So I had this grand idea of redesigning my blog a little (nothing major) to start the near year’s blogging afresh, but little did I know that redesigning a blog is not as simple as it sounds to me. Honestly saying, I am not the one redesigning it and it is M. whom I have forcefully mobilized to undertake what I told him was a very serious endeavor, and he only manages to work on it whenever he has a spare moment, which doesn’t happen often. So things go slowly, but as M. assures me, surely at the same time. I too did something that I think will be useful to all of you. I’ve added new buttons at the end of each post (how hard was that?) and now you can easily share posts with your friends by email or by other means, post them on your facebook, like them and even print them! Hope you enjoy these cute little additions to the blog. Another news is that AZ Cookbook is now on Twitter! Please join me and we’ll tweet there.
Now let’s talk recipes. I wanted to enter another year of blogging with a recipe for something sweet. I thought grated pie fit right in! This preserves filled tea time dessert is popular in Azerbaijan where it might have traveled from Russia years ago. (During the Soviet reign same sweet pies, cakes and the like were known to the entire Soviet population.) It is called tertiy pirog in Russian and this is now it is typically called in Azerbaijan too. The name “grated” comes from the technique that involves grating part of the dough to form the top of the pie. It is a fun pie to make, and easy too. Enjoy! And have a sweet rest of the year!
“Grated” Pie filled with Fruit Preserves
For the Dough:
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or more as needed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3.5 oz (100 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling:
Variation 1: 2 cups blueberry preserves, or sour cherry preserves or any kind of fruit you like (tart varieties better)
Variation 2: 2 cups apricot preserve and a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts
Butter the bottom and the sides of a 13 X 9-inch (33 cm X 22 cm) baking pan and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour and baking soda. Stir to mix. Set aside.
Place the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on a medium speed until well blended and creamy. Add the melted butter and stir to mix. Gradually add the flour-soda mixture and mix (you may use the mixer at the initial stage, but as the dough becomes rough, use your hands) until you obtain a somewhat tacky but not sticky dough which should not be very tight. You may need to add more flour to obtain this texture if needed, but do not overdo. You do not want a very hard dough.
Now, divide the dough into 2 parts. Press one part onto the bottom of the baking pan. Shape the other part into a ball, wrap in a plastic wrap and put in the freezer to harden, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the preserves onto the dough in the pan. If using the filling with walnuts, sprinkle the walnuts on the preserves.
Preheat the oven to 370F (185C).
Remove the dough from the freezer. Try to grate it on a coarse side of a grater. If the dough grates fine without sticking to and clogging the holes of the grater, it is ready. Put in the freezer if not ready. When ready, grate the dough over the preserves to obtain a “grated” layer.
Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until it is just light golden on top. Do not overbake or the top will be crunchy. Allow to cool before cutting. You can sift some powdered sugar on top of the pie before serving or serve as is.