Dear crew I regret that I have to leave the business of cooking in your hands while I am absent! Please carefully follow my meticulous instructions below!!
Little Jack Horner Pie
Old mother Hubbard’s bone
Queen of hearts tarts
Broth without any bread
Snips and snails and puppy dogs tails (a bandicoot tail will work just as well)
Curds and whey
Plum – large and preferably organic
Oranges and lemons
Sugar and spice and all things nice
Four and twenty blackbirds
Arrange the blackbirds in your work space and make sure they start singing BEFORE you prepare your mixture. That way you can be sure that your preparation will be sound and your method will match the pace and rhythm of the rhymes that they have been created from.
Using Mother Hubbard’s bone as a pestle crush half of the tarts into large pieces in time with the music – do not pulverise.
Take the other tarts and beat them with the puppy dog’s tail to flatten them and then use the tail as a rolling pin so that they form one sticky smooth pat-a-cake.
In a large baking tray place the crushed tarts in neat rows along the base of the tray. Leave the pat-a-cake to one side as it will form the lid to your pie.
In a separate bowl prepare the curds and whey. Grate in the orange and lemon zest and then squeeze the juice into the mixture. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
To prepare the plum first take out the stone. To do this cut along the crease, give it a twist (not referring to Mr Twist our bristly bandicoot) and the stone should come out with ease. Put the plum and Old Mother Hubbard’s bone into a saucepan and boil both in water adding the sugar and spice and all things nice so that these will flavour the broth.
Pour the broth over the crushed tarts in the tray to soften them.
Add the curds and whey mixture on top (look out for spiders!)
At this point using your thumb stick the plum into the centre of the pie.
Finally add the pat-a-cake on top, do not press down so that the curds and whey will not overflow. Prick it and pat it but DO NOT mark it with B (or else the bandicoot will think it is for him).
Use the snail slime to glaze the pat-a-cake and put the pie in the oven for 10 minutes.
If you make it just right it will be good from the first to the very last bite!
Love from Cook Conomos xxx