Then farmer and I met 14 years ago this year. From the minute I met him, I knew the phrase, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ would stand me in good stead with him.
Farmers aren’t like other men. It must be something genetic in them, where they would much rather be cooked for than to cook.
I’d say in all the time we’ve been together, he has made me cheese on toast on maybe two occasions and I am lucky if he offers me a coffee on the rare occasion he might make himself a brew.
I am over moaning about it.
In those eight years however, there has been one dessert that he has consistently asked for and that is Manchester Tart.
It was his favourite at school and I think most people, especially who went to school up north, remember it from their school days.
So I decided yesterday was THE day.
This is what I did.
You will need:
Dessert pastry, enough to line the bottom and sides of whatever dish you are using. I’m not going to get into a heated debate about this. Make your own, don’t make your own. I did make my own and wished I hadn’t as I hate making pastry and it never turns out well.
Jam. I think traditionally, raspberry jam is used but I hate the pips in raspberry jam so I used strawberry and I think you can use whichever flavour is your favourite
Custard-two pints. Either totally handmade from scratch or uses custard powder like I did. Shop bought instant custard is no good for this recipe as it needs to be thick, to set.
Two tablespoons of sugar
Desiccated coconut or, if you have children like mine-sprinkles.
Line your dish with the pastry and trim off any excess. Put a sheet of grease-proof paper on top and line with either baking beans or, I keep a bag of dried chickpeas in the draw to use for this.
Bake on 200 degrees for ten-20 minutes depending on the size of your dish.
While it bakes, boil two pints of milk in a pan. Mix four heaped tablespoons of custard powder and two tablespoons of sugar and enough milk to make a rue.
Just before the milk comes to the boil, add the custard powder rue and stir, stir, stir. DO NOT leave the custard.
If the custard does go lumpy, I usually get it back with a whisk but it is far easier to ensure it doesn’t go lumpy in the first place.
When the pastry is done, allow it to cool slightly and spread the jam over the top of it in a thin layer.
Add the optional banana and then pour the custard over the top. Make sure the custard is still quite hot if you are using banana as the heat softens and cooks the banana somewhat.
Sprinkle the coconut over the custard and allow it to cool. When it is cooled, refrigerate to make it set more.
Well, I hear you asking. What was Hubster’s verdict?
He said it was the best desert I’ve ever made. Praise indeed.
I’m going to try and stage a one-woman retro-pudding revival. What’s your favourite retro dessert?