I am not a big fan of Sundays, but I must say that I do enjoy the first part of the day, until at least 1 or 2pm. After that, I find it heavy and boring. After getting up and discussing the mysteries of the universe and other existential topics around breakfast, I always make an effort to dress nice, have a shave, even if it is my day off, and maybe use the more expensive eau de toilette for the day that’s in it; nothing. I realised that every time, I am re-enacting Sundays of the past, where imaginary family members would knock at the door and we could all have a wonderful, worriless and merry afternoon. But of course, they never come, or very rarely and despite my enjoyment at getting the dinner ready, you know, for later with “Blue eyed girl and the Seven cats”and “Doggy Woggy acting as a Dominical commis chef watching my every moves.
To fill the weight of the afternoon, I either take pictures of what I am cooking for a potential blog post and write a story while listening to a bit of Jazz on Lyric FM or the whole collection of my Mark Lanegan’s cd’s. Yesterday though, was a little different. I was in my “office”, and went through four boxes of photographs; a time travel leaving me neither happy nor sad. I found some old pictures of my Grand Mother Marie who passed away twenty two years ago this month, a few weeks before I left Brittany for Ireland and for good; half my life in November. She was a wonderful person, a great cook, a gentle soul who didn’t hesitate to join the passive resistance, a great story teller. She was always good to me, even when I was bold. She taught me how to make apple tart, with compote at the bottom, slices on top, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and blackberry jam for glazing. This gave me an idea for dessert, a little tribute I guess. I wasn’t going to be alone after all; a very special guest had just turned up unannounced…
I had a good bit of flaky pastry left from my delicious little apple and custard crescents I made last week ( previous post), so I took it out of the freezer a couple of hours before. If you want to do it from scratch, here is a quick reminder:
For The Flaky Pastry: You’ll Need
- 130g of organic flour
- 60g of salted butter
- 50g of organic sugar
- a few tbsp of cold water
Coarse grate the very cold butter in the flour and sugar. Mix with a spatula and add about 6cl of cold water before using your hand. Cool for a couple of hours.
For the salted caramel:
This is a real treat from Brittany; in a strong and wide pan, put 200g of white sugar and pour 120ml of cold water over it. Shake the pan a bit to make sure all the sugar is covered and heat up on a medium heat. It is going to take a few minutes to darken but do not leave it unattended. Prepare the rest of the ingredients for the sauce, which are 100g of cubed salted butter and 10cl (100ml) of double cream. You want the sugar to turn amber brown but not too dark or it will go bitter….
Take a round baking tart dish, butter it and flour it. Roll the pastry and place right up to the edge. I don’t bother bringing it up along the rim, like I would do for a quiche, but rather keep in flat; a bit like a tart Tatin if you wish. Pour the cooler caramel in the middle and spread, leaving about 2cm from the edges. Place slices of apples on top (five small apples ones should do). Beat an egg in a bowl and with a brush, paint the edges for a nice shiny finish. Pre-heat your oven at 200c and bake for about 30 minutes. Before serving, I want to glaze the tart with some apple jelly. Just put a tbsp in a pan with a bit of water and heat it up to allow to melt a bit. It will be easier on the brushing…
That’s it, ready to eat apple and salty caramel flaky tart, a little tribute to Marie, and all the wonderful Grand Mothers out there who inspire young minds…
Keep Well and eat Happy!