21 hours ago
Monday, January 7, 2013
Festive tables 2012
No problem finding the sponge cake to spread with jam to line the bottom of the bowl. Easy to find tinned apricots to go under the top layer of whipped cream. I even got my hands on some angelica as the rather naff, but definitely traditional, garnish.
What I had a real problem making was the layer of custard. Our local supermarkets all have shelves dedicated to "British" groceries. Tinned steak-and-kidney pie, Branston pickle, Heinz Baked Beanz, that kind of thing. I assumed that's where the Bird's Custard Powder would be. Not in Intermarché, and--surprisingly--not in SuperU in Mirepoix which, on Christmas Eve, was so jammed with customers that the queue of cars trying to park stretched back beyond the roundabout.
Thinking hard, I decided that crème Anglaise would work if I thickened it. I checked the bakery products shelf. Uh-uh. I looked along the coolers, thinking maybe it would be among the tubs of crème fraiche. Nope.
Flailing around for ideas, I ran into a friend and told him the whole sad story. He led me over to the shelves of UHT milk, UHT cream and there it was--a contained of crème Anglaise. Why there? Good question. Long story short, back home, I tipped out the contents into a saucepan, added two, and then three, beaten eggs and ended up with lovely thick yellow English custard.