Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fresh Fruit Kampot

Growing up in Georgia, we didn't go to the supermarket to buy juice. Instead, my mom would make it at home. It's so easy to make fresh fruit juice at home and avoid the store-bought juices full of preservatives, flavoring, coloring and other ingredients!

After picking fresh blackberries, peaches and strawberries from the farm, we decided to make kampot. First, we washed the fruit. Some of the peaches were sliced while others were left whole. We placed the fruit in a large pot, added water, let it come to a boil on medium heat, then let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the fruit was softened considerably. Lastly, we added sugar to taste. After cooling to room temperature, it was ready to enjoy! I usually love warm kampot, but cold is just as good. Some people strain the kampot before serving, but I love the fruit that remains at the bottom of the glass.

There is nothing fresher and healthier to give your children than homemade kampot! My favorite kampot is made with concord grapes--amazeballs! Unfortunately, we can't seem to find concords in Dallas. You can try making kampot with your favorite combination of fruit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Medoki - Georgian Pastry

This is my most favorite Georgian desert! It's airy, soft, and out of this world. It resembles layered graham cracker cake filled with a soft cream that melts in your mouth. The recipe is not difficult to follow if you are careful and attentive to details. I included step-by-step pictures to guide you trough the process. I love this pastry so much that I requested to have Medoki at my Georgian wedding as one of the deserts. Unfortunately, I was turned down by my cousin who vehemently opposed my request on the grounds that Medoki was "out of fashion" in 2010. Yeah, in Georgia, desserts can go out of fashion! Oh well, I learned how to make it so I can have it anytime I want :) Ya'll ready for this? Here it goes....

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
  • 3 cups of flour (more or less)
  • 3 Sticks (3/4 cup) of butter
  • 1 1/2 cans of condensed milk 
  • Vanilla
Batter: The batter needs to be prepared on a double boiler. The top pot can be metal, glass or ceramic. Start boiling the water in a pot then place the second pot on top. Add eggs and sugar and start mixing with a wooden spoon. After sugar is melted, add baking powder and baking soda. Next, add honey and butter. Every five minutes mix this batter with wooden spoon until the batter turns light brown, about 30-40 minutes. See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Making the batter.

After the batter has turned light brown, turn off the heat. Then, in the same container, add flour slowly and mix. Divide the batter into 6 parts. Each part should be about size of your fist. See Figure 2, top right corner. Begin rolling out the dough on a mat sprinkled with flour. Each sheet of dough should be paper thin, so stretch it well. See Figure 2, bottom row.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Place the first sheet of dough onto a baking pan and cook until the dough turns dark brown, about 3 minutes. The dough will burn easily because it's so thin, so pay close attention to the cooking process. Repeat the latter steps for the remaining five sheets of dough. Lay out the finished sheets of dough to cool.

Figure 2: Rolling and stretching the dough.

The pastries sheets are not perfectly square when removed from the oven. Trim the edges of each sheet, removing as possible, to make each sheet into uniformly sized rectangles.  Use this first sheet as a template for your next 5 sheets. Crush the pastry trimmings to make crumbs for later use. See Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Trimming the edges of the cooked sheets and making the crumbs with left over trims.

Cream: Whip the butter well using a mixer, then slowly add condensed milk until the cream is fluffy. Add vanilla.  If the cream becomes too thin, put it in the fridge for few minutes and bring it back out and mix again. See Figure 4.

Figure 4: Preparing cream and then assembling the Medoki.

The final step is to assemble all the pieces. Add the cream to all 6 sheets and start spreading it evenly, being careful not break the sheets. Then, stack all sheets on top of each other. Add cream to the top piece then sprinkle on the trimming crumbs  to cover the pastry completely. Enjoy!