So 2016 is here. I don’t want to go on about how 2015 came and went. It did. I mean I lamented the years departure to my hearts content. I did. Because suddenly I feel time is running out. But, for someone like me who loves to live in the past, my new year resolution is to live in the moment. Because as many a famous people have, Dalai Lama here for example said, “there are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”
So true and so hard to do, isn’t it? As you grow older this philosophy becomes more and more relevant. The past is only relevant so far as we can learn from it and nothing else. The time is gone! Let it go. This is me trying to convince myself because even though I know how real that logic is, it is so hard to break old habits. Well, this year I intend to try just because I know it is what I need.
I intend to live in the moment and work hard and be honest with who I am. The rest will fall into place. Fingers crossed!
Now this pie is a surprise to the palate. I thought we deserved one to kick in the new year. It has an old Indian favourite, gajar halwa as the filling. Gajar halwa is made from milk, carrots, ghee and a sweetener. I used to watch my mother cook it for hours and the end result was one of my favourite desserts. Chewy soft and delicious. How amazing it was to me that my mother could transform a vegetable into such amazing goodness. It was like magic!
The crust is brilliant too and made from walnuts and oat flour (which I never knew existed till now!). I saw this crust weeks ago on Tessa’s blog and I have been dying to make it ever since. So, this pie is hugely inspired by hers. Her recipes are so clean and so good.
- For the Crust
- 2 cups whole walnuts
- 1 cup oat flour
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsps coconut oil, solid
- 2 tbsps maple syrup
- For the Filling
- 450 grams carrots, grated
- 1½ tbsps ghee (you could also use regular unsalted butter if you can't find ghee)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder (you can decrease this amount if you don't want the flavour too strong)
- ¼ tsp fennel powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 8-10 almonds, roughly chopped
- 8-10 walnuts, roughly chopped
- Handful of raisins
- For the Chocolate Layer
- 200 grams dark chocolate, melted
- Handful of almonds, walnuts and coconut flakes for decoration (the amount depends on you!)
- For the crust, place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until you get a coarse meal. Transfer walnut meal to a medium bowl and add the oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add coconut oil and work into mixture with your fingers until it starts to come together. Add maple syrup and continue to mix with your fingers until evenly combined.
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.
- Transfer dough to a buttered pie pan and press into bottom and up the sides. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 mins. Blind bake for 10 minutes. I then baked it for another 5 after I took the weights out. The crust then is nice and brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until you are ready to fill it. The bottom of the crust will puff up during baking, so with a large spoon, gently flatten it back down.
- Once the crust is out of oven, turn oven temperature up to 220°C/425°F.
- For the filling, In a shallow non stick pan, melt the ghee and then add the milk with the cardamom. 30 seconds later add the grated carrots and cook, on low-medium heat, till the carrots are soft, around 15-20 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye. You don't want the carrots to stick to the bottom and get burnt. Add the condensed milk and cook further for around 30 minutes. After the mixture has reduced, add the chopped nuts and raisins and mix to combine well. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. The halwa will be slightly runny but that is ok.
- Once completely cooled pour the halwa into the preached pie crust and set in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and cool completely.
- While the halwa pie is cooling melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
- Spread over the completely cooled pie and strew the nuts on top with the coconut flakes while the chocolate is still wet.
- Place pie in refrigerator for 30 minutes for the chocolate to set.
- Serve with some vanilla ice cream or at as is!