You know you’ve had a busy day in the kitchen when you misread a recipe and only realise it the next day, having racked your brains over and over again to try to figure out what’s going wrong but you just can’t. In any case, there’s so much food that you know you don’t even really *need* this dish to work. You know you’re with great friends when they eat your unbaked tart shell and proclaim it “amazing” And so went the story of this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe – Caramel-Almond Custard Tart (p 457) – which I baked for our Thanksgiving dessert. Well, kinda.
It’s an easy recipe. Make the pastry. Let it rest overnight. Roll out or pat the pastry into the tart tin. Bake the tart shell. Make the caramel custard filling. Fill the cooled tart shell and bake. There’s really no excuse that I messed up and didn’t bake the tart shell before I filled it and baked the custard filling. Except that I didn’t read the recipe. Can I use the excuse that I was dealing with a Danish pastry recipe (also multi-part) and a 6.75lb chicken on an unfamiliar setting in my new oven and trying to keep the house and kitchen tidy so it didn’t look like a pigsty when our guests arrived? No? Ok then.
In the oven, I should have known something was wrong when some of the custard spilled out onto the baking tray below the tart pan. But as it didn’t seem to be affecting the filling too much, I just left it. Wondered why the shell was so soggy, even after it had cooled to room temperature and I cut the slice for the picture above (the reason it’s on the pie server is because it wouldn’t slide off LOL!). Simply could not figure it out. And, of course, didn’t think to to the smart thing and check the recipe. Maybe subconsciously I knew that if I read in black and white that I had messed up, I would feel compelled to make it again. So I kept the book closed. In any case, everyone ate this, regardless. I tried to crisp up the pastry by putting it into the oven before I served it but all it did was make the soggy pastry warm and the caramel filling liquidy… and I have to say, the flavours were pretty great. I mean, sugar, butter, eggs, milk – you can’t go wrong. I’ll make this again. Next time I will follow the instructions though because I have a feeling it is a pretty darned special dessert.
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