Sunday, 7 March 2010

Raymond Blanc's Apple Tart

When not in France the next best thing is another French recipe try out, Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets is a very inspiring BBC series, not stuffy or and and the great man is just so chearful and un pretentious, I am sure he washes his own burnt on milk pans occasionally, then again he would never burn a pan would he?! I can have a bash at his dishes, and he is a multi starred Michelin chef, and I am not!

So here is my Raymond Blanc "Maman Blanc" Apple Tart, just google for the recipe!! I'll be back in a bit to report if the creme fraiche was a good substitute for double cream, and whether it tasted as good as it looks. Will be making proper creme anglaise too.

The reason for the impatience, it has to cool for an hour before eating, it's murdur having to walk time! Well it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Cotswolds. The great man is so cruel making us wait....

A little while later...... dog walked and back home to make Creme Anglaise a la Julia Child, worked perfectly with semi skimmed milk, dash of single cream, warmed carefully in saucepan, no messing with water baths. Birds has been ousted in this house, in 44 years except perhaps in the odd restaurant, I had never knowingly known how divinely good proper home made custard is!
I used half fat creme fraiche, instead of double cream, in the egg mixture poured over the apples part way through cooking. It was fine, not watery or curdled at all. I also realised why my open tarts always seem dry, Raymond advises each apple cut into 10 slices, far chunkier than my usual, and far tastier and moister as a result. That's why he is a master, lots of simple tips that make all the difference to us ordinary cooks! The apple is brushed with a melted butter/sugar and calvados glaze before the first part bake, and then egg custard added and finished for 10 minutes. All the cooking times perfectly calculated so the result is light, apply tasting and not at all dried out or sickly. The calvados glaze tasted very good out of the pan too!

I am afraid to say I forgot the "dressed" photo with tart dusted with icing sugar and home made creme anglaise dribbled artfully. We don't do delicate portions, and all 4 of us had seconds and the whole tart has vanished. I do like my Portmeirion pottery though! There was a tart there not long ago.

I blame the dog myself... I think we should go out for another walk now, the dog will think it's died and gone to heaven, eventhough he got no tart. Merci Maman Blanc.