Not everything made in school can easily bounce back and be fixed (cakes, tarts, baked goods). I hold my breath and keep one eye closed because there is no going back once I make a cut….sometimes it just ends unsuccessfully. Something that looked so easy to do, ended up being a true test of time and temperature. I needed this humbling experience. It’s okay to have bad nights.
GOAL: Flip upside-down out of the pan. Puff pastry on the bottom, baked apples with a caramel sauce set on top – the caramel sauce is suppose to be soft but hard just enough to hold tart together. (Thanks to the internet, I found this picture to show you what the end result should be)
The recipe is as follows – make a blonde caramel in a non-stick pan, add in some apples and butter. Top with puff pastry and bake. Easy Peasy.
False! I removed my caramel off the stove a little too early, and topped it with apples. I dotted a little too much butter. I covered it with a little too much puff pastry dripping over the edges and I took it out of the oven a little too early. I missed the mark or should I say marks.
The first reveal: Here it goes – I flipped the tart onto a cutting board and it was pitiful compared to what U made in class. The puff pastry looked great, but once the flip was done…
Wanting to fix it, I made a couple attempts to rebound – let’s just say my rebounds were just as unsuccessful as Maryland’s in March Madness (an old reference at this point since Villanova won, but I’m still a little disappointed).
Attempt #1: I carefully flipped it back over into the pan and tried to reheat the caramel so that it would color and set – instead I burnt the bottom of the pastry – oops (see photo – the black crust).
Attempt #2: I put it back in the oven to hopefully cook the caramel a little more so that it would color and set – no such luck, I ran out of patience. Finally I just had to come to terms… my tart was busted just like my March Madness bracket (thank you Oregon).
Owning it – For the last time, I flipped the tart out of the pan onto the cutting board and that is where it stayed – there was no way to plate it for Chef J’s evaluation. The apples remained on one side of the tart and as soon as I made a cut, the buttery gooey water-sugar ran all over the place. Not to mention the pastry edges were a rustic color of black. At this point all I could do was laugh, and learn from my mistakes.