but by itssel’ an’ in a class apairt


apple tart 1

Mrs Purdie’s Aipple Tart

The bakin’ at oor village show’s the best ye’ve ivver seen.
Fowk come frae far an’ near, frae ilka airt.
But listen till I tell ye a’ aboot ma guid aul’ freen,
An’ the tale o’ Mrs Purdie’s aipple tert.

Pair Mrs Purdie took it as an unco fashious slight
That her pastry nivver seemed tae mak’ the grade.
For the judges didna even cut a slice tae hae a bite
O’ the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

It wis in an’ oot the freezer wis Mrs Purdie’s pie,
Sma’ wunner that ma freen wis losin’ hert.
It nivver won a mention an’ the judges passed it by.
Whit could be wrang wi’ Mrs Purdie’s tert?

‘I doot,’ said Mrs Thomson, ‘ that the judges must hae kent
Her d’oyley’ (upon which the tert wis laid).
For in ivvery flooer show roon aboot, the plate wis evident
Wi’ the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Last spring the frost had nipped the blossom: aipples there were nane.
Dame Nature cam’ tae Mrs Purdie’s aid.
For naebody had ony fruit, an’ so it stood alane,
The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Her aipple tert wis nae the best, nor wis it yet the worst.
But by itssel’ an’ in a class apairt.
Sae the judges had nae option an’ they had tae pit it first
And gie the prize tae Mrs Purdie’s tert.

She wis a happy wumman: she wis quite puffed up wi’ pride.
Ower the triumph that pit ithers in the shade.
She’d be mentioned in the paper, tellin’ fowk the coonty wide
O’ the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

The show wis ower: she picked it up and went tae tak’ it hame.
‘We’ll hae this tae oor Sunday tea,’ she said.
An’ she proodly gethered up the winnin’ ticket wi’ her name
Aside the tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Bit then, pride aften gangs afore a fa’, o’ that I’m shair.
She drapt the plate, an’ crash! Awa’ it gaed.
It lay in near a hunner wee bit pieces on the flair,
The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Scottish Poetry Selection 
- Mrs Purdie’s Aipple Tart, “Pride comes before a fall” is a constant theme in Scots poetry (and life) and that comes through in this poem about Mrs Purdie’s apple tart by an anonymous writer.


Much is to be said of the magic of a hot apple tart. The French have their Tarte aux pommes (of course) or the ever famous Tarte tatin, the Germans have a Apfelkuchen, the Americans have of course an apple pie, the Dutch do appeltaart, the Swedes make äppelkaka, and the Spanish bake a tarta de manzana ….

Often ignored for the benefit of more exotic fruits, the apple sits at the sidelines on market shelves and also very often at home. But you bake this baby, it is a whole new story.

The other day it was gloomy and cold outside. The cat didn’t want to move even.


…. I had a bowl of “ignored” apples sitting on the dining table, so I started cooking. An APPLE TART sounded good …. fetched a roll of puff pastry from the freezer (the only thing I REALLY don’t like making at home) …. peeled four large apples …. and the magic began.

apple tart 3

One does not even need a recipe for that. That’s how easy that is to whistle up an apple tart. And it does not take any time either. Making a cup of good (!) tea takes longer. Not counting the baking time of course. But that would the time you’d be drinking the tea then. Isn’t it?!

As soon as the baking time was over …. and we had our tea …. all three of us …. we fell over the hot tart. It took all but twelve minutes to devour this soul-warming magic.

whipped cream

Including a bowl of freshly whipped cream …. of course, …. in true Viennese fashion we had PLENTY of Schlagobers with our Apflekuchen.

apple tart 4

…. needless to say, … those two didn’t survive either ….




Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

2 thoughts on “but by itssel’ an’ in a class apairt

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