Saturday, September 09, 2006

Pecan Tart (Page 786)

  • Date: Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Recipe Rating: I (Incomplete)

So this entry is out of order, but I figured I would write it now, while the series of disastrous events are fresh in my mind. This recipe made me cry. Well, I think it was actually the intense physical pain that made me cry, but still. Let me back up. So, Lauren and Denis are having a party tonight and I chose this recipe to make and bring to the party. But the party is right now and instead of being there I am sitting at my desk, doped up on pain killers, typing this with one hand while my other hand sits in a bowl of ice water. Things are not exactly going as planned... And while in this space I would normally comment about why I gave the food the grade I did, this recipe has earned my first ever Incomplete. This is the recipe equivalent to the student who does all the homework but doesn't show up for the final exam. How do you grade that? In other words, this recipe never made it to a stage where it could be eaten.

All was going well until I started making the filling. It is caramel based, so step one was to make the caramel. I hate The Book's caramel method. I have ranted about this before, so I won't now. But it burns easily, and the sugar recrystalizes easily, and things just go badly. Still, that stage went ok. Then I was supposed to add corn syrup to my caramel. When something not hot hits boiling sugar the sugar solidifies. So the next step was to dissolve the caramel in the corn syrup. For some reason this caramel wouldn't dissolve. 35 minutes later, I was still waiting for the caramel to finish dissolving. Finally it dissolved, but it had been boiling so long that the corn syrup had started caramelizing too. And it appeared that the whole thing might be a bit burnt. So I wanted to taste it. I took a big forkful of the gooey stuff. I was holding the fork with my right hand, and I held my left hand under the fork, the way I always do when I am tasting, so I don't spill on the floor. Realizing that this caramel would be unbelievably hot, I blew on it to cool it off. Silly me. The 340 degree caramel blew through the gaps in the fork and landed all over my left hand, immediately solidifying to my hand, continuing to burn it. By the time I got the caramel off my hand and my hand under water, I already had multiple burn blisters. I collapsed on the floor, in tears. Then my stuborness kicked in and I realized that my caramel was continuing to darken. After all that I couldn't let it get ruined. So I went on with the recipe using one hand, the other one clenching ice cubes. One-handed cooking while crying is not my specialty, and so when I added the hot caramel to the eggs I was not sufficiently careful. I ended up with a big bowl of scrambled eggs with streaks of caramel in it. So gross.

In summary: this recipe was not a success. Nonetheless I am not making it again.

On a happier note, today is Andre's Birthday -- Happy Birthday Andre!

2 comments:

ana rita said...

oh! :(
This sounds so painful. I hope it heals quickly...

Mike Hill said...

Oh good lord! Teena, that sounds terrible. Is your hand OK now? Will you live the rest of your life with one normal hand and one lobster claw? I hope you get better quickly!