Plum & Basil Popsicles

August 24, 2014 § 3 Comments

Plum & Basil Popsicles

With this post I would officially be signing off with the summer bounty of stone fruits. It was the last of the stash of sweet and puckery plums which I had tucked away in my freezer. I had been wanting to make ice pops, the perfect treat to reminisce the summer and surely the apt way to bid adieu to all the wonderful stone fruits which summer has to offer.

Plum & Basil Popsicles

This year, rains have left us little early and it has become hot and humid again. My basil plant has been ever so growing lately, flourishing heavily like never before. Plum & Basil popsicles seemed to be the right choice for these hot and sunny days. These are the kind of pops which you would have liked probably growing up than being as a kid. They are so puckery and tantalizing! They reminded me of the Plum Sorbet which I had made last year.  They almost taste like a palate cleanser.

Plum & Basil Popsicles

And look at their color! Vibrant red color ice pops, they look quite sultry! Pardon my cheeky language, but truly speaking, this is what I felt, when I first saw the color. And you’d believe that they have the similar character too, only after you take the first bite. Again sweet and sour at the same time and tantalizing your taste buds.

 Plum & Basil Popsicles

Plum & Basil Popsicles
Sweet and sour plum & basil popsicles to tantalize your taste buds through the summer
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Ingredients
  1. 500 gm plums, de-stoned and quartered
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 3/4 cup sugar (adjust sugar depending upon the tartness)
  4. 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, chopped roughly
  5. 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put plums, sugar and water into a non reactive saucepan and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until plums are tender.
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat, add the basil leaves and kirsch and let stand covered for about an hour.
  3. Put the plums in a blender or a liquidizer and blend to make a smooth puree.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve. Divide the mixture into ice pop molds and place in freezer for half an hour or until the mixture is lightly set.
  5. Take the molds out of the freezer and insert the wooden sticks into each mold and put them back into the freezer, until completely set.
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/
 

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

August 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

This Spinach Feta Pine Nut tart finds it’s resemblance to the classic Greek tart Spanakopita, except for this being baked in an all butter puff pastry tart shell than the exotic phyllo pastry sheets. It’s one heavenly savory tart which perfectly finds it’s way on to your Sunday brunch table. It’s way more easier than you would’ve thought. And the life gets even easier, if you use a store bought puff pastry. And that is what I exactly did.

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

Ready to use puff pastries always give a foolproof result. The only challenge I face with them is that all we get here is the one made with salted butter, so you are only left with the savory stuff. For the desserts and other sweet treats, I still have to take the longer laborious route. And the desserts with puff pastries are saved for those cold winter days, when it is slightly easier to manage the butter with rolling pin. But for now, when I am not getting enough time to be spent in the kitchen, I can still enjoy this hearty healthy and summery tart.

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

I prefer to blind bake the tart shell because that keeps the tart crunchier for a longer time. The filling is amazingly simple yet high on flavors. The salty feta and parmesan cheeses pair perfectly with the creamier spinach filling. And the toasted pine nuts give it rounded and nutty flavor, almost an exotic Greek treat. It’s heavenly served alongside a light greens and tomato salad and a glass of fruity white wine. What more one could ask for on a Sunday? 

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart
Spinach Feta Pine Nut Tart, a puff pastry based twist to classic Greek Spanakopita.
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Ingredients
  1. 800 gm fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  2. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 tbsp olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup feta, cut into cubes
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  9. 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  10. 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  11. Salt, to taste
  12. 400 gm puff pastry
  13. 1/3 cup pine nuts
  14. 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)
Instructions
  1. In a pan, heat the olive oil gently. Add the garlic and onion and saute on medium heat for 2 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the spinach and stir. Let the spinach cook for about 10 minutes, stirring in between, or until all the water in pan has dried up completely. Let cool completely.
  2. Preheat the oven at 180 degree C. Line the pine nuts in a large baking sheet and roast in oven for about 5 minutes. Take them out of oven and let cool in the baking sheet.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 200 degree C. Roll the pastry in a rectangle large enough to cover a 14 x 4 inch rectangular loose bottom tart pan.
  4. Gently place the pastry into the tart pan and snuggle it along the edges using your fingers. Prick the pastry surface at multiple places using a fork. This will prevent the pastry to puff up heavily while pre baking.
  5. Cover the pastry with a parchment paper and fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans after 10 minutes of baking and then bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the filling, by mixing the cooked spinach, egg, sour cream, parmesan cheese, chili flakes, pepper and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add salt sparingly, as the paremsan and feta cheese have enough salt.
  7. Once the tart shell has pre baked, pour the filling into the shell and spread evenly. Drop the feta cheese cubes on filling and press them inside gently. Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top of filling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 200 degree C preheated oven or until the filling is just set.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/
 

Gluten Free Peach Crumble

August 11, 2014 § 1 Comment

Gluten Free Peach Crumble

With little time to cook or bake at home and work getting increasingly demanding, I am getting to spend less time in kitchen these days. That is why, you hadn’t seen an overly involving or rather too-many-steps recipe up here in recent times. And I am trying to be more efficient the other way. The recipes which are just about bunging in things together quickly to deliver faster and tastier results have been my companion lately.

Gluten Free Peach Crumble

Like the last one, I wrote about my favorite savory egg breakfast these days, Shakshuka. A super easy and quick recipe yet nonetheless delicious. Stone fruits have nearly diminished now, with probably last of the crops on the shelves. I am missing cherries badly, though plums and peaches have still been around. This time again, talking about the breakfast, I made this rather healthier version of gluten free peach crumble.

Gluten Free Peach Crumble Gluten Free Peach Crumble

The peaches I had at hand were slightly over ripened, just perfect to be thrown into a crumble or crisp.  I let them macerate in dark brown sugar and a squeeze of a lime, which helped bring out all the peachy flavors out of the fruit. For the crumble topping, I just pulsed some whole almonds (with skin on) in food processor with a dash of cold butter and jumbo rolled oats. 

Gluten Free Peach Crumble Gluten Free Peach Crumble 6

It made a super crispy and nutty crumble topping, a perfect pair to those mushy and fragrant peaches. I had some in breakfast alongside a glass of milk. And the rest of it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream made a perfect and rather reduced-guilt dessert. 

Gluten Free Peach Crumble Gluten Free Peach Crumble

Gluten Free Peach Crumble
A gluten free peach crumble with goodness of fresh peaches, oats and almonds.
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For filling
  1. 6-8 medium size peaches {destoned, sliced into 8}
  2. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  3. 1 tbsp cornflour
  4. 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
For topping
  1. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup whole almonds
  3. 75 gm cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  4. 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 1 tsp vanilla powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree C.
  2. For the filling, toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  3. For the topping, pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor 4-5 times, until mixture resembles coarse sand.
  4. Place the topping in freezer for 10 minutes.
  5. In a pie dish, arrange the peaches with flesh side facing the pan. Scatter the topping over peaches to cover them completely.
  6. Place on the baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Take out of oven and let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, before serving.
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/
 

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