It’s Lewes Men’s Pie Night – so I go for something a little je ne sais quoi

Last Saturday it was that most traditional time here in Lewes, UK. It was time for the now legendary Lewes Men’s Pie Night. You can imagine the scene, I’m sure – all pork pies and real ale but with some red wine for anyone who admits to even a hint of a Y chromosome. Here was the display of fine pork pies and one splendid meat and potato pie. I’ve done my pork pie apprenticeship as documented on these pages in previous years but after last year’s triumphant cherry pie, I thought I would stick (quite literally) to dessert pastry again this year. After-all, as salad or any green vegetables are banned from this occasion, someone has to supply the variety. 

So, yes, it was inevitable, I guess, that I was destined, one day, to make my very own Tarte Tatin. In case you’re not bilingual, I mean caramelised apple tart. I’m fond of baking things with poncey French names because they’re often much simpler than people think and I, therefore, become instantly sophisticated and even get to sample what it must feel like to have some of President Hollande’s allure. Well, maybe not.

It really is plain sailing after you’ve made the pastry shell – just cut up the apples (Bramleys and Cox’s) cover them in brown sugar and cinnamon and then stick them in the oven.

Here it is – Tarte Tatin de Wolfie. It might look a bit well done but, non, it’s meant to look like that – more or less. There was nothing left afterwards so I can promise you that it tasted delicious – parfait! If you think mine looks a bit rough, and people often do,  then here’s a photo of a professional Tarte Tatin:

I wonder if I should do Apple strudel next time.
Maybe I should finish with a little French music. Lakmé, an opera by the under-rated French composer Léo Delibes (1836 – 1891) was first performed in my current musical year, 1883, and it’s time we reclaimed it from British Airways who have been busy hackneying the flower duet for years now. Time to hear it sung by two of my all-time favourite singers too – Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne – this is parfait, aussi.

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STEPHEN DEARSLEY’S SUMMER OF LOVE BY COLIN BELL

My novel, Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love, was published  on 31 October 2013. It is the story of a young fogey living in Brighton in 1967 who has a lot to learn when the flowering hippie counter culture changes him and the world around him.


It is now available as a paperback or on Kindle (go to your region’s Amazon site for Kindle orders)

You can order the book from the publishers, Ward Wood Publishing:
…or from Book Depository:

…or from Amazon:

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