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Thursday, 5 October 2017

SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART

Good Morning to you,


I was reading an article in one of the Sunday supplements extolling the virtues of eyebrow tattooing.

I then picked up another magazine, that told me that the 'bald eyebrow' or the 'no eyebrow' look was in fashion.

.... and a third magazine informed me that the 'raggy, unkempt eyebrow' was the look to wear this season.

.... and before I continue, I must tell you that the reading of these magazines were not all in one sitting, although it's true to say, when time allows, I can quite easily enjoy a magazine marathon. 

The first, as I mentioned, was a lazy Sunday morning read, a few weeks ago. The second was a magazine I picked up to read at the hairdressers.  It was one of the trendy magazines, which I only read when I visit the hairdressers.... I learn all sorts of things I never knew, its quite an education and the final magazine, I picked up was at the doctors surgery.  Nothing to worry about on that point, just my annual visit to make sure everything is working as it should.

So I looked in the mirror.  How should I wear my eyebrows?  The 'no eyebrow' look, definitely not. How about the 'raggy look'? A bit messy for my liking, not that I have much choice nowadays as the eyebrow hair has become sparser with each passing year. So that left the eyebrow tattooing.... a possible, because as a teenager, I carefully plucked my eyebrows to look like the iconic Twiggy eyebrows, only to discover a number of years later, that my perfectly plucked fine eyebrows were out of fashion.  

So after years of being in fashion,  suddenly I was  out of fashion and my out of fashion eyebrows have stayed with me for the last 40 odd years. Hence the attraction of the eyebrow tattooing.

So when I read about eyebrow tattooing, I was intrigued.  Apparently micro blading is a semi permanent tattoo which gives brilliant results. The eyebrows are fuller and frame the face beautifully.

....but on further reading, I discovered micro blading is a lengthy process and painful. I didn't even touch on the cost. With the mention of pain I totally dismissed the thought.  Not that the thought was really a reality, it was just a passing thought. Just a ' I wonder what I would look like with fuller eyebrows'. Nothing more.

I knew someone who would know.  I rang Danielle, and I was right, she knew all about micro blading and she confirmed that it was a painful experience.  She asked me if I was thinking about having my eyebrows tattooed and if so, she really didn't think it was a very good idea.  

.... and why was that, I asked.  Danielle replied, 'You wouldn't want half an eyebrow tattooed and the rest left as it was.'

I didn't see where she was going with this. So, with laughter in her voice, she reminded me of the time, when as a trainee beautician, she offered to wax my legs.  

Honestly, I had quite forgotten all about my one and only foray into leg waxing. To be honest, it wasn't even a full leg, no, I am stretching it if I say I had a third of my leg waxed. Please bear with me, as I haven't gone off piste, you will see the connection shortly.

This all happened when Natasha and Danielle still lived at home. I was sitting comfortably on the sofa, with Natasha, watching a television programme, so my mind was not focused on what Danielle was doing. My leg was poised on a stool and Danielle was organising herself. As I say, I wasn't paying attention.  Now at this point, I have to tell you, I had never had my legs waxed before, so I really did not think about the pain. Danielle rubbed lotion onto my leg, then the warm wax was spread onto the lower part of my leg.  Fine so far.  The gauze was laid on top and smoothed and it was a lovely feeling.  I was feeling quite pampered and thoroughly enjoying the experience.

.... and then it happened.  Danielle, my lovely daughter, ripped the gauze from my leg and to say I nearly jumped through the roof is not an exaggeration. Added to that I screamed.  Our little King Charles, Chloe, came running into the room barking, because she had heard me scream. Natasha jumped up from the sofa concerned that the wax was too hot. Danielle, looked at me and could not believe my reaction.  I was hopping around the room in excruciating pain (alright, I freely admit, I am exaggerating a little), but I have to tell you, I am not kidding when I say, I was hopping around the room feeling pain. Leg waxing had not turned out to be the lovely, pampering experience, I thought it would be.

Now, I can hear you asking through your laughter, did I not know that the wax would pull the hair from my leg.

.... and the answer to that question would be, yes.

.... and did I not have any inkling that there would be pain?

.... and the answer would be, no, I didn't think there would be pain, I just thought it might sting just a little.

I know, it sounds ridiculous now, but I really didn't know what to expect.  Maybe I should have asked.  Danielle did tell me what she was doing at each stage and she did say I would feel a little sting.... but not pain.

When I calmed myself down, Danielle asked if I wanted her to continue and to that I said a resounding NO!  She said 'I thought not'. At this point both the girls burst out laughing and if you have heard my daughters laughter at the end of one of Natasha's Dynasty YouTube clips, then you know, they have a fabulous laugh. Through the laughter Danielle said, that as only a small part of my leg had been waxed, my legs would look very strange with a bald patch on one leg.

I replied I would rather have half a bald leg than go through that experience again.... but I had my own solution to sort out my half bald leg. I went upstairs found my electric leg shaver and shaved my legs, which turned out to be a much nicer experience.

.... and would I ever have my legs waxed again..... never, not ever.

Although I must be getting braver as I now use an epilator.... and what do I feel, only a little sting!

So back to the micro blading.  Even though it was only a thought, after being reminded of my leg waxing experience, micro blading is definitely not for me.  I'll leave that for much braver souls than I.

I think I will keep my 1960's inspired eyebrows, after all they have been with me for a long time.

Now that is enough talk about pain, it is time to turn pain into pleasure, because today, we are making,


a Summer Fruits Crumble Tart. I often make a fruit crumble during the winter time, but I have never made a tart.  I was inspired to make this recipe when I was shopping in a certain supermarket.  They had rhubarb crumble tarts for sale, but they looked quite pitiful, although  George said he liked the look of the tart. I said I could make a larger one, but with summer fruits , because I had some frozen berries in my freezer.... George was sold and my Summer Fruits Crumble Tart was a hit.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is George's choice.  Yesterday was our 47th wedding anniversary and I asked George what music he would like me to play


and he chose 'Two Hearts' by Phil Collins from the film Buster. We both love this song.

So with 'Two Hearts' playing it is time to organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED
TO MAKE
SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART

Serves 6 large portions or 8 smaller portions

PASTRY

1 tablespoon of flour for rolling the pastry
1 egg yolk ~ beaten

We have baked so many different pies over the years, that I feel sure you do not need me to show you how. If you would like a refresher, then pop over to when I made Quiche Lorraine, you will find the ingredients.  You will notice that the tart dish is 22cm (9") and today I am using a 25 cm (10") tart dish.  Don't worry as the pastry does stretch to a 25 cm (10") tart dish.

THE FILLING

600g (1lb-5oz) frozen summer fruits ~ thawed
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice

THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

100g (4oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100g (4oz) unsalted butter ~ chilled
75g (3oz) dark brown sugar
50g (2oz) walnuts
50g (2oz) oats

YOU WILL NEED 

25 cm (10") loose bottom tart tin
baking beans
baking parchment paper

Pre-heat the oven 180C or 160C Fan oven

HOW TO MAKE
SUMMER FRUITS CRUMBLE TART


Make the pastry.
Roll out the pastry and carefully place into the tart tin.
Place on a tray and put into the fridge to cool for 1/2 hour.


Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line with baking parchment.
Fill with baking beans.
Cut away any excess pastry, but leave 1/2 inch all the way around to allow for shrinkage.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry case is a light golden brown in colour.


Remove the baking parchment and beans.
Brush the beaten egg yolk onto the base of the pastry case.
Return the pastry case to the oven for 5-10 mintues to dry the egg wash.

Set aside and cool.
When cooled remove the excess pastry, either with a sharp knife or by running the rolling pin over the top of the pastry case.

THE FILLING


Drain the summer fruits using a sieve.

Reserve any juice.

Mix the sugar and the mixed spice to the fruit.
Set aside.

CRUMBLE TOPPING


Sift the flour and the ground cinnamon into a medium sized bowl.

Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs.

Stir in the brown sugar, oats, chopped walnuts.

ASSEMBLING THE TART


Spoon the drained summer fruits into the pastry case and spread evenly.


Spoon the crumble mix on top and drizzle over the remaining summer fruits juice. The crumble will absorb the juice.


Place the tart into the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.

Then all there is left to do is, let the tart cool a little,


cut a slice 
and
enjoy!

As you can see I left the base of the tart tin in tact because I could not remove it until the tart had cooled.... I really must buy myself one of those round cake spatulas, which removes tarts from pans perfectly.  Next time I am visiting Lakeland, I will see if they sell them.  It would really make life a lot easier.

.... and no, George could not wait, he wanted a warm slice of summer fruits crumble tart and could not wait for it to cool. Well these recipes are part of our day to day living and I cannot bake and expect George to wait.... that would be mean. Although he did wait long enough for me to make him some custard. 

.... and before I leave you, I was wondering, what type of eyebrows do you have? 

Do you have the fine 1960s eyebrows? or the bold 1980s eyebrows? or are yours untouched and just as nature intended?

I'm just curious.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,









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