One more apple slice, and...

Jardim tropical, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

The tropical garden in Funchal is located at the top of the teléferico, the cable car that brings tourists from the Avenida do Mar at sea level to an elevation of 580 m. Like most of Funchal, this tropical garden is built on the mountainside and the paths trough it are steep and a bit labyrinthine.  It's easy to get lost in its many pathways and stairs, but since one is surrounded by imposing trees and beautiful flowers everywhere, that doesn't really matter.

Getting back to the top from the panoramic viewpoint at the bottom is good exercise, and I had really worked up an appetite for the apple tart that I had spotted in the little cafe near the entrance.

And what a pie this was!  Apple slices piled up high, with a discreet dusting of cinnamon and enhanced with raisins and walnuts. One more piece of apple and you could not call it a pie anymore.

This is the kind of pie I see in my dreams.  To make the picture complete, the size of the portions was generous and the price was very reasonable. My expectations were therefore very high.

Which could, in part, explain that I ended up being a bit disappointed. The taste of this apple tart was not as fabulous as I expected, but it took me a bit of time to figure out why.

With hardly anything to keep the apple slices together, the pie was actually a bit dry.  The crust, thin and halfway between flaky and shortbread, did nothing to improve the situation. And although this pie was not served cold, it had not been warmed up either. That might have brought out the natural sweetness of the apple and improved the flavour.

So although I thought, when I saw this pie, that I would give it a top rating, when I tasted it it became clear that it did not deserve it.

Fortunately, the view from the cafe's patio was still worth the trip up the mountain!


Popular Posts