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Celebrations Galore ~ Baked Yogurt Tart in an Oatmeal Crust

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Celebrations galore today. 65 years of the birth of India. Despite the warts, still beautiful and engaging. All we need to do now is to deserve all that she has to offer us.

100 years of the woman I knew not much about until my favourite actress Meryl Streep brought her to life and exposed me to what a phenomenal influence she was on home cooks. All those of us who follow a passion, will learn important lessons of following our hearts from Julia Child.

Baked Yogurt Tart with Blueberries, Orange Zest and Almonds

Baked Yogurt Tart with Blueberries, Orange Zest and Almonds

In the midst of all of this, is hanging out with friends, so what if it is online and spread over 6 cities in two countries. We, (Arundhati, Arundathi, Aparna, Nandita and I) have baked together earlier, this month onwards, Monika joins us. Frantic back and forth on facebook about baking in tandem to celebrate Julia’s birth centenary went on. Posting recipes, coming up with options for ingredients we did or did not have, frame by frame advances and updates as we tackled various stages of the tart baking. Believe me when I say it was so much fun. That’s what happens when you make friends with people who have the same passions as you do. After a bit of a hiatus after two baking escapades, the baking club, now called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Cake Tins, decided on Julia Child’s Baked Yogurt Tart.

Pardon me if I say so myself, but this tart is perhaps one of the best things I have baked in a while, and there is a decent amount of baking that happens at the Escapades household. It has a cheesecake like texture and is not overtly sweet which is just the way I like my baked treats. Plus there is very little argue about the reasonably healthy dessert it automatically becomes when there is oats and yogurt in it.

Baked Yogurt Tart

Baked Yogurt Tart

Each one of the six of us used ingredients we had on hand, so each of the tarts is amazingly different. I loved how we interpreted it and added our own touches. I admit I am not one of those people who will run out and shop for ingredients for a recipe. I usually try to substitute what I have on hand, or skip to another recipe if I don’t have more than a couple of the listed ingredients. In this case, I didn’t have vanilla (horror for a self confessed baker!). I find that I am using a lot of orange zest instead and this tart too was no different. I loved how it paired with the yogurt and frozen blueberries. I didn’t have fresh fruit on hand, so used some of my stash of frozen blueberries. I was a bit anxious about how it would turn out, but was very happy with the results.

There is a celebration of Julia’s legacy to commemorate her 100 th Birth Anniversary by PBS with  “Cook For Julia” through the month of August. To join them, simply cook any one of Julia Child’s recipes. The deadline to join the party is 15th of August and as always, I make it by the skin of my teeth!

So here it is, my version of the Baked Yogurt Tart. I used a no roll pie crust from this recipe as the base.

Baked Yogurt Tart with Blueberries, Almonds and Orange Zest in an Oatmeal Pie Crust

(Adapted from Julia Child’s Baked Yogurt Tart and the Crust is from Baked Obsession’s Oatmeal Crust)

Ingredients

For the Crust (Makes one 9 inch tart shell)
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats (I used Quaker’s quick cooking oats)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter; melted and cooled (I used Amul’s Lite Bread Spread)
1 egg, beaten, for sealing the dough

For the Tart Filling
3 medium Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
2 cups thick plain yogurt (I used one 200 ml tub of store bought yogurt, drained out the whey)
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
¾ cup All Purpose Flour
A large pinch of salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped Almonds (use any nuts of your choice or leave out if you have allergies)
1 cup frozen blueberries (I rinsed the frozen berries and left them in a sieve to drain out till needed, use any fresh berries or stone fruit you have)

To Make the Crust

Lightly butter the tart pan with removable bottom. Pulse the oats in the mixer to make a fairly smooth flour. In a bowl stir together the dry ingredients.
Add the melted and cooled butter, stir to combine. Press the mixture evenly into the pan to make a crust at the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. I used the bottom of a steel tumbler to press it down firmly.
Chill for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Put a piece of baking paper or foil in the tart shell, add some pie weights such as uncooked rice or uncooked beans and bake the tart crust for about 20 min, until it is set and pale golden.
Brush the bottom with the beaten egg, and then bake again for about 5 minutes until set and shiny to prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
Cool the tart crust. (I skipped this step and filled the still pretty warm crust with the yogurt mixture)

Tart Pan: I used a 6 inch glass tart pan (in fact a 1½ inch deep lid of a casserole. Lined it with aluminum foil which I then buttered before pressing the tart shell into it. I also used two 3 inch tart pans with removable bottoms.

To Make the Filling

Beat together the eggs and the sugar till pale and thick. I used the blender jar of the mixer. Whisk the yogurt and salt to remove lumps. In a bowl, fold the yogurt into the eggs and sugar mixture along with the orange zest. Add the flour to this mixture, folding in gently. Pour this mixture into the tart shell gently till it is 2/3 full. Add the rinsed and drained frozen blueberries to the mixture, leaving about 1 inch around the edges for the nuts. Add the nuts to the edge of the pie crust. Bake for about 22 minutes at 325 F or till the middle is just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before chilling. Slice into wedges; dust with icing sugar and serve chilled or at room temperature.

baked yogurt custard

baked yogurt custard

I had 1 large cup of the filling leftover because my tart pan was smaller than what the recipe called for. I baked the filling for 15 minutes at 325 F without the crust in two small ramekins. Dusted it with sugar and served it as custard. The filling was just as good without the tart shell, so this is a pretty versatile recipe.

The yogurt tart is not very sweet and has a nice tang which paired well with the orange zest and blueberries. All in all, this is a keeper of a recipe.

Here are the tarts baked by my fellow bakers:

Aparna’s Yogurt Tart with Orange and Pistachios

Arundhati’s Cherry Berry Yogurt Tart

Nandita’s Baked Yogurt Berry Tart

Monika’s Baked Yogurt Tart with Fresh Figs and Blueberries

Eggless Baking ~ Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

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My life is currently held captive by an 8 week old pooch who has no consideration for the fact that i am not a morning person and i dont like my ankles bitten into by razor sharp teeth. Despite all the mayhem around here (Read Sage’s story here), who could not fall in love with this face?

Meet Sage Sizzler Iyer. His sombre Sagacious look made K decide he should be called Sage, also scored high with me for the foodie connotation. (K was petrified i would give the pooch a sissy (according to him) name like basil or pepper). Since he’s anything but sagelike when he gets fortified with food, i went in for a second name as well!

Early morning wakings (at insane hours, even for my board exams i didnt wake up as early as Sage makes me these days) means that i have more time on my hands and browsing begins at a much earlier hour for me.

You can’t ignore the assault of beautiful pictures at 5 a.m when you are just wanting the milk to heat up and boil already so that you can have some caffeine in your blood stream and begin to resume your humanly functions. Its like the lowest resistance to anything. and so yesterday morning, rudely shoved out of bed at 5 a.m to feed the resident pooch baby food, I was waiting for the milk to boil, i saw this piece of cake on foodgawker and i was smitten. I had a bag of frozen blueberries stashed away in the freezer that i bought all glassy eyed at the supermarket the other week, from the imported foods aisle at hypercity. but am sure this recipe will work well with any other fruit cut up real small.

I looked thru my pantry and gathered all the things i needed. I made it eggless as we were expecting guests dinner who dont eat eggs. it was convenient that i had an egg replacer on hand, else I’d have used powdered flax seeds. I used a 9 inch tart pan to bake it and not as a loaf. Also swapped the All Purpose Flour for my regular multi grain chapati flour.

i had this baking in the oven even breakfast was made. it smelt heavenly as it baked. The flavour of the blueberry with the lemon syrup was very unique and it was served warmed up after lunch as dessert.

Here is the original recipe. below is my version with the changes.

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon Multigrain Wheat Flour (you could also use Whole Wheat flour or all-purpose flour), divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used home made, made with toned 2% fat milk)

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons Orgran Egg Replacer mixed with 3 tablespoons of water or use 3 large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed ( I used frozen)

For the Lemon Syrup:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 inch round cake tin or 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, (I did this in a blender jar used the mixer) whisk together the yogurt, sugar, egg replacer, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Pour it into the dry ingredients and slowly with a gentle hand, incorporate them to make a batter.

Sprinkle the reserved flour over the blueberries and toss them. Gently fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cak tin pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

Make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.

Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.

The original recipe even has a lemon sugar glace, but I omitted this. I liked the tartness that the lemon syrup gave the cake. It was wonderful warm, am sure will taste fantastic when paired with vanilla icecream too. This is a moist cake and leftovers should be stored in the fridge. I think it will keep for 3-4 days. Ours was all gone the same day I baked it though!

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