Oh, the joy of being able to bake again. Despite the fact that we still have horrible a temporary work surface that precludes kneading bread and makes rolling out pastry tricky, I just could not resist making a greengage tart at the weekend.
I can't decide whether I prefer the French or English name for this fruit. 'Reine Claude' has such style and sounds lovely, but then again 'greengage' sounds lovely, too (which is why I think 'The Greengage Summer is such a wonderful title for a novel). Sadly, though, we don't see enough of either in England to be bothered about what we should be calling them; we should just be glad to see them at all.
As I'm still in a Julia Child-inspired cooking and baking mode, I decided a good, old-fashioned, large, queen-sized greengage and almond tart would be the best way to use up my precious greengages. I looked at Julia's recipes for tarts and took her advice and applied it to the recipe in Jane Grigson's Fruit Book. I am a sucker for this sort of patisserie and enjoy the various processes involved (even though in France it's perfectly acceptable to serve beautiful tarts from the local patisserie instead of making them at home). Maybe if we lived near a fabulous patisserie I'd buy my tarts, but as Messieurs Sainsbury and Waitrose don't fall into that class, I don't.
We are still experimenting with our new oven and having to keep a sense of humour about the results, but the tart came out fine and dandy and was eaten in one sitting by my poor, patisserie-starved family.