Friday, July 25, 2014

My Plum and Cheese Crescents go to KitchenAid Contest at IFBM 2014

These Plum and cheese crescents are going to the KitchenAid India Plum Challenge at IFBM 2014.

Look at this recipe in two parts and pace it over two days. Infact it's two recipes I am sharing here. We are talking slow life here, it also means ease.

We make the Plum jam first and then roll up the crescents.

Day 1 : Making Plum and Honey Jam with Star Anise

6 Plums, ripe yet firm
1/2 cup water
6  nos. star anise
1/2 cup honey

In a saucepan measure out the water and set it to boil. Meanwhile slice and dice the plums discard the seeds. Once it starts rolling add the diced plums into the water. Drop in the Star anise. Let it cook till the diced fruit is soft about 10 -15 mins. At this point scoop out the Star anise and discard. Pass the cooked plums thru a medium mesh to get a puree. I put back the fruit skin but if you don't like remove it now.

Add the honey and boil on slow to reduce the liquid. We need a thick jam to be used as filling for the crescents. So boil until a spoon dipped in it gets a thick coat of jam clinging to it. Or do this test. Chill a plate in the fridge and drop the boiling jam on it. If it forms a skin immediately the jam is done. Remove from heat.

I poured it into a plate. After cooling completely, set the plate to chill in the fridge overnight.

So there you have the first recipe for Plum and Honey Jam with Star Anise.

Incase you are making a large batch just multiply the proportions of the ingredients. After making the jam cool it to room temperature and store in a clean dry jar. It should stay good for atleast a month. For longer preservation you may want to do canning.


The second part is the basic recipe for Crescent rolls that are so versatile. However since this recipe is going to KitchenAid India's Plum Challenge we are going to use the Plum jam along with cheese for the filling. The Crescent rolls are eggless and like us if you are vegetarians you will love this recipe.

So sleep well at night and the next day when you have time for a 2-3 hour stretch or when you are working on other things in the kitchen start with the dough for the crescents. Its a simple no nonsense dough.

Day 2 : Making my Plum and Cheese Crescents


The dough
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter (I use Amul which is salted butter)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoon curd
3/4th tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup butter for rolling and brushing

Warm the water add the yeast to it to dissolve. In the Food Processor bowl measure out the all purpose flour and follow in with sugar and butter. Run the FP on slow to let the butter form crumbs with the flour and sugar. Now add the curd and yeast liquid. Run the FP on medium to form a ball. The dough will feel slightly sticky as it has sugar but that is ok. Cover and keep till the dough doubles. This is the first proofing of the dough.  It may take 30 mins to 40 mins (In Mumbai its warm and humid) elsewhere look at the doubled volume and not time.

After the first rise. Punch down the dough to remove air. On a clean counter spread some butter. Roll out the dough into a 15 inch circle. Cut out 16 wedges from the circle.

The steps for Filling
16 nos. 1 inch squares of processed cheese (Amul)
Plum and Honey Jam with Star Anise

Take each wedge and roll it out a bit thin. Put a spoonful of Plum jam at the broad end of the triangle leaving about an inch of space for rolling. Top it with a cube of cheese. Now start rolling from the broad end so you have the pointed end closing in. Bend a little bit to give it a crescent shape. 

These days I use my low and high oven racks to bake by covering them with aluminium foil. That way I maximize the space utilization as well as power consumption. You can also follow the standard practice of using a baking sheet or tray. Line up the crescents on the foil covered racks or tray. Let the crescents proof to double up, this is the second rise for the dough.

Preheat oven to 200 deg Celsius.

Bake the rolls for 15 mins or till they are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and brush the rolls with butter. Allow to cool for 10 mins. 

Best enjoyed when still warm. But watch out don't pop them in your mouth hot, the oozing plum jam can scald the tongue! When you bite into the Plum and Cheese Crescents, the first bite is buttery roll filled with Plum jam and mild notes of Star anise when you hit the cheese its different, slightly savoury bite. Together its deliciousness. That's why I use the cheese cubes instead of grating it. There is a surprise factor to it which makes every bite enjoyable.

The home smelt awesome with the warm baking aromas of buttery dough, plum jam and the mild notes of star anise. I took a tray full to my music class to share. Everyone enjoyed it and Snehal even asked for a piece to take home for her daughter. The smiles said it all.

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