Since the success of my chocolate cake, I have dreamed and drooled (which by now’s a regular feature) over baking recipes. I mustered the courage to buy a desserts only cookbook too – Egg less Desserts by Tarla Dalal. it has a pretty good collection of Indian desserts, cakes, cookies etc also a few easy to do assembly desserts. i thought it would be a good place to begin, though I didn’t own any of her cook books, I admire the lady for having taken the Indian cooking –writing scene by its neck and having a vice like grip on it long before all the other celebrity chefs came along. i love the way she breaks down even the most complex recipes and presents them in a very simple ‘can do’ manner. She also gets full marks from me for innovation. All these accolades are based on the fact that at the small bookstore I was browsing, there was such a mind-boggling array of cookbooks with so many titles that I was reeling. It’s a tribute to her success as a food writer and her innovation and re-invention as a cook (with a huge heap of credit to the people who manage her work too!!)
Anyways, yesterday I ventured to make the simplest recipe in the whole book. One that called for the least ingredients!! Unfortunately I didn’t get to take any pictures of the jam tarts because they got polished off with that much ferocity by K. infact the batch that I had kept aside to be photographed this morning was consumed through the night…all this writing is making him voraciously hungry for snacks!! This post minus the pics is specially for N, my comment fairy and dear dear friend. She asked when I was going to post something and I thought the lack of a photograph is a lousy excuse for not posting a recipe!! Here’s to you N….the next time you’re here I promise you garam adrak chai and jam tarts!!
I was quite happy that not only was the recipe very simple, it was totally fool proof. I was a little skeptical since it called for no sugar. The result was a very buttery crisp cookie and the tartness if the plum jam (my mother doesn’t smother it in too much sugar) went perfectly with it. Since I didn’t have tart tins I just cut the dough out in various shapes with assorted cookie cutters and put them to bake. Using the cookie cutters reminded me of my childhood when we would be “called upon” to cut out biscuits using horlicks bottle caps!! We’d eat half of the dough till my mother would get mad and ask us to get out!! Somehow the dough tasted better before being baked!! And though my mother would make allowances for the pilferage, she’d tick us off anyways. This whole drama made it even more exciting and added to the taste of the cookie dough!!
No such thing with me though as this was a solitary escapade. However what really tested my patience was that the electricity kept going on and off and baking 3 batches of cookies that would take about 30-40 mins took about 2 hours to finish. By the time I could preheat the oven, the lights would go off ….. I was ready to bake the electricity board by the end of it!!
Here’s the recipe for jam tarts. I simply followed the same recipe, cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and baked them as biscuits, topped with my mother’s plum jam and served.