Mango Pie

Story of Mango Pie:

Think of a superrrr-duper easy dessert, with very few ingredients,does not use fattening stuff, HEALTHY, refreshing and absolutely delectable. Could you come up with something? Well… we have! Here’s an astonishingly quick, healthy, fruity and delicious dessert – THE “Mango Yoghurt Pie”. The only pie you’ll want to make over and over again.

We, at Culinaria, usually call it the Mango Shrikhand pie. Shrikhand is a refreshing Indian dessert, low fat and healthy because it’s made with yoghurt. Usually it is eaten by itself but here is a pie version of it using mangoes, making it the most delectable dessert for summer. Think of it as Mangoes and cream but in its healthiest form!

Process:

The ingredients for this are the simplest of all. Some digestive biscuits, powdered sugar and butter for base & mango and yoghurt for filling and decorating.

Hung Curd Process:

To hang the curd, put a muslin cloth on a large sieve and put the sieve on a pot.

Tie a knot with two diagonal corners of the muslin cloth to form a bag.

Put a wooden spoon on a deep pot and tie the cloth bag onto the wooden spoon with the remaining two corner.

Let it stand for 1-2 hours. make sure the cloth is not touching the water in the vessel below. We want to take the liquid out of the curd to get a thick cream cheese-y textured curd. if you’re in a hurry, after about 30-40 minutes, you can also squeeze it by hand. But longer is better! In summers to prevent the curd from getting sour you can put this whole apparatus in the refrigerator

Pie Crust:

In the meantime, take the biscuits and powdered sugar in a grinder/processor. Pulse it or grind it, as per choice. You can even use a rolling pin to do this. We just want a crumble.

Add melted butter to it and mix well.

You will need a loose bottom pie dish for this. That helps in un-moulding the pie. If you don’t have one its alright. You can even set it in a shallow wide bowl and scoop it out like a pudding while serving. Transfer the biscuit mixture and spread evenly.

Mango Yoghurt Filling:

Roughly chop 1 mango and purée it.

Add powdered sugar and mix well. You can adjust it according to the sweetness of the mangoes.

Squeeze the curd gently to remove remaining water, if any, and unfold the cheesecloth.

Add it directly to the mango purée.

Mix it with a whisk until smooth. Check for sugar/sweetness at this point. Keep in mind that the remaining mangoes will go on top so don’t make it very sweet now.

Transfer the mango curd filling into the pie dish.

Spread it evenly and gently.

Garnishing & Serving:

Cut the remaining 2 mangoes into slices lengthwise and start arranging from outside to in. Overlap the next slice slightly on the previous one and keep going like a spiral till you reach the centre. For the last one take a thin slice, roll it and put in the centre like a rose.

Garnish with unsalted pistachios or mint leaves and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or best overnight.

To Unmold:

Put an inverted glass on the kitchen counter. Put the pie dish on it and gently but firmly try to pull the outside ring downwards. It may be difficult because of the biscuit base but eventually it will come off easily. The base of the pie dish and the pie is what will be left on top of the glass. Put the pie along withe the base on a plate and serve immediately, before it starts becoming runny.

Recipe: Mango Yoghurt Pie

Ingredients:

150 gm digestive biscuit
10 tbsp icing sugar
80 gm butter
800 gm yoghurt
3 mangoes, peeled
1 tbsp unsalted pistachio nuts

Method:

  1. Hang the yoghurt overnight in a muslin cloth.
  2. Using a rolling pin crush the biscuits to a coarse powder.
  3. Put the biscuits and powdered sugar in a food processor and crush them. Or transfer to a zip lock and crush using a rolling pin.
  4. Melt the butter and add to this mixture.
  5. Transfer the biscuit mixture into an 8-inch round loose bottom pie dish. Spread it evenly up to the edges and press it all over firmly. Refrigerate for 1 hour or till set.
  6. Cut 2 mangoes into thin long slices. Take the remaining 1 mango in a food processor and puree it.
  7. Take the hung curd in a bowl. Mix in the mango puree and 7 tbsp of powdered sugar. Spread this mixture evenly over the set biscuit crust. Arrange the mango sliced evenly over the shrikhand as shown above in Garnishing & Serving. Chill it in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours or best overnight.
  8. Slice and serve.

Options:

  • If you want to set the shrikhand perfectly then dissolve 1 ½ tsp gelatine in 3 tbsp hot water and add to the shrikhand before spreading.
  • You can also add a layer of whipped cream before putting the mango slices.

Ricotta Mango Parfait

This is a wonderful dessert made using fresh ricotta. Its summertime and mangoes are in the season. So, we thought of making a very simple dessert with very few ingredients. You’ll find almost everything at home. You won’t have to go grocery shopping and can make this quickly for a sudden dessert craving after lunch. It’s beautiful to serve even for a summer dinner party. Make it in individual glasses or bowls beforehand and its very easy to serve.

Firstly, you’ll need mangoes and the most important ingredient of this dessert is fresh ricotta. You can make it at home using our recipe for ricotta. You can also use a store-bought one. If you’re making it at home, you’ll just need milk and lemons. The third layer for this is made using crushed digestive biscuits of graham crackers whichever you can find and butter. We will be using some lemon zest and a little bit of fresh cream or condensed milk, whatever suits your liking.

In a bowl put the chopped mangoes and add some lemon zest and lemon juice to it and keep aside. In another bowl crush the biscuits with a rolling pin and add melted butter and mix. In the third bowl take the ricotta and whisk it well to soften it. Now add condensed milk to it and mix well. If you’re using cream instead of condensed milk, add that along with very little powdered sugar. the ricotta will turn into a thick sauce like in the picture above.

Take a shallow and wide glass, or wine or martini glass. You can also take the Mumbai-style cutting chai glass. Anything that has a characteristic shape and is transparent. Put the biscuit mixture at the base.

Now spoon some ricotta cream mixture on top. Be careful not to dirty the wall of the glass because the beauty of the dessert is in being able to see the layers. Thats the reason its called a parfait. In French, parfait means perfect. Later in the 1800’s, desserts that were beautifully layered with precision, came to be called parfait. That is exactly what this is and thus we called it Ricotta Mango Parfait. And ricotta being an Italian cheese traditionally, this is a beautiful fusion of a French-Italian dessert. The two countries do share a lot of common ingredients and food influences.

Then go the macerated mangoes on top of the ricotta cream. They’ll be soft and soaked by now.

Then the biscuit mixture again. The biscuit gives it the crusty flavour that a cheesecake has. Thus, you can actually make a cheesecake with the same method. The only difference will be, you don’t multi layer it. For the cheesecake take a loose-bottom tin or a springform tin. Put the biscuit mixture and press it down to form a crusty layer that doesn’t disintegrate on un-moulding. Put a high layer of the ricotta cream mixture. Chill for a bit. Then top with the mangoes and refrigerate till set. Un-mould and et voila!

Finally, top it with a generous amount of mangoes. Mangoes taste very good in this dessert, however, you can also make this with other fruits. You can use any citrus fruit or berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, peaches and cherries. Comment with more ideas and we’ll tell you if that would go well or not.

Now you can actually see the layers. mangoes add a beautiful yellow to it. Thats how the layers should be , so make sure to keep the glass neat and put the mixture for various layers in the centre, then spread to the side. That way you’ll avoid messing it up.

Now put the mint leaves to garnish. They will add a refreshing fragrance, taste and colour to your parfait. Instead of the clichéd garnish of one bunch in the centre, put smaller segments of mint leaves in 2-3 places. This is because its already high in the centre and you don’t want to add more height with your garnish in this case. You just want to add colour and character.You can also garnish with pistachios or dried blueberries or cranberries.

…and TA-DA! Your start dessert is ready. Chill it in the fridge to set the layers. It also tasted best chilled in the summers.

Recipe: Ricotta Mango Parfait

Ingredients

250 gm Fresh Ricotta
3 mangoes, Peeled and cut into cubes
150 gm digestive biscuits, crushed
50gm Amul Butter
4tbsp Amul Mithai Mate/ Condensed Milk or AmulFresh Cream
2 Lemons
Mint leaves for garnish

Method

  1. Zest 2 lemons over the cut mangoes. Then put the juice of 1 lemon in the mango . Mix well and keep aside.
  2. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin. Melt the butter and mix it well with the crushed biscuits.
  3. Using a whisk just beat the ricotta a little. Mix the condensed milk with the ricotta to get a thick sauce.
  4. In a glass start by putting a little amount of the biscuit mix. Over that layer 2 spoons of the ricotta cream and then a layer of the lemony mango.
  5. Repeat with biscuit, ricotta cream and finishing with the mango.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Enjoy chilled.
  7. If you want to make a pie or a cheesecake out of this you can spread the biscuit mixture in the pie dish or cheesecake mould. Then press the biscuit mixture firmly. Over that spread the ricotta cream and then finally the mangoes. Chill this in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. If making a cheesecake make sure the ricotta cream is not very runny but a little thick.
  8. You can also do the above in a regular flat glass dish for a big party and let it set by chilling in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Fresh Ricotta

Ricotta is a fresh and soft Italian cheese… and truly delicious! It has a soft grain and light texture. Traditionally, ricotta was made with milk and whey left after making other cheeses. Thats how it got its name “ricotta” which literally translates to re-cooked. However, ricotta is now very sought after because of its slightly sweet taste and its ability to hold its consistency. Thus, its widely used in desserts and Italian cuisine. Its best use is to add it to the filling for lasagne, ravioli, cannelloni and conchiglie.

You literally need just two ingredients to make fresh ricotta at home. Milk and lemons, thats all!

You can use any milk for this, but the result could vary a bit. We have used regular whole milk. You can use skimmed milk too but you might end up with a lesser quantity of ricotta (which is fine). So, using whole or full fat milk would be better, but even others work well.

Put the milk to heat in a pan. We want hot milk but DO NOT BOIL THE MILK. Now, this is very important. You want to heat it only till you start seeing the bubbles on the edge of the pan. As soon as that happens, turn off the flame. Keep your lemon juice ready and after you have turned off the flame, add it to the milk. Stir very delicately to make sure its mixed.

Let it stand for 10-20 minutes and the soft cheese will start to curdle and separate from the whey. Whey is that thin watery liquid that separates from milk while making cheese or curd. If the milk has still not curdled, be patient. If it still doesn’t, add 1 tbsp lemon juice and it should curdle.

Be sure, not to stir it too much or too vigorously, otherwise you will turn it into cottage cheese. There is a very fine line between ricotta and cottage cheese!. On stirring too much, it will become firmer, and we’re looking for a soft cheese.

When you stir very gently, the cheese will start to show… almost as if emerging from the milk-whey liquid.

It will finally look something like this. Such a beauty!

Keep a pot ready with a big sieve on top. Place a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth on top of the sieve. Make sure there’s enough distance between the sieve and the base of the pot, so that when we leave it to strain, the cheese is not touching the strained liquid whey.

This is what it will look like. At this stage, leave it to drain the excess liquid. The draining time is directly proportional to the firmness of cheese. If you let it stand longer and let more liquid drain out then you will get a firmer ricotta. Alternately, if you don’t leave it for very long so that it retains some moisture, then you will get a softer cheese.

This really depends on the purpose of use.
Soft Ricotta: for, cakes, tarts, cannoli, puddings, mousse and other desserts
Firm Ricotta: for ravioli, cannelloni, conchiglie, lasagne, tortellini and the likes.
Ricotta doesn’t melt on baking and thats why its the first choice for the filling of stuffed pastas.

Its ready to use when cooled. You can store it in the refrigerator for upto a week.

Recipe: Fresh Ricotta

Ingredients

1 litre milk
2 lemons

Method

  1. Take milk in a sauce pan and heat it to just before it comes to a boil. You will start seeing a few bubbles on the edge of the pan.
  2. Meanwhile juice 2 lemons and keep aside.
  3. Line a soup strainer with muslin cloth or cheesecloth and place the strainer over a big pot.
  4. As soon as you see bubble on the edge of the milk turn off the flame and add the lemon juice. Stir it delicately to ensure the lemon juice is mixed well with the milk.
  5. Let it stand for 10-20 minutes. You will see that the soft cheese would curdle and separate leaving behind the whey.
  6. If the milk doesn’t not curdle completely just add an additional 1 tbsp of lemon Juice. Over stirring will make the cheese harder so stir less to get a soft cheese.
  7. Drain the cheese over the cheesecloth and let it stand from anywhere between 20-50 minutes. For a fresh and  light ricotta, drain it for a short time and for a more dense ricotta drain it for a longer period.
  8. This amount of milk will yield ricotta between 260-220gm depending on the amount of drainage time. Use fresh or store in the refrigerator for 6-8 days.

Basil Pesto

To make basil pesto, you definitely need a lot of basil and there’s no substitute it. You can make pastes of many things but it will just pesto. The word pesto comes from pestle, and is called so because originally this sauce was made by crushing the ingredients using a pestle and mortar. Thus, pesto! Traditionally, this is made using Genovese basil and the recipe travels all the way from there. We plucked fresh basil from the garden, but a store-bought one works just as well.

We use a blender or food processor to do the grinding these days. So, its a very easy sauce to make. Begin with the basil in your grinder jar. Add garlic cloves.

Traditionally, basil pesto is always made with pine nuts, but I like to add a few more nuts or seeds to make it healthier. Here, I’ve added pumpkin seeds. This is a great way to add more seeds into your meals. You can add any other seeds if you like because they go with the texture of pesto and don’t alter the taste much. If you don’t have pine nuts, you can use walnuts as they have a similar taste and texture.

Add the olive oil. I’ve used extra virgin olive oil. This pesto can be used as a salad dressing or a spread for your toast. So whenever you may be eating anything raw/uncooked always use extra virgin olive oil. You can actually taste it through.

Add parmesan cheese and salt. You can use the grated parmesan we get in stores. If you get your hands on Parmigiano Regianno (original parmesan from Parma, Italy) then nothing like it!

Add freshly crushed black pepper.

Blend it to a consistency that resembles a paste crushed using a pestle and mortar. Don’t blend it smooth like a sauce or chutney. Let a little texture remain.

You can store this for a long time. If you’re going to use it soon then transfer it to a glass jar and refrigerate it. You can also freeze it. In that case I suggest using a stainless steel container with a lid. Make sure to pour some olive oil on top, that way it doesn’t get spoilt at all. It’s the same concept we use for pickling. This pesto can be used on toast, either just by itself or with a topping, on pizzas, in pastas, in a dip… and the list is endless! We’ll be uploading more recipes using this basil pesto soon.

Recipe: Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
5-6 cloves Garlic
3 tbsp Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese for garnishing
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash the basil and allow it to dry.
  2.  Put the basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend to a paste. Add in the olive oil to give it a creamy consistency and blend well.
  3. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate.