelain ramekins.

  • Combine the milk, muscovado sugar, cornmeal, molasses, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan.

  • Whisk mixture over medium-high heat till it thickens, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

  • Cook for about 15-20 minutes till it reaches a thick but pourable consistency. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture into prepared baking dish or ramekins.

  • Bake till golden brown and center no longer moves when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

  • Bake for just under 30 minutes if using ramekins. Remove pan from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

  • Scoop the pudding into serving bowls. Top it with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with golden syrup.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It told me a while to get my hands on frozen puff pastry; it seemed that all my usual stores and supermarkets had run out of the stuff right when I needed it. Of course, I could make my own from scratch but after one has been through the gruesome experience of being on call almost every alternate night over the past month, one tends to resort to laziness and shortcuts to get things done. I finally got round baking these beauties on my mum’s birthday and they make a really beautiful edible ‘bouquet’ of red roses for someone who loves both food and flowers. The recipe, from Cooking with Manuela, can be tweaked to include other fruits like plums or peaches if you don’t care for apples and the baked roses should be eaten on the same day as the puff pastry looses its crispness if stored for too long.

CINNAMON APPLE ROSES

Ingredients:

1 frozen puff pastry sheet

2 large red organic apples

Juice of half a medium lemon

1 tablespoon flour, for dusting

3 tablespoons apricot preserve

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Method:

  • Thaw the puff pastry for about 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare a bowl with some water and the lemon juice.
  • Cut the apples in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into paper thin slices but leave the peel on.

  • Right away, place the sliced apples in the bowl with lemon and water, so that they do not change color.
  • Microwave the apples for about 3 minutes, to make them slightly softer or simmer them in a small pan.

  • Unwrap the puff pastry over a clean, lightly floured counter. Using rolling pin stretch the dough a little.
  • Try to keep the rectangular shape. Cut the dough in 6 strips. These are about 2 in x 9 in (5 cm x 22 cm).

  • Combine apricot preserve with two tablespoons of water in a bowl and microwave for about one minute.
  • Spread the preserve on the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Drain the apples.

  • Place the apples on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon. Now fold up the bottom part of the dough.
  • Carefully roll, seal the edge, and place in a greased muffin cup and repeat the same steps for all 6 roses.

  • Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes until the pastry is fully cooked on the inside.
  • Remove immediately from the muffin cups and leave to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Cinnamon Apple Roses

This month’s challenge host, Meredith, has dared all Daring Bakers to make Kouign Amann (prounounced “kwee-amahn”), a round crusty pastry that originated in Brittany in roughly 1860. It is made with laminated bread dough that is sprinkled with sugar before being cut into squares and baked in muffin tins.

The traditional kouign amann is rather basic in terms of flavor but feel free to experiment with cinnamon sugar or even a little bit of chocolate. I made my first batch with caster sugar rubbed into a generous amount of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and brushed them with milk before baking to golden perfection.

KOUIGN AMANN

Ingredients:

300g/ 2 2/5 cups strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting

5g / 1 1/2 teaspoon instant OR 6.75g / 2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

5g / 1 teaspoon fine kitchen salt or fine kosher salt

200ml / 6 3/4 fluid ounces / 4/5 cup warm water

25g / 1oz / 1 3/4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

250g / 1 1/5 sticks / 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

100g / scant 1/2 cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method:

  • Put flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add yeast to one side and salt to the other.
  • Add water and melted butter and mix on slow for two minutes, then on medium speed for six minutes.

  • Shape into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
  • Sandwich butter between grease-proof paper. Bash with a rolling pin, roll out to a 14 cm / 5½” square.

  • Place in the fridge to keep chilled. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm / 8″ square.
  • Place butter in the center of the dough diagonally so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough.

  • Fold dough over the butter to enclose it like an envelope. Roll dough into a 45 x 15cm / 18 x 6″ rectangle.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle part and then fold the top third of the dough over.

  • This forms a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap dough well in cling film.
  • Place in fridge for 30 minutes. This completes 1 turn. Repeat twice more to have three completed turns.

  • Roll dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again.
  • Working quickly, roll dough into a 40 x 30cm / 16 x 12” rectangle. Sprinkle with additional caster sugar.

  • Cut dough into 12 squares. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather squares up by their corners.
  • Place in the muffin tins, pulling the corners towards the centre, so that it gathers like a four-leaf clover.

  • Sprinkle with additional caster sugar. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes till puffed up.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200°C (fan) / 425°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Cover it with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven, leave to cool.
  • After a couple of minutes, turn out onto a wire rack. Be careful not to get burnt with caramelized sugar.

  • Do not leave them to cool for too long or caramelized sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.
  • Serve warm or cold. Best eaten soon after baking; store in air-tight container for up to 24 hrs. Makes 12.

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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