Banana and Guava Jelly Pie

I have been on a sweet streak recently. Everything that I am making in the kitchen seems to be sweet. Everytime I tell myself that I will now make a savory brazilian dish, another sweet dish turns up and I just have to make it. So, there will probably be a lot of sweets coming up soon, just a little warning;)!

This recipe was one of those that just popped-up. One of my favorite blogs O Caderno de Receitas posted this recipe the other week and as soon as I read through it, I just had to make it. The filling for this pie, banana and goiabada (guava jelly) was absolutely irresistible and since I had almost all of the ingredients at home, there was no excuse not to make it. We devoured this pie really fast and it is one of those pies that you can make a dozen of and it still won’t be enough.

For those of you who do not know what goiabada is, you don’t know what you have been missing. This is a very common brazilian sweet that is made from guavas. Although you probably won’t find it in any store in the USA, you Torta de banana e goiabadacan buy it HERE on amazon.com. To make this recipe you will need to buy some as there is no reasonable substitute that I can think of. But, you won’t be sorry. I promise!

Enjoy the pie.

BANANA AND GOIABADA PIE (Torta de banana e goiabada)

Ingredients for the PASTRY
120g of white flour
60g of butter, at room temperature
60g of white sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
Water

Ingredients for the FILLING
150g of goiabada, cut into small pieces
5 ripe bananas

Making the Pastry: Mix all of the ingredients together adding enough water so that it forms a soft ball. Set aside.

Making the filing: Cut the goiabada and banana into small pieces. Place into a medium sized pan with a little bit of water and slowly bring to a boil on low heat, making sure to continuously stir. Allow the mixture to slowly boil, adding water as necessary and continuing to mix until the goiabada has fully melted and incorporated with the banana and the mixture has thickened.

Putting it all together: Line a round pie dish with the pastry. The pastry is very light and soft so may not roll out well. This doesn’t matter. Just piece it all together in the pie dish. Once you have lined the pie dish with the pastry add the filling. Bake at 200C/390F for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool!

Notes: If you would like a thicker pastry you can always double the recipe. Or if you would like more filling you can easily double the recipe too. Have fun with this recipe. It will always taste good!

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English-Style Pork Pie

English-Style Pork PieI absolutely love pies. I have always liked making them, but I especially like eating them. Pies have never really been a cooking strong point for me, but they are one thing in the kitchen that I have never given-up on making. For me, the biggest challenge has always been the crust, either the crust is too flakey or is too tough, or it doesn’t roll out properly! Whatever the problem, pie crust has always been something that I have struggled with, until I learnt about hot water pastry. This was a pie crust life-saver for me. Firstly, it is easy to make and a beautiful pastry to work with (while still warm). Secondly, it is perfect for meat pies or any pie that is chocked full of delicious ingredients. It is a recipe that every pie lover should have in their recipe arsenal!

A little while ago I wanted to make an english style pork pie. I had been watching some english cooking show and they mentioned some deep dish meat pies, immediately I was taken by this idea and began researching different english style pork pies. Along with the deep dish meat pies I learnt about hot water pastry. I knew that I needed to try both of these and as soon as I came across some good recipes I tried it out.

The pie was really easy to make and turned out beautiful. I loved the idea of cooking the meat in the pie (not pre-cooking) and using boiled eggs in the center of the pie! The hot water pastry was a success. The pie crust turned out perfect, the pastry was easy to use, it did not break from the weight of the meat and held the deep pie shape perfectly once removed from the tin!

For the pie I used my own pork and made a gelatin broth by boiling one pigs foot for approximately 60 – 90 minutes with onion, garlic and carrots. I did not use any sausage (as indicated in the recipe) instead I just used pernil or pork leg, keeping any fat on the meat!

Today I am sharing the original recipe that I used, but I for the pie that I made I did not use the same meats as indicated in the recipe. I think you can use any kind of pork meat for this pie, just make sure to include a little bit of fat as this will give extra flavor to the pie.

This recipe is for one large pork pie, but you can also use this same recipe to make small individual pies. I haven’t yet made the individual pies, but plan to make some in the near future so that I can freeze them and just pull them out of the freezer when I want a quick meal! If making small pies, use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs:)!

English-Style Pork PieENGLISH-STYLE PORK PIE

For the filling

300g/10½oz good-quality sausages, such as Lincolnshire, skins removed
300g/10½oz pork mince
150g/5½oz cooked ham hock, cut into roughly 1.5cm/½in pieces
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
salt and white pepper
1 chicken stock cube (optional)
150ml/5fl oz boiling water (optional)
2 leaves gelatine (optional)

For the hot water crust pastry

450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz strong white flour
75g/2½oz unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
½ tsp salt
100g/3½oz lard, plus extra for greasing
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease a 1kg/2lb 4oz loaf tin (measuring about 10x20cm/4x8in across the base) with lard, then cut one long strip of baking parchment, the width of the tin, and place it in the tin so that there’s an overhang of parchment at each end, which will help you remove the pie later.

  2. First make the filling. Put all the ingredients, except the hard-boiled eggs, into a large bowl and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Mix together thoroughly using your hands. Cook a little nugget of the mixture in a frying pan and taste it to check the seasoning. Add more seasoning, as necessary, to the remaining filling. Put the mixture in the fridge while you make the pastry.

  3. To make the pastry, combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips. Heat 200ml/7fl oz water, the salt and lard in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the mixture onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.

  4. Working as quickly as you can (the pastry will become more crumbly as it cools), roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, leaving any excess hanging over the edges.

  5. Press half of the meat filling into the pastry-lined tin. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each boiled egg (this helps them sit next to each other and makes slicing the pie easier), then place the eggs lengthways down the middle of the pie. Add the remaining meat filling and pat it down.

  6. Brush the overhanging pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Pinch the pastry edges together to seal and trim the edges neatly. Make three steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

  8. When the pie is cooked, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. If making the jelly, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Soak the gelatine in a little cold water until soft then squeeze out excess water and whisk into the warm chicken stock.

  9. Pour the gelatine mixture into the hole in the top of the pie until the hollow cavity within the pie is filled. Allow the pies to set in the fridge overnight.

 

Recipe taken from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_pork_and_egg_pie_32033
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/small_pork_pies_with_11074

Profiteroles with a Brazilian twist

profiterole1It has been quite sometime since I made these profiteroles, but they are so good, that I decided to dig this post from my drafts and share it with you. I am sure you will all enjoy it!

I went through a phase of wanting to learn how to make choux pastry, it is one of those challenging pastries to make, but so satisfying and tasty when you get it right. Choux pastry is really a simple recipe and is quick to make. But the challenge is getting the right consistency. The biggest challenge is that the mixture cannot be too runny or too thick, and all of this depends on the addition of eggs. Eggs range in many different sizes and therefore no recipe can give you the exact number of eggs you will need to use. So, it all results in careful analysis of your mixture and only experience can really teach you when you have the perfect mixture.

The next challenge with choux pastry, and more specifically profiteroles, is filling them once they are done baking. If you have done everything correctly, you will have beautiful even shaped balls of choux pastry with an inside that is evenly hollow. The goal with profiteroles is to carefully and evenly fill the empty cavern with a tasty filling. Unfortunately, this part can lead to the filling oozing out of the place where you tried to fill the pastry, or, as happened in my case, parts of the pastry splitting and resulting in a mess of filling oozing out of every side.

I wasn’t going to be deterred by the challenges of choux pastry and I went ahead with it anyway! The result…..it was amazing. My first batch turned out a little overcooked and a few too many holes in the bottom of the choux pastry. But, the pastry was delicious, light, and airy. The filling was successful, even though I had many profiteroles that were oozing filling out instead of holding it inside. Confident that I would get it right the next time, I set to work on a double batch of choux pastry the next morning. This batch turned out magnificent, a golden color, perfect balls of pastry, and only minor spillage of filling.

But the real trick to my second batch of profiteroles was the Brazilian twist that I gave them. Instead to filling them with chantilly cream I used doce de leite, sweetened milk that is slowly heated to create a taste derived from the caramelization of the product. Doce de leite is extremely popular in Brazil, and any opportunity to use it is a MUST! Did I turn my profiteroles Brazilian? I would have to say that I did as all of the them were consumed within hours.

Without further a-do here is the recipe to my Brazilianized Profiteroles (incase you cannot get a hold of doce de leite or would rather stick to the more french profiteroles I have included the recipe for chantilly cream….but I recommend you stick to the doce de leite….you will not be disappointed). In the USA you can find doce de leite under the spanish name of dulce de leche.

This is a great little video to help you know when the mixture is just right. Click here for the video!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by WOMAN'S WEEKLY / Rex Features ( 387629D ) PROFITEROLES VARIOUS RECIPES

Ingredients

makes 25-30

80ml (1/3 cup) water
40g butter, at room temperature, cubed
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, to grease

Place water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil. Add all the flour to the butter mixture at once and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball and begins to come away from the side of the saucepan. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, then add it to the flour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little of the reserved egg and beat until the mixture just falls from the spoon but still holds its shape. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease. Spoon 25-30 teaspoonful of the mixture onto tray, about 3cm apart. Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1.5cm-diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray (I found this method to be the easiest and best). Brush the tops with a little of the remaining egg. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, pierce the base (or top) of each profiterole to release the steam. Return the profiteroles to the oven and leave them for 15 minutes to dry out. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

When the profiteroles have cooled add the filling (for doce de leite click here to order online, and for chantilly cream click here for recipe). Place filling into a pastry bag (if you don’t have a pastry bag, check out this video for how to make one at home with parchment paper), insert tip into side of profiteroles and inject. You will know the profiterole is fully filled when the filling oozes out slightly, or it become difficult to push more in! If you do not want to use a piping bag you can cut the profiteroles in half and add the filling making a little profiterole sandwhich.

To finish you can top the profiteroles with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or leave plain.

Credits
Recipe taken from www.taste.com.au
Photo #1 www.gdaysouffle.com/2013/07/24/profiteroles-with-custard-cream-and-chocolate-sauce/
Photo #2 www.specialfoodrecipe.com/chocolate-profiteroles

Torta de Limão

Lemon PieWhen I decided to start writing this blog and learning to cook Brazilian food my husband was quick to tell me that I had to make torta de limão. He told me that he used to make this pie as a child and absolutely loved it. Obviously I had to make this childhood delight of my husbands.

Lemon PieTorta de limão translated to english means lemon pie but this is more what americans would consider a key lime pie with a twist. Although it is called a lemon pie in Brazil it is actually made with what we know as limes in northern europe and north america. Limes are actually just a different variety of lemon and are called limão or limão tahiti in Brazil.

When I finally decided to take the plunge and try to make this pie I was hoping that my husband would give me the directions for how to make the pie. It turned out that he had forgotten how to make it and only remembered the ingredients that went in: sweetened condensed milk and lime. So, I started on my mad hunt to try to find the right recipe that would recreate my husbands torta de limão. The hunt for the perfect recipe proved to be more difficult than usual. None of my recipe books had this recipe and all the recipes that I found online seemed to have completely different ideas for how to make this pie. In the end, as I seem to always do, I found about three or four recipes, combined the aspects of each that I liked the most, and hoped that my pie would turn out fabulous.

Lemon PieTo my great surprise this pie turned out absolutely amazing. It tasted delicious, held together surprisingly well, and was not that much work to make. I loved every part of this pie and if I wasn’t worried about gaining too much weight I would eat it every day.

If you like key lime pie this is a recipe that you cannot pass up the opportunity to try. It is disgustingly easy, tasty, and beautiful.

Luckily for me I managed to bring back some childhood memories for my husband, even though he never made his torta de limão with the meringue topping!

Lemon PieIngredients

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 – 3 limes (depending on how strong of a lime flavor you would like)
3 egg whites
200g biscoito maria or any simple cookie for making the pie crust
200g butter
5 tbsp sugar

Crumble the biscoito maria or other cookie of your choice until very fine and resembles bread crumbs. Melt the butter and add to the crushed cookies. Mix together until it holds and forms a ball. Add more melted butter if needed. Place cookie and butter mixture into a pie dish. Spread thinly over bottom of the dish and on the sides. Press down firmly making sure it holds in place. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a blender and blend well. Use a spoon to make sure that all of the lime juice is well mixed with the sweetened condensed milk. In a standing mixer combine the egg whites and sugar. Beat until the egg white holds together and forms peaks when the mixer is lifted. Pour the condensed milk and lime mixture into the pie dish. Spread the egg white mixture on top. Place in a preheated 180C/355F oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the meringue mixture is a light brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before eating.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!
Lemon Pie

Empadinha de Frango (Chicken Pies)

Chicken PieHands down empadinha are one of my favorite Brazilian snacks. Found in any lanchonete (snack shop), padaria (bakery), or cafe empadinha’s are the perfect savory snack to have with a good strong cup of coffee. Usually you have a choice of filling, with frango (chicken), palmito (hearts of palm), and queijo (cheese) being the most common. Once you eat one of these you will want to eat one every day.

Chicken PieEmpadinha is a small cupcake sized pastry filled with a savory filling. The pastry is not like your usual pie pastry, instead, the pastry for the empadinha is usually much thicker and as soon as you take your first bite the whole thing should fall apart. Although it is not the easiest thing to eat, one of my favorite parts of eating empadinha is the fact that the pastry is so crumbly and falls apart.

There are different ways of referring to this little chicken pie in Brazil which I think you should know about. Empada is what they are really called, but everyone calls them empadinha which basically means ‘little empada’. When you have a big empada it is called empadão or litterally ‘big empada’!

Chicken PieI have wanted to make empadinha for a long time but was always a little bit nervous. I love making pastry and over the past years I have considerably improved my pastry making skills. My apprehension with making empadinha was that I couldn’t really find the right recipe. Every recipe I found had a different pastry recipe and I became overwhelmed and couldn’t decide which one would give me the perfect falling-apart-pastry that I wanted. In the end I found two recipes that I liked, mixed them together, added my own twists, and made delicious empadinha that were devoured really fast!

I ended up making much larger than usual empadinha’s and my pastry was a little bit thinner than normal. But, they tasted perfect, the pastry was light and crumbly, and most importantly, fell apart when you took your first bite. Everything in the baking process went surprisingly smooth. When I started making these I was not convinced I would have an easy time in the kitchen, but luckily I was wrong. My only advice for if you are going to make these is make a large enough quantity so that you can freeze them and have them quickly ready to eat when you want!

If you want to try a different filling you can use the recipe for the filling of my Hearts of Palm Pie.

Chicken PieIngredients

Pastry
3 egg yolks
200 ml water
600 g (1.3 lbs) white flour
1 tsp salt
300 g (10oz) butter or margarine
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten, for brushing

Filling
1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, and finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 can of peas (optional)
Handful of green or black olives, finely sliced
6 tbsp parsley
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp white flour

Pastry: Put the flour, salt, and butter or margarine in a bowl. Mix well until it resembles breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the egg yolk and water together and add, a little at a time, to the flour and butter mix. Mix well until the pastry just holds together. It is ok if it crumbly, this pastry is supposed to be crumbly. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge, lightly dust a worktop with flour and roll out the pastry. Leave the pastry relatively thick. Grease a muffin tin and put the pastry in the muffin forms. Cut rounds for the top of the pies.

Filling: In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft, but not browning. Add the garlic and leave to fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and fry for a approximately 5-8 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Pour in the chicken broth a little at a time until you have a thick mixture. You do not want the filling to be too runny. Add the parsley, olives, and salt to taste. Leave to cool.

Assembling: Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Once the filling is slightly cool spoon into the prepared muffin tins. Close the pies with the prepared pastry tops. Seal well and brush with egg yolk. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Chicken PieComments
> For the chicken I like to boil it in water using my pressure cooker. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
> I use the stock from the chicken instead of store bought stock.
> You can also freeze these after baking to eat at a later time!
> If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making all the small empadinha’s you can make this into one large pie, just use a large pie dish!

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Recipe helpers:
http://cybercook.terra.com.br/empada-de-frango-r-13-17979.html
http://tvg.globo.com/receitas/maisvoce/empadinha-de-frango-4d508f0952e0b252bc002d23