5 September 2010

The world's a better place when it's upside down..

Upside down apple tart
“The world’s a better place when it’s upside down.” So sings Australian pop starlet Gabriella Cilmi. Now, Gabriella may not have the gravitas of Aristotle but I think she is on to something here.

I’ll readily admit that my first reaction to change is not always positive.  I like my routines and habits - I’m one of those people who is happy always walking the same way home.  And not all change is as innocuous as a different route home: sometimes it really does turn your world upside down.  This kind of upheaval can be daunting.  So why does it make the world a better place? I think it is because the way we respond to and adapt to change significantly influences our happiness.  Learning to accept that life doesn’t always stay the same or deal you the hand you want might be hard to do, but surely living in the moment is better than grieving for a memory of the past or wishing for an unobtainable future?  Learning to get out of our comfort zone means being willing to open our eyes to something new, to take just one step further than normal, and to push the boundaries of the familiar just a little bit at a time. Embracing change like this makes us more able to deal with the obstacles life throws at us, which ultimately makes us happier.

That’s a big thing to do, so I’m starting with small steps!  I have been lucky enough to be part of a wonderful online community who have encouraged me to look beyond my cooking comfort-zone.  OK, so I haven’t yet gathered the courage to tackle my biggest fears of yeast or gelatine, but I have been inspired to try dishes I never had the confidence to cook before.  And, let me tell you, one thing that is definitely better when it’s upside down is this upside-down apple tart with caramel ice-cream.

Making ice-cream?  Without an ice-cream machine?  Or a recipe?  Yep, that’s pretty daunting.  And inverting a pan of scalding-hot caramel straight from the oven onto a serving plate?  Scary!  But most certainly worthwhile.  The ice cream in particular was a triumph: creamy, luscious and not too sweet.  However, unlike Ms Cilmi, there is a lot that is sweet about this tart so I would choose a sharper fruit next time.  Plums, perhaps. Or even the apricots recommended in the original recipe that were prohibitively expensive to use this time.

For the upside down apple tart recipe, click here. [coming soon]

For the caramel ice-cream, click here.


  1. Oh I like this "upside down" post . . .

  2. This is such a well written post and so relevant at the moment.

  3. I agree with Baking Bunny, you definitely have a way with words Mandy. Your post is perfect timing with the current climate and all.

    Your upside down apple tart looks delicious. I would be interested in finding out how you made your caramel ice cream without an ice cream maker? I don't have one either and would love to try and make my own.

  4. Cool u have your own blog Mandy :) nice!!

  5. I made the ice cream!!!

    The only variation I used was to add a little vanilla extract to the mix, otherwise it was as Mandy had said. The result was tastebud tinglingly good. It was creamy yet light and was the PERFECT accompaniment to the apple crumble I had made. The apple crumble was hot and had a hint of cinnamon, the ice cream was cold, creamy and toffee like - a sublime combination.

    Next time I might try it with a dash of bourbon in it for a little 'zing', but it was perfect as it was.

    Totally recommended - do your tastebuds a favour and try it!!!!