I do a moderately good job on the photos. Well, I have reached the stage in my development (pun intended) that I know how much I don’t know. I know my known knowns. I have a good idea of the known unknowns. I know there probably are some unknown unknowns too. But, I’ll leave it there for fear of turning into the Donald Rumsfeld of the food blogging community. Let me show you my Fig Tart Tatin instead.
Of late, my ingredient lists have been getting shorter and shorter. This time, we are reduced to just four star components.
- A sheet of pre-made puff pasty
- 8 or 9 figs
- 80 grammes of butter
- 60 grammes of sugar
First, trim and half the figs like I did in the top photo (a reasonably good picture, if I say so myself). Put them in a 100ºC oven for half an hour. This will concentrate the flavour by causing some of the water to evaporate. While this is going on, roll out the pastry so it’s big enough to cover the frying pan.
Use a big plate as a template and cut roughly around it. Be sure it’s bigger than the frying pan.
Put the sugar and butter into a frying pan (skillet) and warm it over a low to medium heat.
The butter will melt and, eventually, the sugar will melt too. A bubbly caramel will form. Don’t be tempted to stir it.
When it turns a nice brown colour, take it off the heat. Let it cool a little and add the figs, cut side down.
Add the pastry and press it down gently between the figs until you feel some resistance (just like taking a photo).
Pop this in the oven for 30 minutes at 180ºC. Take it out and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Place the large plate over the frying pan and get ready to be very, very focussed (yes, I meant it). Quickly flip the pan and plate over. Hold your breath and wait the half second for the tart to make a little slurping noise. Gently lift the pan away to expose (I meant that one too) a lovely fig tart tatin.
All that was left to do was to serve slices of the tart with ice cream. The problem with ice cream is that it melts. So one has little time to set up the shot and take the photo. The pressure is increased by the family who want to be served. This is where I cracked, I shot the slice of tart, in a rush, from four different angles and two heights. The only half acceptable shot is the one below showing the back of the tart slice. My lack of skill, or planning or testing or experience is exposed (sorry, last time).
The tart tasted a lot better than it looks here. At this stage, I had to give a different aperture priority (geddit?) and just eat the thing. Delicious.