Grated Pie Filled with Fruit Preserves

Grated Pie Filled with Preserves

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!

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Fudgy Brownies

Some like them cakey and spongy, some like them dense, moist and fudgy. I belong to the latter group that would never say no to the kind of brownies you see in the picture above. These little squares are very intense, and mind you, very rich. But it is hard to resist the temptetation to reach for another serving, and more. Especially if you are a chocoholic who desperately craves that deeply sweet rich bite every now and then. These brownies are a chocoholic’s dream, a sweet dream, to be precise. Indulge in it.

Fudgy Brownies

Barely adapted from “The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate”, by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

Makes 16  small brownie squares

Note: I used 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, and not 70% as the original recipe suggested, only because that was what I had in hand. The brownies were delicious nonetheless. Once the brownies have cooled, they were still fudgy, with an interesting chewy texture to them. Also, I didn’t toast the walnuts as the recipe asked as I like them raw better. Do as your heart desires.

6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
8 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnut halves (you can toast them too if you want)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Cut an 8 x 16-inch (20 x 40 cm) piece of parchment paper.

Lightly butter an 8 x 8 x 2-inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) pan and line it with the parchment paper, allowing it to extend evenly over the opposite sides. Butter the parchment including the paper on the sides of the pan.

Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

With a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat the sugar and salt into the chocolate mixture (no need to cool the chocolate mixture before this step). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix vigorously until the batter is very glossy and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Break the nuts into large pieces over the batter and fold them in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently level the batter with spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist but clean (note: mine took 35 minutes to bake).

Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the brownies from the pan using parchment “handles,” and cool completely on the rack before cutting into 16 squares.

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