Sophie and Mango have got into the pleasing habit of trying out vegan recipes together on a Wednesday evening. This is not exactly a recipe blog, but a catalogue of trial and error, showing our successful and less than successful cooking adventures.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Fruit Tart


This was very loosely based on guessing how to make my own version of what my Mum called Tarte Tatin (very delicious but possibly already of dubious authenticity). The first time I tried to make it was while living in a community in France. I got it the wrong way up, but fortunately only one French person was there to notice the error. The second time was in Manchester with a load of organic pears from the free box at Unicorn Grocery, at a famous Christmas party whose highlights included Chip 'n' Gravy Pie, a stodge-fest possibly more fun to talk about than to eat. I also managed to poison myself with a salad containing red cabbage seed sprouts, which contain an awful lot of whatever chemical makes mustard and wasabi pungent. The pear tart disappeared before I had a chance to taste it. The next day we went to the cinema and sneaked from screen to screen watching various blockbuster Christmas films, including King Kong, no mean feat when a dose of red cabbage irritant is burning its way through your system. It eventually left via the urinary route, burning my urethra on the way out (apologies for talking about my urinary system in a recipe blog).


I was charged with the heavy responsibility of pastry making. I had to admit, rather shamefacedly, that I didn't know how to make it... I got a bowl and followed Mango's slightly haphazard verbal instructions. How much flour? Erm. I don't know. How much oil? Erm. I don't know. That much (he measures out a blob). Then add water gradually. I gaily continue to add water while chatting away, then look down at the grey sloshy mass I've created. Hmm. Maybe too much water. There wasn't enough anyway so fortunately was able to salvage it by adding more flour and oil mixed up separately. Needless to say it wasn't the greatest pastry in the world! I was a little disadvantaged with non-pastry wholewheat flour and a somewhat vague tutor, but I'll know better next time!

1 cup of the wrong kind of flour
Some oil
1/4 cup water

1 apple, sliced
1 ripe pear, sliced
1 peach, sliced
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
A little water


I arranged the fruits in concentric circles in opposite directions, and was extremely concerned about the destruction of my neat algorithm by some left-over pieces of fruit, but realised that it would be alright to put them on the top because the top would end up on the bottom. I rolled out the pastry with a bottle, forgetting to empty the water out of it first, some of which ended up on the floor. The pastry goes on the top. I baked it at 150C for about 25min.

I removed it from the oven and left it to cool, then put a plate on top and nervously flipped it over. I didn't drop it all over the floor, but a significant quantity of liquid slopped out over the counter and the floor. We managed to salvage the tart by clearing space and putting it down on the draining board. It was actually rather nice in the end, served with (Mango) or without (Sophie) soya cream.

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