Old fruit, new tarts

In recent weeks the kids have become obsessed with watching me put on make up.

Every morning when I’m getting ready for work, I seem to end up with a companion. Someone will happen to need to brush their teeth at just the moment I start to slather on cosmetics. They pretend they’re concentrating on their own task, but standing beside me I can see their eyes tracking me in the mirror.

As I grab a new tube or pencil, toothpaste starts frothing everywhere and they’ll spout, “what’s that for?” Or “What do you call that?”

I explain concealer. “This makes mummy look less tired.”
I explain eyeliner. “This makes mummy’s eyes look nicer.”

Even as the words roll out I’m aware of how weird they sound. And how strange the whole idea of make up is. How trivial.

The kids just look at me quizzically. Bewildered that a mummy would even have ‘looks’ or should care about them. I’m just their mum, after all. I look pretty much the same to them every day.

The toothbrushing facade gets totally forgotten as they just stand and gape. After my entire routine is done (it takes about 2 minutes), I’ll say, “do I look better now?”

They shrug in that we-don’t-get-it way. If my companion is Mr M&P, he’ll eventually pipe up, ‘Yep’. Ever the charmer, he knows that it’s always worth complimenting effort, even if he doesn’t quite understand it.

Like make up, pastry with tart up anything.

Like make up, pastry will tart up nearly anything.

Old fruit tart

Use up excess stone fruit with these tarts.

2 sheets puff pastry
3-4 nectarines, peaches, apricots (or a combination)
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp almond meal
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, lightly whisked, for sticking & glazing

Ice cream (to serve)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

Separate the frozen pastry sheets off the block. Score one into quarters and snap it apart. Leave to thaw while you chop the nectarines (chunks or pretty slices are all fine). Toss them with the maple syrup and lemon juice.

Brush the pastry quarters with egg, sprinkle the almond meal and sugar over the centre (leave a 1cm border).

Slice 1cm strips from your spare sheet and layer them around the edges of your squares. Brush with more egg.

Divide the fruit between the squares, reserving the liquid. Scatter a little more caster sugar or raw sugar over the entire tart and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Serve with icecream and the reserved juices drizzled over the top.

MAKES 4

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mel said,

    This is a pretty standard dessert in my house when I don’t have many other options. There is always pastry in the freezer and some sort of forlorn looking fruit. Bananas work really well and gently poached apple or pear too. I haven’t used the maple syrup or almond meal before, but will use brown sugar so it caramelises or cinnamon sugar. So easy and looks a bit spesh!

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      yep, we drag it out all the time too! I find the almond meal soaks up a bit of moisture and gives is a hint of something fancier! LSA mix works well, too.

      I’ve not tried bananas before – that sounds great!

  2. 3

    Mel said,

    Hi,
    I am a total believer in your ‘wrapping something in pastry makes it better’! I can put any veg in it and they love it. I recently read about all those transfats used in it. I can’t identify it on the pack and have become a bit paranoid about it. Can you calm me down?

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      It’s true mel, there’s just over 1% trans fat in store bought puff pastry. Usually I avoid them like the plague but here I’m using just over 1/4 piece pastry per serve, and I’m not eating it everyday. For me the pleasure of it outweighs the problems. Sometimes I think the guilt and anxiety that goes with ‘healthy eating’ can be more detrimental that the ingredients involved. 🙂

  3. 5

    Claire said,

    Pastry is a magic worker here too. They will moan and complain about something one night, toss the leftovers in the individual pie maker and they’ll scoff the lot.

    Will keep this in mind for those bananas I haven’t got around to peeling and freezing that are sitting there going brown on my bench.


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