Day 154 – no pain, no tatin

Excuse the terrible title – it came to me when my brain shut down with pain earlier today. So while today’s “first” actually went quite well, it may just have been a “last” as well.
We were having guests for dinner, so I thought it made sense to have a cooking “first” once again. I know, I know, I promised something that wasn’t food-related. Saturday, definitely!

I checked out my cookbooks, looking for ideas of something new I could cook. Eventually, I stumbled across a recipe for Tarte Tatin in one of my Jamie Oliver cookbooks. Now that’s something that’s been on my list of ideas for this challenge all along, so I thought I’d finally give it all try (not least because the Jamie version uses ready-made puff pastry, thus dramatically reducing the time it takes to make it).

I know I loved Tarte Tatin as a kid and I know my mum didn’t make it very often because it was quite a lot of hassle. Now that I’ve made it I also know what the hassle is all about: it’s not really that much work, but getting the caramel just right involves quite a lot of time and can get a bit messy. However, I would say the result was worth it. The soft apple, the crunchy and sweet caramel and the crispy pastry make for a wonderful combination.

The only problem I had was the aforementioned pain. Jamie Oliver was kind enough to give a very detailed warning about how hot the caramel gets and how it’s important not to touch it. Well, I know that of course. I’ve cooked with caramel numerous times before, so I know not to touch the stuff and to make sure it doesn’t splash or drip on me.

What I didn’t see, however, was that I had accidentally dipped the oven mitt in the hot caramel. I cannot describe the pain I felt when I subsequently touched the oven mitt. The problem with caramel is that it sticks to the skin and thus burns quite deep into it. The pain stayed pretty bad for a good hour or so and I still have a painful blister now. But the worst part is just how annoyed I was with myself for hurting myself although I really should have known better.

That’s why it’ll definitely be a while before I make Tarte Tatin again. Just too much of a health hazard…

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