The Bitter Aftertaste of Blog Awards and Apricot Tart Tatin.

Apricot Tart Tatin 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.

I thought I should show off the stainless steel and ceramic frying pan.

I thought I should show off the stainless steel and ceramic frying pan along with the ingredients.

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.

A bit of manual labour needed. I though at this stage I would have had a sou chef to do this stuff.

A bit of manual labour needed. I though at this stage I would have had a sou chef to do this stuff.

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.

Worth paying the good money! Nothing sticks to this beauty.

Worth paying the good money! Nothing sticks to this beauty.

When a nice caramel has formed, place the halved apricots in, cut side down.

By my calculations, you will need seven apricots plus a couple to fill the gaps.

By my calculations, you will need seven apricots plus a couple to fill the gaps.

Roll out the puff pastry.

And I thought I would spend the year rolling out the barrel. This is disappointing.

And I thought I would spend the year rolling out the barrel. This is disappointing.

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.

Keep the plate. You will need it for the tart.

Keep the plate. You will need it for the tart.

Carefully cover the apricots with the circle of puff pastry.

Cover the apricots and tuck in the sides.

Cover the apricots and tuck in the sides.

Stab the pastry, in a few places, with a sharp knife. This will prevent the pastry rising too much.

Don't stab too deep. If you stab that ceramic surface, I'll never forgive you.

Don’t stab too deep. If you stab that ceramic surface, I’ll never forgive you.

Pop the oven-proof frying pan into the oven and leave it there for 25 minutes. Take it out. It will look like this.

This is the bottom of the tart. The fun bit comes next.

This is the bottom of the tart. The fun bit comes next.

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.

Ready to turn. My life was ready to turn but it didn't happen!

Ready to turn. My life was ready to turn but it didn’t happen!

Turn the tart out (This is not life advice, I’m referring to the apricot tart).

The finished tart. Maybe I can make a fortune, as a baker, using my new pan?

The finished tart. Maybe I can make a fortune, as a baker, using my new pan?

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.

This is pretty decadent, particularly for one who has not risen to stardom.

This is pretty decadent, particularly for one who has not risen to stardom.

“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…

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Latest comments
  • aww, well at least you had your two moments in the spotlight, and you make a mean tart, perhaps your staff is lost and just hasn’t arrived yet.

    • I do think my future may lie in the tart business. The only problem being that I will eat the stock.

  • Just returned from three weeks in Ireland where I was “forced” to sample various tarts – apple, rhubarb….this one looks yummy! Pity about the ‘fortune’ not arriving with the ‘fame’ – there’s always the gaa lotto….

    • I will buy a ticket today. It has to work….

  • If you win again this year, Conor. Maybe the frying pan you buy won’t flake off its enamel coating so quickly. 😉

    Absolutely perfect looking tart.

    • Thanks. The pan is holding up well. It’s just me that isn’t.

  • A fine-looking pan and an equally fine tart, Conor. I can’t believe RTE hasn’t already snapped you up. When are the nominations for the awards? Can you post a link?

    • You show such faith Linda! I’ve made it to the long list for 2014. All one has to do is nominate oneself. The shortlist is the place to be. The awards are at http://www.blogawardsireland.com.

      • Can’t figure out from their website whether it’s possible to vote for the long list or whether the judges decide the shortlist. Happy to put in my twopennorth if it helps.Best of Irish luck!

        • I think it over to the judges (whom I have roundly insulted by this post!) to make decisions. It was fun while it lasted.

          • Erm – don’t you work in advertising and marketing? Time for a bit more self-publicism!

          • You never saw a cobbler in a good pair of shoes…

  • Let’s hope you win again – perhaps I should enter an award of some sort. Perhaps not… Whatever happens, this tarte tatin is a winner!

    • Thanks Nick. We were out cycling on the day I made it (them) I ate most of one in a post cycle feeding frenzy. I then had to make a second one to get the plated photos. I really am an idiot sometimes. I don’t deserve to win. You should enter as many blog award competitions as possible. It’s a fantastic blog with a combination of focus and breadth of offering. That’s hard to achieve.

  • I think the best thing to do would be to turn your blog into a book. That would get some coverage.

    • I live in fear of the unused dining room filled with outers of unsold and unsalable books.

  • Well, I imagine you are very happy with the recognition and the free expensive pan! I’m very happy with the turn out of this tart tatin! I love the cooking procedure. I must give it a try.

    • It really is pretty simple. Very very tasty. The apricots really undergo a transformation in the cooking.

  • Easy! Have peaches from the orchard…Maybe a peach tart tatin? Hmmm…. Be well! ^..^

    • That would be wonderful. Peaches tend to add that slight note of bitterness when they cook. Mmmmmm….

      • Bitterness could be offset with a bit of sweet maybe with something like, hmm, maybe agave nectar? 🙂 Cooking peaches today!

  • Wow, this is beautiful and not too difficult. I’m going to make it tonight. Along with Seana’s string beans…now I just need a main. Is the sugar you used, white granulated?

    • In truth, I used white granulated one day and light brown the next. (I made two because I ate most of the first myself). The white makes for a better photograph. Both are delicious.

  • Looks Lovely. Do remember us little people when you become rich and famous.

    • Little people!. I’m only 5’9″ myself.

  • I really like how the tatin came out, well done. The apricots look very nice turned upside down like that, and cooked just right. You make it look like it’s easy, but tatin has many pitfalls such as burning the caramel, the apricots sticking, or the ‘flip’ not going well. Very good wine pairing, as botrytis wines from Bordeaux often have an apricot character. It goes without saying that the photos are wonderful as usual.

    • Thanks Stefan. I had fun with it. We visited the chateau and I picked up some half bottles over there. I have difficulty getting any of my lot to try the sweet wines. Their loss. My alcoholism.

      • It is also good for the prices, which are not as crazy as for red Bordeaux of the same quality.

  • Please advise!! Got to ‘Voting 2014’ and a long, long list of blogs. Only two beginning with ‘O” and yours was not one of them . . . tried Conor Bofin also: again no luck! Will you please check and tell me where I am going wrong!!!! No problem last year and we just have to make certain you have to take at least one trek to the podium this year also!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks Eha,
      I’m on the (very) long list now. It’s up to the judges now.
      Best,
      C

  • All I can say is gorgeous. Love that wine pairing – I can just taste the combination…

    • Thanks Mimi,
      They worked very well together. Despite that, I do have difficulty getting my lot to try dessert wines. They make up their minds before tasting….

  • I love it when you make me spit my tea at the screen in the morning! Thank you for another entertaining and certainly delicious post! Best of luck with another win!

    • I have accomplished something today! Spat tea.
      Best,
      Conor

  • What a superb dessert! I really love your sense of humor my friend. It’s late. I’ll let you go run your goat’s milk bath 🙂

    • My butler is typing this reply for me. He ran the bath too. I just luxuriate in it.

  • Conor this dessert is just brilliant. Fast and delicious! I think that tricky part is flipping it over. That part always scares me. Take Care, BAM

  • i won’t judge the heck of your very much gourmet and pricey frying pan without touching it,
    it is very heavy and seems to be really tough???
    btw, this is my first time seeing fresh apricot, the tartin looks really tempting Conor…..

    • Thanks Dedy. It was tempting. Too much so. I must control myself better.

  • From oil drums to abricót tatin–what a meteoric rise! Lovely tart, especially considering the handicap of having to work with all that overpriced gear. Ken

    • I really should stop complaining. I have had the tatins stick to the pan. Not with this beauty. Not pretty.

  • Congratulations,Conor and a good pan is worth its weight in gold. Just stay out of the goat’s milk baths and all will be well!

    • Thanks Tonette, Though, I am getting pretty comfortable in my bath. I just need them to get the balance of milk to honey right….

  • Brilliant post. You’ve made me feel much better about not making blog awards shortlist.

    • You are too kind Muuka. I was laughing at your experience with the couch and the camera. I’m doing well if I can get them to take their feet off the camera!

  • Funny post Conor. Love that tart. So simple to make, and I’m sure quite yummy. Just might have to whip this up for my girlies.

    • They will love you for it. On this effort, I actually had to make a second one because, I went out for a long mountain bike ride, came home and ate most of the tart before I had shot it plated. It was worth it!

  • At least you have a damn nice pan, thanks for commenting and good luck with the awards 😀

    • Thanks. Though, I think my time has passed. Some great blogs out there now.

  • This looks great! I have never had an apricot tart tatin but it certainly looks great and sounds like it would taste amazing! 🙂

    • Thanks Thomas,
      It was pretty tasty. The season for them is now long gone and all I can do is look forward to repeating the process next year.
      Best,
      Conor

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