I made this for my pre-birthday dinner and it was pastry-heavy but good.  Really easy, just bung in the blackberries with some sugar, cornflour and salt then dot with butter.  Sainsbury’s had run out of shortcrust pastry so I used puff – which looked pretty but I think shortcrust would have been better. I am all for making your own pastry but sometimes you just have to take the short cuts.  I think I need some weaving lessons from Ptolemy…

When all is said and done, this was bloody easy to make on a day where I was also dealing with Vincent Price Baked Ham, a chunk of roast beef, enough vegetables to feed a dinner party of hungry cannibals and PICCALILLI !

For yes, the pre-birthday dinner coincided with Piccalilli Sunday and Heather, Nathan and Dave arrived with bin bags full of prepared marrow, cucumber, cauliflower, silverskin onions and french beans.  I am getting much better at making slap up dinners for five (my birthday treat Mr P. came too) when all of those five people are milling around my kitchen boozing, chopping vegetables, debating how many of the enormous bottles of Sarson’s Pickling Vinegar should go in the BIG PAN and taking photos of each other through the jam funnel.

The Piccalilly was made in Fran’s Big Pan – Fran is Heather’s lovely mum and the Big Pan is legendary.  Heather says the following:

The Temple Big Pan was bought in 1952 and made jam and the likes for Dr Roe and his family of Barkwith House, East Barkwith, Lincolnshire, where my mum was live-in maid, and nanny.  The handles are bound with John, the eldest son’s army trousers from when he got back from Korea.

My mum took the pan with her when she got married in 1962 and my dad used it for his legendary Piccalilli making. This year is it’s seventieth birthday.

 It’s not the oldest piece of kitchen equipment. My mother’s frying pan was bought in 1944!

We had SO MUCH fun making Piccalilly in the Temple Big Pan that I’m sure we’ll make another batch of pickled condiments in 2013.  We made 22 jars!  Some of you may find one in your Christmas stocking.  Besides, there are 3 x litre bottles of pickling vinegar left…

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