Saturday, 26 January 2008

Apple Tart

Well, let's pretend it is, anyway.

I was reading about the simplest apple tart on Smitten Kitchen and I thought that something so simple has to be easy to make, right? It probably is, but I'm not sure pastry is my strong point.

This was my first experience with pastry, and I chickened out in the first instance by using frozen shortcrust rather than making my own. I also do not (or did not yesterday) own a tart pan, or indeed anything that could possibly resemble a tart pan, so in my wisdom - or lack thereof - I used a springform tin (please don't leave, I promise I won't do it again!). I also overcooked it, but did not burn it. It still tasted really good, and you should totally go and see how it is supposed to be made before you base any opinions on my results.

So, what have I learned?

1. Bought pastry is very handy, however, there's really not that much trouble in making your own. I might get the hang of cooking pastry with the bought stuff before I start in on the home-made stuff though.

2. Springform tins are not good for any kind of tart-type goodness with the amount of pastry that I had. Maybe with more pastry to roll out it would have been okay, but it won't matter in the future as I now own a proper tart pan.

3. I fail at rolling dough. The amount of times I tore it or it stuck to the bench or had a pastry-related mishap couldn't be counted. In the end it wasn't even round or thin enough because I was sick of it and just wanted to get onto my apples. I wasn't particularly patient last night.

4. Take the tart out of the oven before the edges start to go black. Sound advice, common sense, really. I don't know where mine was.

5. When you make ice cream with a base that needs to sit in the fridge overnight to get down to the right temperature to put in the ice cream maker and you intend on having it with the tart, making them both on the same night isn't going to work. Again, common sense deserted me last night. Luckily, there was always cream.

So, with these lessons well and truly learned and some new baking implements added to my kitchen arsenal (I also got a baking sheet), I think it will be time to try this again. Especially since I did not use all of my apples.

PS: if there is anybody out there reading this who hasn't read Deb's fantastic blog and seen her beautiful pictures, go there - now!


  1. ok - So i'm reading through the 'goofs' section of the blog (I mean, I know its voyeuristic, but who can resist a tag called 'GOOFS'??) and I notice that you don't seem to love cooking with pastry. Or at least you didn't before... How's it going for you now? Cause i love cooking with pastry, its one area of cooking that I manage to do well - whether its home made or bought, puff/shortcrust/filo etc - pastry seems to like me. The one bit of advice I have is always always always rest the pastry for a while (at least 30-6o min) in the fridge after you have knead (kneaded?) it and before you want to roll it out. Also, don't try to cover the bench with gladwrap or paper, just accept that you will have flour everywhere to clean up but hey.. that's D's job, right?

  2. Hmm, I'm not sure what happened to make pastry hate me, but it certainly does. I'm getting better, mostly due to my work with fondant which is getting me used to working with something that sticks to the bench and tears.

    It's definitely a rolling issue though. It sticks to the bench or the rolling pin or whatever else is nearby and it frustrates me to no end. I'm doing something wrong there, I'm just not sure what.