This is probably unconscionably rude of me, but this recipe comes in the middle of a number of pies-with-pastry-recipe and at some point I was bound to get sick of describing the whole butter plus flour equals breadcrumbs process.
Anyway we didn't make pastry for this one, because I wanted to focus on learning a couple of new techniques, we bought a pre-made pie-case instead*
We made an Apricot Tart
One pre-made pie case***
A couple of punnets of apricots, or decent tinned ones if apricots are out of season and horrible***** like they are by now.
100g caster sugar.
Four egg yolks******
A dash of kirsch*******
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
Put the milk into a pan, on the stove, turn on the heat and add the vanilla in whatever form you have it.********
Once the milk is just boiling take it off the heat and pour a little into the egg and sugar goop.
Deal summarily with any argument as to who goes first via the ancient rite of Ip Dip Dip and award a whisk to the winner.
Watch the victorious Smaller Chef wreaking havoc upon an innocent bowl of mixed sucrose and dairy products.
End this carnage by taking back the whisk, pouring the results back into the milk and letting Small Chef have at it.
Be very, very glad things did not fall out otherwise.
Pour the resulting mess into a large bowl and stir in the butter.
Leave to cool.
Once cool attempt to place in the fridge until needed.
Wish you had used a smaller bowl.
Attempt to explain the difference between crème pâtissière and custard.
Recognise that nobody is listening and move on.
To skin the apricots, cut a small cross in the bottom of each then place them in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes.
Remove an apricot plunging it immediately into icy water.
In theory this will loosen the skin, allowing you to peel it away with ease.
Note that theory and reality do not always match.
Try not to look troubled by the way some of the slippery little beggars try to cling to their skins.
If Small Chef wants to know whether this method would also work on Smaller Chef you may permit yourself to look troubled.
Explain to Smaller Chef that no-one will be plunging her into boiling water today.
Wonder why she isn't concerned about the parts involving Very Sharp Knives.
Halve each of the skinned apricots.
Take the crème pâtissière out of the fridge and stir in a teaspoon or two of kirsch.
Pour this mixture into the pastry case, smooth it out and arrange your halved apricots on top.
Warm three tablespoons of the jam and one of kirsch in a pan on the stove until runny.
Brush the resulting glaze all over the tart.
Take a moment to bask in the glossy beauty of your creation.
Contemplate the effect of a light dusting of icing sugar over the top of that gleaming, amber surface.
Contemplate the effect of two children with a tea-strainer full of icing sugar on your relatively gleaming kitchen.
Put the icing sugar away.
Chill the apricot tart until wanted.
Serve in reasonable slices, noting that there is enough left for a civilised afternoon tea with friends, the next day.
Put Chefs Small and Smaller to bed.
Consign friends to perdition and eat the lot.
*But it was a really good one.**
That doesn't make it any better, honestly.
***Or slave over proper pate sucre, see if I care.****
Dear gods I care.
*****But to be honest, in that case, you might as well just make something else.
******I see a lot of meringue in your future if you keep following these recipes.
Or egg white omelettes.
Those are supposed to be healthy for some reason.
*******At some point we will make a cherry pie.
This will provide me with an abundance of cherry stones with which to make kirsch.
In the meantime I settled for buying it online.
*******A pod or two worth of seeds would be lovely, but a splash of decent vanilla essence will suffice.