You know the story. A beautiful girl from the slums of some south American dive wins the Miss World contest and her life is transformed. She goes from washing herself and her impoverished sisters and brothers in an abandoned oil drum to starring in Maxx Factor commercials and bathing in goat’s milk. The little darling spends days modelling top fashion and sipping Evian water. Mercedes insist on her driving around in one of their better small saloons. When she is not being gainfully employed, she is entertained by those at the apex of the social pyramid. That’s how it’s meant to be…. With this as the backdrop, I hear you muse; “Since winning two coveted prizes in 2013 Blog Awards, what has changed in your life Conor?”
Having been called to the stage not once but twice on that fateful night in 2013, I had expected a meteoric rise to fame and fortune. I expected the phone to ring with offers of TV shows and at least, a spot on ‘I’m a Sad C Lister, Get Me Out Of Here’. To date, I remain bitterly disappointed. The only bright light on the otherwise cloud covered horizon, is the reflection of my disappointed face in my new frying pan. I purchased this beauty using all but 50c of my €100 voucher prize from the Glenisk competition win at the 2013 ceremony.
“€100 for a frying pan! Have you lost your mind?” Yes, I probably have. But, the logic is that if I am not to be the next Gordon “Get out of my f****ing kitchen.” Ramsey, I may as well get a decent frying pan to remind me of my success. While I’m at it, I’ll make an Apricot Tart Tatin. This particular tart needs only a few ingredients.
- Less apricots than you see in the photo. They will be halved.
- 75 grammes of sugar
- 30 grammes of butter
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- A little flour
Turn the oven on to 190º C. Half and de-stone the apricots.
Add the sugar to the overpriced ceramic frying pan. Melt it over a medium heat until a nice caramel forms. Take it off the heat and stir in the butter.
When a nice caramel has formed, place the halved apricots in, cut side down.
Roll out the puff pastry.
Use a dinner plate or a plate picked up at some award ceremony to cut out a circle. The pastry will magically fit your overpriced frying pan.
Carefully cover the apricots with the circle of puff pastry.
Stab the pastry, in a few places, with a sharp knife. This will prevent the pastry rising too much.
Pop the oven-proof frying pan into the oven and leave it there for 25 minutes. Take it out. It will look like this.
Let the tart cool a little. Using an oven glove and the plate, rapidly and confidently you need to perform the tricky part of the operation.
Turn the tart out (This is not life advice, I’m referring to the apricot tart).
I consoled myself by serving the cooled tart with some ice cream and a little glass of Monbazillac, a delicious sweet wine from a chateau of that name.
“So, how did it turn out?” you ask, not realising the awful pun you have inflicted on me. Unlike the aftermath of winning multiple awards, this was a total success.
Just in case you take me seriously, I really loved winning those awards and I have entered again this year. You never know how things will turn out…