Shoogly hand with the piping bag

The last word on plums goes to Nigel Slater, in his book ‘Real Fast Puddings’.p1020691 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 p1020695many 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.

p1020696Just 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.

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