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Which type of flowers are suitable for crystallizing? There are some better to use than others.

Many highly scented flowers are edible: fruit blossom, jasmine, lilac, wattle, clove-scented pinks, primroses, roses and violets. However, never eat flowers that have been treated with pesticides or any that are grown from bulbs as they are toxic. The flowers must be perfect, very fresh and completely dry. Use them as quickly as possible as they will begin to fade and wilt rapidly.

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11:15:00 on 10/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Apricot, Orange and Almond Crumble Recipe

Serves: 5-6
Preparation time: 30-35 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes

For the fruit mixture-
1 kg fresh ripe apricots, stoned and cut into quarters
60 g white sugar
Finely grated zest of an orange
2-3 tablespoons orange juice

For the crumble topping-
185 g plain flour
125 g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
60 g caster sugar
30 g flaked almonds, optional
To serve: fresh cream or mascarpone cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Butter a shallow 1.5 liter ovenproof dish. Arrange the apricots in the dish and sprinkle each layer with sugar. Add the orange zest and juice. To make the crumble topping, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and continue to rub in until the mixture begins to cling together in crumbs.

Spread the crumble evenly over the fruit and press down lightly. Sprinkle with almond, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes until the top is well browned and the fruit is tender. Serve the crumble warm, with fresh cream or spoonfuls of thick mascarpone cheese.

Blackberries and blueberries, rhubarb, apples and quinces, can also be very successfully cooked in a crumble. Put them into the prepared dish and sprinkle 60 g of light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over them instead of the orange zest and juice. Then cover with crumble topping and cook as in the recipe. You can also add 1 tablespoon of fruit-flavored liqueur or brandy to the filling.

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10:25:00 on 10/26/06 by Webmaster - Recipes -

Are there any variations on the traditional flour, butter and sugar crumble? Sometimes we would like our crumbles to have something more in the way of crunch.

We can always add texture in several ways for our crumbles. Sprinkle the crumble topping with 30 g or 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, or flaked almonds before baking. Or use a coarser sugar such as demerara instead of caster sugar, and replace 30 g of the flour with the same weight of toasted muesli or crushed amaretti biscuits. Add these at the same time as the sugar.

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09:30:00 on 10/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Is there any way to determine how much topping to add to a crumble?

The shape and size of the dish you use will determine how much topping you should add. Choose a wide shallow dish rather than a narrow, deep one for a crumble; in a deep dish there will be a little less crunchy crumble showing on top, but plenty underneath which will not become crisp. Using a shallow dish with more surface area will result in a thinner, crispy topping.

Don't worry if some of the juice from the fruit seeps through the crumble. These sticky parts taste sweet and delicious - they are one of the best bits and every crumble should have some.

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08:30:00 on 10/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make croutons that are healthy but still tasty?

Usually croutons are made by frying 5 mm cubes of bread in oil or butter, which is delicious but rather high in fat. They can also be toasted, which cuts out the fat, but this tends to reduce the flavor. For a reasonable compromise, toss the cubes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread them on a baking tray and bake them in an oven preheated to 190 degrees C, for about 10 minutes, or until they are completely crisp.

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07:07:57 on 10/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -