We had a “Cookbook A Month” editorial meeting on Friday. I say “editorial meeting” but what I mean is the three of us met at Street Feast’s Hawker House for a night of good eating and drinking. While the men went off to try their luck at whiskey roulette, the conversation turned to cooking. Naturally.
We talked about this cookbook, obviously. No spoilers, but keen readers among you have noticed a direct correlation between the number of recipes we try to how much we like the cookbook. Given that we’ve posted something nearly every day, I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions.
The conversation then turned to times when you find a recipe you want to make, do all the shopping and preparation for it, salivate over the prospect of eating it, start making it and then near the end of the recipe read, “Now [insert cooking action here] for 24 hours.” We all decided that when this calamity happens, it’s best to just carry on as best you can.
I’ll be damned if this exact problem didn’t happen to me on Sunday afternoon while I was making this tart.
I had decided on this for our Sunday dinner dessert. I made a special trip to the supermarket to buy the ingredients. I made the crust. I made the filling. Then as I was two steps away from “slice modestly,” I read the fateful words: “Put back in the fridge overnight.”
Overnight? NO! I was hoping to eat this in four hours!
With the Friday conversation still fresh, I decided to consult some of my other cookbooks to see if I could get away with chilling it for just a few hours instead of overnight. The consensus seemed to suggest it would be OK, so I went for it. I like to live dangerously.
Was it any good? Readers, we LOVED it. It was fantastic, and as good as she said.
Curious what it would be like after being in the refrigerator overnight, as per the original instructions, I had another piece the next day. All in the interests of science, mind you. While the filling was definitely firmer the next day, it still was fine after only a few hours in the refrigerator.
The moral of the story is obvious. Listen to your friends when they say just carry on as best you can, in life and in cooking.
If you would like to make this yourself, Nigella has helpfully posted the recipe on her website. Click through this paragraph to see it and try it. You can thank me (and Nigella) later.