So my pastry rage subsided (see below) and I made my tart. This was last night, for friends, and though it was delicious and looks fantastic in a French rustic sort of way, the question is: does arranging apple slices in a pretty circle on top of some shop-bought dough constitute cooking?
Mais non. Assembling an Ikea chest of drawers with no screws to spare is a kind of triumph, but only a mad person would say it made them an accomplished carpenter. Likewise, there’s a certain amount of pride to take in following a recipe and producing something delicious, but you shouldn’t be in any doubt the real skill was exhibited by the person who dreamed up the dish, long before you opened the fridge door.
And failing to make the pastry of someone else’s tart recipe? Like calling in a handyman to put up your Ikea drawers. You’d be kidding yourself to take any credit at all.