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Tag Archives | healthy Turkish desserts

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; Cevizli kuru kayisi tatlisi

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; cevizli kuru kayisi tatlisi

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; cevizli kuru kayisi tatlisi

As I am getting ready for my upcoming Turkish cookery class on 10th May, I couldn’t resist sharing this delicious dessert from our class, baked dried apricots with walnuts stuffing in the new recipe card format. Such an easy, yet delicious and wholesome treat, if you’d like to have a go too.

Dried apricots are packed with goodness and flavor, a delicious snack.

Dried apricots are packed with goodness and flavor, a delicious snack.

One of  Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world. You can find dried apricots in most stores these days, online Turkish store Tulumba.com also carries them if you live in the US.

Walnuts stuffing is delicious and wholesome in dried apricots

Walnuts stuffing is delicious and wholesome in dried apricots

Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants and their naturally rich, wonderful flavor is icing on the cake. This easy dessert is great for parties, sharing with friends or family or just indulging yourself. Hope you enjoy it.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; Cevizli kuru kayisi tatlisi
 
One of Turkey's most prolific fruits is the apricot. Dried apricots are great, wholesome snacks. This healthy and delicious dried apricot with walnuts dessert is great for parties, sharing with friends and family or just indulging yourself.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish Desserts
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 225 gr / 8 oz dried Turkish apricots
  • 3 fl oz / ⅓ cup water – if needed -
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons butter
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 75 gr /1/2 cup crushed walnuts into small pieces
  • 50 gr / ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water for baking
  • Crushed pistachio nuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  2. Soak the dried apricots in warm water for 10 minutes, if they are really hard. Then drain the water. If they are already soft enough to split open, you can skip this stage.
  3. Combine the crushed walnuts and brown sugar in a small bowl as the filling.
  4. Split open the apricots with a small knife, making sure one end is still intact.
  5. Stuff each apricot with a teaspoonful of crushed walnut and brown sugar mixture and slightly close it up.
  6. Grease a baking tray with olive oil or butter and place the stuffed dried apricots on it.
  7. Pour the water over the tray.
  8. Place a tiny little dab of butter on the top of the each stuffed apricot.
  9. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the apricots and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  10. Arrange them in a serving dish and sprinkle over some crushed pistachio nuts.
 

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Turkish Quince Dessert; Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Quince, ayva as in Turkish, is a seasonal fruit, best enjoyed from October to early January and it is plentiful in Turkey. It is a rare treat to get in England, so you can imagine my excitement seeing them at the Turkish Market in Cheam, in Southeast England. I got my quinces and my heart was set to make the much loved, delicious Turkish quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi.

Delicious, ripe quinces at the Turkish market in Cheam, England - a delightful sight!

Delicious, ripe quinces at the Turkish market in Cheam, England – a delightful sight!

Quince comes from the same family as apples and pears, and has a deliciously fragrant, rosy smell. There are also many health benefits of quince; it is packed with fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Quince is delicious when it’s ripe and you can enjoy eating raw, though it can also be quite tough to tackle. The hard, tangy and pale quince becomes soft, fragrant in a beautiful dark rosy pink color when it is cooked; quite a transformation for this humble fruit. Quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi, is very popular in Turkey enjoyed in winter time, and it is divine, when cooked properly. You may notice some of the quince desserts come up in very deep, almost artificial red color, and I am afraid that case some artificial coloring may have been added to achieve this, to save up on the cooking time.

One of the elements that give this quince dessert its gorgeous color and fragrant taste is the slow, gentle cooking. I cooked mine for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the transformation in the color and texture was amazing. Make sure to keep the seeds in the pan when you’re cooking the quinces; they help bringing out that gorgeous deep rosy pink/amber color. I also keep the peeled skin of quince in the pan; they all together bring a fragrant smell, beautiful color and thicken the syrup as the seeds contain pectin, a natural thickener.

Pouched quince dessert in syrup, cloves and cinnamon, Ayva Tatlisi

Pouched quince dessert in syrup, cloves and cinnamon, Ayva Tatlisi

I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious quince dessert, Ayva Tatlisi; it simply melts in the mouth. You can prepare ahead of time and it keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. I love the fruity desserts in Turkish cuisine; they are fragrant and packed with flavor, also included in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, available to order at this link.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes                  Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes (or a little more, depending on the size of the quince)

2 medium size quinces

150gr/ ¾ cup sugar (or 20 – 30 gr more, if you prefer sweeter)

6 cloves

16oz./2 cups water

30ml/2 tbsp. juice of lemon

30ml/ 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Turkish thick cream, Kaymak, or clotted cream to serve

Crushed pistachio nuts or walnuts to serve

Wash and cut the quinces in half, from top to bottom. Scoop out the core and keep the seeds, save the seeds aside. Peel the skin of the quince halves and set them aside too. Rub the peeled quince halves with the lemon juice; that will help quince not to go dark in color.

Spread the sugar evenly over the quince halves

Spread the sugar evenly over the quince halves

Spread the peels of quince as a layer in a heavy pan, wide enough to have 4 quince halves in one layer. Place the quince halves on top, in a way that the hollow side faces upwards. Spread the sugar evenly over the halves and stir in the reserved quince seeds, cloves and the water.

The quinces will start turning to a rosy, darkish pink color and the syrup will start to thicken.

The quinces will start turning to a rosy, amber color and the syrup will thicken.

Bring the pan to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Check the quinces and flip the halves gently to the other side. The quinces will start turning to a rosy, darkish pink color and the syrup will start to thicken and caramelized. Stir in the ground cinnamon, cover and cook on low heat for another 40 minutes or until the fruit is cooked (you may need a little more or less cooking time depending on the size of the quince), turn the heat off. You will now get a richer dark rosy pink color and some caramelisation.

Leave the cooked quinces cool in the pan. The syrup will thicken even more and the color will go darker, thanks to the seeds acting as a natural thickener. Once cool, place the quince halves on a serving plate, with a dollop of clotted cream or even better, Turkish kaymak, the thick cream of the water buffalos over the top. You can sprinkle some crushed pistachio or walnuts over and serve.

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

Turkish Quince Dessert, Ayva Tatlisi

This delicious quince dessert keeps well in the fridge for a good 3 days.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute on 19th February; Registration Started!

Dried peppers, aubergine and okra; important features of Southern Turkish Cuisine

Dried peppers, aubergine and okra; important features of Southern Turkish Cuisine

My Turkish cookery class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute is now open for registration. Please contact Istanbul Culinary Institute for registration, if you’d like to join us. We will be talking about and showcasing the artful use of spices and prepare these delicious recipes, focusing on Southern Turkish cuisine. Participation is limited; hope to share a delicious Turkish bite together!

 

 

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