On Friday last I received a text from my Mum – “just wondering if you are free tomorrow and would allow us to bring supper over? xxx”. My godfather was staying with my parents and, given our little one is generally in bed around 6.45pm, it’s easier to have people over to ours rather than us ‘de camp’ only to bring him back later and risk interrupting his routine. So mum’s kind offer seemed like a real win, win.
We decided she would bring the main course, beef en croute, whilst I would buy vegetables, potatoes and sort a pudding. When parents and godfather arrived our little one had just finished in the bath and was heading for pyjamas, stories and then bed. Mum joined in as the pyjamas went on and then we read our three most popular books of the moment; ‘Fox’s Socks’ is always chosen as the first book, then ‘Hide and Seek Pig’ and finally ‘Rabbit’s Nap’. Little one moved from my lap to Mum’s depending on the story. He then went down in his cot and we left the room. Normally, that would have been the end of his day, but tonight it wasn’t too be. Some good time later and only after a new nappy and two Weetabix was he able to sleep. Who can sleep when they are still hungry? Not me. But enough of bed time routines.
I joined the adults in the kitchen. My godfather was pouring wine, my Dad was chopping vegetables and Dave was sorting the potatoes – or maybe it was the other way round. Mum was in charge of the beef en croute. I started to halve plums and then lightly whisked some eggs with cream, milk and sugar. The plums went in an ovenproof dish with flaked almonds sprinkled over, and the egg custard was poured over the top. We ate our delicious main course and talked about different beef en croute we had eaten over the years.
Then my pudding came out of the oven. The plums were soft and tacky and the almonds crunchy on top. Sweet set custard surrounded. Everybody was very complimentary and second helpings were eaten. My godfather started to talk about British puddings and how they take some beating. He went onto talk about British food in general, how it used to get such a bad rap and how this was mainly because the best British food tended to be consumed in homes rather than restaurants. We agreed that for a long time, and perhaps still now, the best Roast, or Toad in the Hole you were ever likely to eat would be at home, your own or someone else’s.
Dave and I have recently got into the game Sequence after being given it by the dough ball friends, if you read that post. We had played five times and he had beaten me in each and every game. I was keen to play it that night in the hope that Dave might not win. Dad and my godfather teamed up, Mum and I were another team and Dave was the third team by himself. Mum and I were leading for a long time but then Dave pounced and won. Dave and I need to play again soon in the hope that I can begin to start climbing my way to victory. Perhaps we need another plum and custard pudding before we do that?
Plum and almond baked custard
butter for greasing the baking dish
830g/1lb13oz plums – or 10 large plums
75g/2½oz flaked almonds
100 ml milk
150 ml double cream
4 eggs, beaten – the size doesn’t matter
85g/3oz caster sugar
Pinch of salt
14g/½oz caster sugar for decorating the finished pudding
Ovenproof dish 25 x 30 cm / 10 x 12″
Ice cream, cream, yoghurt or crème fraîche to serve.
6 – 8
Total carbohydrate – 202g
Carbohydrate per 1/6 – 34g
Carbohydrate per 1/8 – 25g
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
2. Butter the ovenproof dish.
3. Stone the plums. I do this by halving them and then and cutting round the stone. Place cut side up in the baking dish and scatter over the flaked almonds.
4. Measure the cream and milk out in a measuring jug, add the eggs, sugar and salt and mix well. Then, while continually stirring to keep the sugar mixed, pour this mixture over the plums and flaked almonds.
5. Put the dish in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until lightly browned on top.
6. When cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle over 14g / ½oz sugar before serving.
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