Saturday, 17 July 2010

Homebaking experiment 1

Ma Chan has always been a big fan of tweaking recipes to suit her own tastes - since I've had a bit of time on my hands of late, I decided to go one better and try and "create" something on the basis that such experimentation might be needed later in life for my "grand project"! :)

I have to be honest and say that I wasn't particularly adventurous - I've been passing by the fruit and veg stalls near where I live and got caught up with the "romantic" notion that apricots are in season now and wouldn't it wonderful to make a tart with them? I should've known better as the first time I had ever tasted fresh apricots was a few years ago in Italy whilst on a hen the time, they looked great but tasted pretty pitiful. Not wanting to be caught out again, I had a quick taste of these ones before cooking and they actually were not bad!

I started off with making a tart shell with sweet pastry - it was a great feeling to know the skills are still in the digits :)
Afterwards, it was time to move onto making a pastry cream for a filling, turned out good - my previous memory of Paris Brest pastry cream failure continues to haunt me!!
The apricots were then halved and pitted and cooked in some caramelised sugar before being placed on top of pastry cream inside the tart shell.

The end result looked pretty pleasing to the eye but failed to deliver on taste. The pastry was perfect, the pastry cream on the other hand was a little too sweet. The apricots were another disaster - I had thought by cooking them with the sugar and letting them soften a little that I would be left with some pretty yummy fruit but instead, was left with a bitter mess. After a little bit is research on the interweb,  it appears that its the skin of the apricots thats causing the bitterness so I guess I had better blanch the things the next time :)
  Minimal shrinkage - yay!!

Tempting but sadly, not tasty :(

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