My iPhone reminded me of my appointment at the mairie to renew my identity card, I grabbed everything, or so I thought, and ran. Unfortunately though, I fell at the first hurdle; I’d forgotten my photos. I was dismissed, and given another appointment for the next day when I was told to ‘make absolutely sure I had everything with me’.
I found an extremely bossy photo booth and even managed, after a bit of haggling, to find the right change. Once the booth had taken my money though, it became even more obnoxious. It ordered me to sit still and remove my glasses, which I did, because its tone made me not inclined to argue. It then told me to read the small print. WTF? How on earth was I supposed to read the small print sans glasses? I bluffed my way through the tyrannical instructions, being extra careful to remove my all my earrings and especially NOT TO SMILE. There was little risk of me smiling; by this time, I was beginning to feel I would never smile again.
Luc was quite unsympathetic, saying that I turn every little thing, even the most mundane, into a Major Diplomatic Incident. At the mairie the next day, my application for a new ID card was declined, as my photos didn’t fit the bill: my hair was flying out of the frame, one of my ears wasn’t on show, and I was smirking, presumably from rapidly impending hysteria. So I now have to repeat the whole process. I actually prefer my chances of explaining my way out of an expired ID card, than taking on that photo booth again…
We have a mirabelle plum tree in our garden, and this is the first year it has borne fruit since it was planted 15 years ago. I often find plums very acidic, but ripe mirabelle plums contain hardly any acid and are very sweet, making them easy on sensitive stomachs.
Recipe for mirabelle plum tart (serves 4-6)
- 100g flour
- 50g butter, diced
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of salt
- 18 (roughly) mirabelle plums, cut in half, stone removed
- 30g sugar
- 40g ground almonds
- 100ml cream
- 4 tablespoons fruit alcohol (I used calvados)
To make the puff pastry:
Mix the ingredients together in a mixer, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or even overnight. Roll the pastry out (remember to sprinkle flour on your work surface), and fold and roll several times, remember to turn the pastry 90° each time. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate again. To use the pastry, just roll out again according to the shape of your pastry case.
To make the filling:
Arrange the plums in the pastry case, then mix the other ingredients together and pour over the fruit. Bake in a very hot, preheated oven (220°C) for 30 minutes. May be served hot, lukewarm, or cold.