The last word on plums goes to Nigel Slater, in his book ‘Real Fast Puddings’. He has some wonderful adjectives for those lush beauties reclining in a drowsy heap – and then compares them with the ones he buys in the supermarket – primped up and set on a mat, displayed in a glass case (aka clingfilm) – ‘like Faberge eggs’. I know what he means. The seasonality of plums is unmistakable in the supermarket, which has to be a good thing. Those big fat purple flavourless ones do nothing for me. So I’m glad to have enjoyed our Scottish Victorias to the full while they lasted.
The Bake-off bungle rages on, and I’m sorry to see it ending in tears because it’s been a wonderful series of shows. Well done the BBC for birthing and nurturing it. And isn’t it just as well for the current contestants that it doesn’t go out live. I was particularly inspired by the last-but-one challenge on lacy pancakes, and will have a go as soon as I’ve purchased a plastic bottle. This week though I felt quite smug because I’ve made Bakewell Tart many times. I decided to have another go for the tenants, and produced this one. Normally I don’t put the icing on top, I just scatter it with flaked almonds, but I thought I’d have a go at the feathered icing, which I last did – oh – 30? 40? years ago. I remembered that it was very easy. Well probably my standards have risen because yesterday’s result was, I felt, a bit messy. Like lines on a heart monitor. Ominous. However it was wolfed down with a request for the leftovers to be served up next day with hot custard. Myself, I think the tart is better with flaked almonds than icing – but then I don’t have 95 year old teeth to contend with! Not yet. One day, if I’m lucky.
Just to use up the icing, I did some wee buns too … also well received, despite the shoogly hand. What is it about a drizzle of icing that appeals to people? I’m not that keen, really – I just do it for work purposes – all that extra sugar going straight to your belly and your teeth. However I’d like to improve my pathetic piping skills because, hey, you never know. I might get converted.