I recently delved into the world of the poshest ready meals ever seen when I had a disappointing goats cheese mousse from Michael Caines “Chef of the Season” range at Harrods. It saddened me that I didn’t enjoy the mousse, not only because I spent £3.95 on it, but because I’ve always really warmed to Michael Caines when he’s been interviewed in stuff or appeared on Saturday Kitchen and I didn’t want the Michael Caines of my mind to be tarnished.
When I mention to people that Michael Caines has a food range at Harrods, they tend to do a double take, for in their mind I have said Michael Caine, an altogether different chap and far less qualified to be selling ready made food stuffs. I’m sure this is a mistake that has happened time and time again and that Michael Caines is sick to death of crap jokes about it so in an attempt to be original I won’t make one. What I will say though is that I’d love it if Michael Caine came up with a ready meal range, it would blow my mind. It would be right up there in the pantheon of peculiar celebrity food endorsements sitting proudly alongside Katy Perry Popchips and Barry Norman Pickled Onions.
Anyway – back to the apple tart. In value for money terms it’s great, coming in at £4.95 for a big slab. You’d pay more than that for an equivalent sized portion at any of the, now run of the mill, high street patisseries like Paul or Le Pain Quotidien. But this wasn’t a run of the mill shop – this was Harrods; land of the rich, land of the tourists and on this Saturday afternoon – me.
When I asked for the apple tart I fully expected the chap serving to cut it in half before asking for my hard earned cash, (maybe that is what he was supposed to do) but he didn’t – he scooped up the whole thing wrapped it in Harrods paper and handed it over. I was pleased.
When it came to eating it my excitement was somewhat muted because of the goats cheese mousse that had gone before but I delved in none the less. The tart was a thing of beauty; thin slices of apple, perfectly layered and then glazed to give a lovely finish. The pastry was, flaky, rich and buttery, I’ve had better in restaurants, but it was strong match for anything else on the high street. The apple however was the star of the show, the thin slices were tart with a perfect bite, they tasted so appley that it was like tasting apple for the first time. It is oft said in the annals of gastronomy that a great chef lets the natural flavour of the ingredients shine through and that old adage could not be more evident than in this tart – well done Michael Caines. If this is what you can do to an apple on the shelf at Harrods I can only imagine what you can do to one at Gidleigh Park, and if Michael Caine does launch a range of food – he’d be well advised to avoid apple based ones.
Michael Caines Apple Tart £4.95 from Harrods for a limited time