Recently I was invited by the Ontario Apple Growers to visit apple farms around Toronto. On that day not only did I learn how hard Ontario farmers work to bring their fresh and local apples to city folk like us, I also learned how ideal the weather is in the Great Lake region for apple farming. So if you drive an hour out of Toronto you are likely to bump into a fruit orchard or two.

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
Thanks to Karen Ahmed of Kravings Food Adventure for taking this picture. 

Did you know that Ontario is the largest fruit-producing province in Canada?

I came away with tons of knowledge about this humble fruit, more on that soon. I also came away with a GIANT bag of apples. The kids were excited to snack on them – they were Royal Gala, and so fresh and juicy from the orchard. And I was totally over the moon to be experimenting with them in the kitchen.

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist

October is Diwali celebration time and one of my favourite parts of this festival of lights is the dessert menu. Families around the world pull out their traditional recipes and take the time to showcase dishes that highlight the spirit of this festival.

Since my hubby and I moved to Canada a lot has changed in our lives. That includes our food, what we cook, the ingredients we use and how we cook them. I am though still the same girl who likes to experiment in the kitchen and so ofcourse this equation makes total sense.

Apples + Diwali time = Indian sweets with a Canadian twist

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda 

Peda is a traditional Indian sweet and is fudgy and more rounded in shape. You can see how much I love peda here. On a spectrum of difficulty, they rate fairly low and are a great starting point for people making Indian sweets at home. Think of Peda as the easy-going, country cousin of the more elegant burfi. Rustic in colour, easy to shape, and like most of my other recipes, oh so forgiving!

Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
Apple Peda | Saffron-infused Rustic Indian Sweet Made with Ontario Apples
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 16 pieces
Author: Puneeta
Ingredients
  • 2 cups grated apples
  • 1 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1/2 cup sugar castor or cane – I use the latter
  • 1-2 tbsp almond milk or regular milk if needed
  • 2 tbsp slivered pistachios optional
  • 1/2tsp saffron
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a non-stick pan and let it heat.

  2. Add grated apples in the pan and let them sit and cook. The liquid will take a while to evaporate. Keep the mixture moving so it doesn’t over-caramelize.

    Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
  3. This may take 15-20 mins.

  4. Heat a tbsp of milk for 15 secs and add the saffron strands. Let them sit and infuse.  

  5. Add the paneer, sugar and saffron milk mixture and toss and mix,

    Cook for another 15 minutes. Toss occasionally.

    Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
  6. Spread the mixture out on parchment paper and shape into slightly flattened spheres. Your hands will feel greasy from the mixture and that’s ok.

    With your thumb press a dimple into the top.

    Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist
  7. Top with slivered pistachios. Craft leaf-like faux apple tops if you’re taking pictures. 

    Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist

Kitchen Tips

  • I made this recipe with olive oil and not ghee. It’s “reasonably healthy” except for the sugar of course.
  • In the recipe I used the Royal Gala apples I received from the kind people at Ontario Apple Growers. This variety released a fair amount of moisture. If you use Golden Delicious or even Cortland there may be less liquid and so add more almond milk. Test for sugar too.
  • This dish can be left on the counter for a week, and in the fridge for another week. If you do decide to refrigerate then pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. The flavour is far better served at room temperature.

You can see my other favourite Diwali sweet recipes here. I hope you enjoy them!

Festive Indian Peda made with ricotta and chopped pistachios

Easy Indian Burfi – Ricotta and Almond fudge

Diwali for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs This Diwali I am getting together with a few other bloggers around the world to share ideas to celebrate the festival of lights. Please see the Diwali for Kids blog hop here from Multicultural Kid Blogs! You can find even more ideas from last year’s blog hop, 2016, and on our Diwali Pinterest board:
Growing Up Gupta on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Diwali Almond Joy Bites Recipe My Little Moppet: 15 Easy DIY Diwali Gifts to Make Yourself Kid World Citizen Maple and Marigold Creative World of Varya: Diwali – Things to Know and Things to Make Ketchup Moms
Saffron-infused Rustic Apple Peda | Indian sweet with a Canadian twist