Don’t worry I still have a kitchen, I haven’t burned anything down… It’s just been a hectic few weeks of guests, travel and work believe it or not, and so my poor old food posts have been put on the back burner (ha!) but I shall attempt to rectify that over the coming weeks, with a few Expat Essentials posts perhaps making a come back too…
Firstly on to matters of shopping here in Bavaria. If you want to look like a complete auslander(in) (foreigner for those of you without a German GCSE – myself included!), then might I suggest that whilst in a supermarket situation you offer up your place in the queue to the person behind, with far less shopping than you have. That person may well be so taken aback, they go bright red, thank you profusely in their best holiday English (having clocked that’s where you are from – no doubt thanks to the terrible German used to invite them to their premier queue position in the first place…), and then as an extra thank you – present your Nine Year old with an apricot. An apricot out of a “tear off the reel” plastic bag, with contents that they have yet to weigh and pay for.
Such situations back at home would not of course present me with any kind of semi-awkward scenario, but when around 99% of the time you feel like a fish out of water, this particular scene left me a little flustered as to what to do next. Now the Nine Year old is an honest little thing, and this singular fruit situation bothered her intensely, so much so that her not so hushed tones of “WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THE APRICOT MUMMY” could probably be heard in the garden centre opposite. So whilst my original plan had been to go back and select a few more apricots of my own once the gift-bearer had been “processed” through the check out, all eyes were by now, on me. I therefore had little choice but to unload my own shopping before finally adding the singular fuzzy little apricot to the conveyor belt, which slowly trundled along towards the lady on the till. Its arrival then prompted a telling off, as the offending fruit obviously hadn’t been weighed and I had committed the mortal sin of not putting it in a bag!! I will never take super-market shopping for granted when we live in England again one day, believe me.
Thankfully this troublesome fruit was enjoyed on the way home by the 9 Year Old, who put in a request for a full bag of the tiny orange globes at the next shop (which I did of course weigh and pay!), and which is how we ended up with a few left over, once the apricot frenzy amongst the minors in our house had worn off, and I couldn’t face another raw either. I wasn’t about to chuck them away, so here’s what we did with them…
Apricot & Bailoni Tarte Tartin – Ingredients
50g unsalted sliced butter;
1tbsp Bailoni (apricot liqueur) (optional;
The seeds of one vanilla pod;
10-12 small apricots, halved and de-stoned;
Good quality puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200DegC. In a 20cm oven proof frying pan, add the slices of butter, sugar and the vanilla seeds, before placing the halved apricots face down on top. If you are using Bailoni or another Apricot liqueur, add this too, before cutting out a square of pastry slightly bigger than the pan itself, and neatly folding the edges in (well as neatly as you can anyway!)… With a fork, prick the pastry a few times to allow the air to escape whilst cooking, and place the pan over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the butter and sugar melt together and begin to caramelise. Wait for the toffee to start bubbling, and place the pan in a the oven for around 35-40 minutes (it could need slightly longer depending on your oven!). Remove, leave to cool for ten minutes and turn out onto a plate. If the tarte is firmly stuck, just put it back onto the hob for a minute or two and give it a shake. If you think it needs a little more caramelisation, return it (the right way up this time!) to a hot oven for a few minutes longer.
Serve with cream or ice cream. Or both.