This recipe may turn out horribly wrong.
I know I say that a lot and it is rarely true, but I clearly disobeyed a direct order from Mary and Paul.
Here’s what’s included in the ingredient list:
150g golden syrup (from a tin, not a squeezy bottle)
Well let me tell you, I went to three different grocery stores in search of tinned golden syrup instead of bottled. The first store didn’t have any sign of a tin. The second store had a tin, but it was only a black treacle tin. I asked someone who worked there if they also had it in golden syrup—no dice. The third store I went to had a spot where the golden syrup should be and I even asked the cashier (after I had settled for squeezy bottle) if they had any in the back, but he said they were either sold out or understocked by the manufacturer.
What a shame. I had a whole conversation about the tin vs. bottle with the elderly cashier and the customer behind me, and they both agreed that I would probably be just fine to use the bottled. He even wished me “Good luck” on my way out, which was very kind. So here we are, folks. Me directly disobeying Mary and Paul.
It’s come to this.
But while I went to all three grocery stores, I managed to pick up ingredients at each one because I kept forgetting stuff off my list. So maybe it wasn’t all for naught, after all.
I even remembered to get baking powder:
Time to make a rich shortcrust pastry. I have no idea what qualifies as a shortcrust pastry. According to the little description at the top, however:
The pastry, made with half white flour and half wholemeal with just a touch of baking powder has a lovely, nutty flavour and light texture, perfect with the sticky filling.
I guess I’ll see what shortcrust is after I make it.
I do have plans to put the dough into the fridge for longer, considering that one time I made pastry and had to piece it together like a puzzle.
First up, though, food-processor-up the flours, salt and baking powder.
Next up, add the unsalted butter, chilled and diced.
Okay, so, we may have another hiccup. I added a couple pinches of salt because Mary and Paul requested “a good pinch” and I felt like my first pinch wasn’t pinchy enough. But now I’ve realized the only butter I have is (a) frozen and (b) salted.
This may be a salty tart.
Oh well. Too late now.
Now that it “looks like fine crumbs,” it’s time to slowly add the cold icy water whilst the food processor is running until the dough comes together.
It wasn’t, however, coming together at all with the first amount of ice water, so I added a little bit more until this happened:
I would say that’s come together.
*cue Beatles song*
Now to wrap it up in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for a lot longer than the suggested time.
*half a movie later*
Time to prep for the filling before rolling out this dough.
First up, the Snow White-level apple:
Another way I may screw this one up is that this recipe calls for a Bramley apple and, of all the apples I could see in the store, Bramley was not one of them. I did some quick googling and looking for suggestions but eventually settled on an Ambrosia apple purely for the look.
Next up, zesting the lemon:
Then juicing the lemon with my new juicer:
Then rolling out the dough.
So I now understand why I was only supposed to put it in the fridge for a short period of time. You have to use a lot of muscles to roll out over-chilled dough.
However, I think it paid off because look!
Much better than the chocolate fudge tart debacle. Nothing even broke as I transferred it from countertop to deep pie dish! I do wonder if this pie dish is too deep. I somehow doubt there will be enough filling. Oh well. It calls for deep, so that’s what I’m doing.
Next up is the less-than-ideal golden syrup.
I’m to heat it up on low heat “until just runny” (whatever that means) and then grate the apple in and then add breadcrumbs, lemon juice and lemon zest before mixing well and spooning into the shortcrust.
Is this runny?
I think so. It’s more runny than it was to start. Time to mix everything together.
Grated apples, breadcrumbs and lemony goodness:
Yeah, so, unless the filling somehow rises, this will not be enough to justify the deep pie dish.
I’m trusting you, though, Mary and Paul!
After cutting off the trimmings, they suggest I can make a design with the leftovers so I decide to try my hand at leaves. But then they became flowers:
Time to put it in the oven.
*some time later*
Oh I’m just realizing now it says “pie plate.” I wonder if a plate is different than a dish. I have a less-deep pie plate. Shoot. I should’ve gone with my instincts and used that.
Oh well. Definitely too late now.
My oven door is just filthy!
Also, for the sake of authenticity and not letting social media paint too pretty a picture of life, I’ve decided to share with you what my kitchen looks like after a bake:
And just keep in mind, this is after a one-spoon bake and after a first round of clean-up. Imagine what it looked like after the three-spoon tiramisu cake! Disaster-movie-level disaster.
I really am worried about the ridiculousness of this deep pie dish vs. plate situation. I told you I’d mess this up.
Is this done? I don’t know. I am terrified of a soggy bottom.
Five more minutes.
Is that burning coming from the pie or the previous spillage spots on the foil under the element? Foil I should definitely replace. This kitchen needs a deep clean.
*five minutes later*
Okay this has to be done.
It’s either burnt or there’s a soggy bottom. No in between. I would not last one round in The Great British Bake Off.
I decided to have a taste to make sure it wasn’t terrible. I’d hate to bring it to work and have polite smiles of people who are trying not to think about the salty, soggy-bottomed mess of a tart in front of them. So I cut out the smallest sliver of a piece and tried it.
Good news! It’s not terrible. Although it’s not something I’m particularly used to. It’s almost like if an apple pie had a much softer filling. When I tried explaining it to my friend she asked if it was like a butter tart without the currants, and it kind of is. It’s hard to describe, but I did actually appreciate the extra crust so I could match it up with the soft filling. And the crust does actually have a nice nutty flavour, so Mary and Paul knew what they were talking about in that respect.
I do wonder if tinned golden syrup and Bramley apples would have made this the ultimate, best bake, but I’m not sure.
Although I did find a lemon seed in my mini slice so I’ll have to warn people at work (I thought Ikea’s contraption would have caught those).
*the next day*
Good news! They ate it all and no one had to politely and discreetly throw it away—although we discussed the various TV show scenarios that have given plenty of ideas for how to do it. In the pockets like Seinfeld‘s mutton episode. Off the balcony like Rachel’s traditional English trifle in Friends. Or down the toilet like Amy’s Thanksgiving dinner in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So many good ideas for how to deal with my inevitable baking fail. Although this one turned out to be fairly successful.
There’s always next time, I guess!