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.


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